Queen of Cups’ Third Issue Wednesday

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Queen of Cups’ second issue, featuring poet Jeannine Hall Gailey, went out last Wednesday to 357 subscribers. Besides our weekly tarot card and writing prompt, this week’s issue will feature poet Carol Edelstein with two micro fictions. Under the title after Sarraute, Edelstein’s Tropisms were inspired by the vignettes of the same name written by Russian born French writer Nathalie Sarraute in the 1960s. Tropism is defined as ‘the response of an organism to an external stimulus by growth in a direction determined by the stimulus’. Sarraute’s and Edelstein’s Tropisms are small character sketches, brief depictions of relational dynamics, family tableau, vignettes rich with detail. Edelstein’s Tropisms delve into that terrain where an organism, in this case a person, is shaped by external stimuli in the form of environment and other people. Queen of Cups will feature two of Edelstein’s Tropisms, both lush with sensual detail, focused on a moment or string of moments, and somewhat mysterious. Flash or micro fiction, it seems to me, can’t operate on the same principles as the average short story, can’t achieve the same ends. There’s not much room to develop character and plot. Something has to go, the whole must be compressed. Micro fiction is the love child of the narrative poem and the short story, but like all children, has its own quirky personality, leading its parents to shake their heads and say ‘I don’t know where she came from’. Edelstein’s Tropisms contain this mix of heredity and unmistakable  originality. You’re in for a treat!

View the First Issue of Queen of Cups

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If you’re not yet among the 324 subscribers to Queen of Cups, a mini lit mag delivered to your inbox via the TinyLetter platform, you can check out the first issue directly on the subscribe form by clicking ‘view letter archive’. Issue One, featuring poet Kimberly Burwick went out last Wednesday. Each issue also includes a tarot card for the week and a writing prompt based on that week’s feature. Issue Two will feature poet Jeannine Hall Gailey.

Queen of Cups’ First Issue on Wednesday

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Wow, what a whirlwind week for my little lit mag. It all started exactly a week ago today with one of those lightning bolt ideas, a few days of indecision followed, culminating in a ‘what the hell this just might work’ mumbled declaration that had my family wondering what I was up to.  Last Wednesday, I launched  Queen of Cups, a mini lit mag delivered to subscribers’ inboxes via the TinyLetter platform. This Wednesday the first issue, featuring poet Kimberly Burwick, goes out to 242 (and growing) subscribers! I’m floored by the positive, kind, enthusiastic, even ecstatic, responses I’ve gotten, and stunned by the growing number of subscribers. Last Wednesday I had an idea and a handful of accounts (FB, TinyLetter, etc) proclaiming that my idea was an actual thing, and then some wonderful, talented writers responded to my shameless solicitations, submissions poured in and, surprise of surprises, subscribers got on board too! I think we now have all the necessary components in place. And….Queen of Cups’ publication schedule is booked through June with new work from Jeannine Hall Gailey, Shaindel Beers, Carol Edelstein and Kelle Groom, among others. I’m still happily accepting submissions, so keep them coming please: queenofcupsmag@gmail.com To clarify, for anyone who hasn’t heard of my quirky idea: you must subscribe  to receive weekly issues of Queen of Cups in your inbox. Each issue features the work of one contemporary writer. Subscription is free and you may unsubscribe (easily) at any time. I’m what you might call an ‘idea man’, and this venture truly started with what I thought was a cool idea: to deliver strong, unique contemporary literature directly into the inboxes of subscribers, and for that content to be digestible in one or two sittings. I’m not sending an entire literary journal to your inbox, just a few pieces to fuel you through your day in the messy world. Amen!

I first met Kimberly Burwick a few weeks back at a reading in Amherst, MA, though I’ve been familiar with Kim’s poetry, and we’ve been FB friends, for a while. Kim and poet husband Kevin Goodan are a kind of literary power couple and the reading was a joint one in support of Kevin’s just-released collection and Kim’s forthcoming one. They had a little help from their four year old son Levi, who gave me a real arms-around-the-neck- hug as I arrived at the reading, the likes of which I haven’t experienced since my own boys were small.  At one point, Levi was fiddling with the magazines behind his mom as she read from her new collection. Kim paused and said ‘Levi you can’t tickle mommy right now’. She went on to give a steady reading of some pretty dark material about infant abduction. Kim and Kevin lived in the town I now live in, but moved out west about 7 years ago just as I got to town. Bad luck! I wish we had crossed paths sooner. Kim was one of my first ‘yes’s’ for Queen of Cups (thank you Kim!) and I’m thrilled to share two new prose poetry/micro non-fiction pieces by her in the first issue. You’ll find as we go along, as I have, that the line between prose poetry, micro fiction, and micro non fiction blur. Genres? We don’t need no stinkin’ genres. I’m including Kim’s bio. so you can get to know  her before Wednesday. And again, thank you thank you for being such an enthusiastic, optimistic, literature-loving bunch!

Kimberly Burwick was born and raised in Massachusetts. Burwick earned her BA in literature from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and her MFA in poetry from Antioch University Los Angeles. She is the author of four collections of poetry: Has No Kinsmen (Red Hen Press, 2006), Horses in the Cathedral, winner of the Robert Dana Prize (Anhinga Press, 2011), Good Night Brother, winner of the Burnside Review Prize, (Burnside Review Press, 2014) and Custody of the Eyes (forthcoming from Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2017).  She is currently Clinical Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Washington State University.

Queen of Cups

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I’ve been kicking around the idea of starting a lit. mag for a while; most writers probably do. And as much as I love a physical, bound copy of a book, the logistics of printing and distributing regular issues, finding subscribers, asking for money, etc etc is a little daunting, likewise for creating a flashy website and announcing to the world that I’m starting the next big online venue for the most promising, most daring new literature. BIG is not really my style. Enter TinyLetter. TinyLetter is a newsletter platform, related to Mailchimp, that allows users to send simple, laid-back news directly to subscribers’ inboxes. It’s often used for self or business promotion, but that’s not our goal here. The platform is free, subscribing is free, and thus my great idea was born. A tiny idea with a big name. Queen of Cups is a mini lit mag (at least it will be very soon) delivered through the TinyLetter platform. Subscribers will receive a morsel of new literature: poetry, micro fiction and micro non fiction weekly in their inboxes. Each issue will feature the work of one writer, though the format may change over time. It’s as simple as that! And I’m aiming to keep it short and sweet: one to three short poems or one piece of micro fiction or non fiction, literature that can be read in a sitting, and gone back to at the reader’s convenience. Did I mention this is free? Subscribe here or by clicking the image above. You can unsubscribe at any time. I also need your work! I’m looking for submissions of 1-3 poems that would be, in a document, each under one page, and fiction and non fiction submissions of under 500 words. Submit your work, with a short bio, to queenofcupsmag@gmail.com . By the way, the Queen of Cups tarot card symbolizes intuition, spirituality and psychic mysteries. She is all about magical energy and deep spiritual connection. She is of the water element, AND, see that cup she’s holding? She made it herself.

Last Last Call for Found Poetry Project

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Just a reminder that May 12th is the last day to register for The Found Poetry Project at this Spring’s Squam Art Retreats held June 1-5 on Sqaum Lake in Holderness, NH. There are many other crafty workshops on offer as well. Registrants choose two and there are a la carte choices for evenings and free afternoons. Plenty of time for reflection, relaxation and fun is worked into the schedule. Also, there’s a Saturday night craft fair with all sorts of goodies and ice lanterns to light the dark paths (see below).  Hope to see you there!