3 Nations Anthology Submission Deadline Today!

Wednesday, March 15

3 Nations Anthology, a collection of writings by Native American, Atlantic Canadian, and New England writers. The anthology will be a conversation among writers of both prose and poetry.

The goal for the 3 Nations Anthology is to produce a lasting work of literary merit highlighting the many talented writers and spoken word artists in this region and beyond. The project was conceived in a much more hopeful time. The increasingly nationalistic tone of the new administration makes this call for dialogue among neighboring nations all the more critical. We must keep communication open.

I am seeking works of short prose and poetry for this anthology which conveys what living here is like where 3 Nations exist close together; what we share and what keeps us apart. Send works that describe a life or an instant. Subject matter can be very broad, from borders and bridges, the water that flows around-under-through, the solid ground we stand on, the tides that alternately obscure and reveal, kinships, animosities, heritage, geography, dawn, dawn land, northern lights, moose meat stew, poutine, ployes, lobster, pollock, lumber, boat-building, pregnant cows, art, music, literature—anything that makes up life in this region where three nations share space, history, and the future.

Please don’t feel that this is a required list of topics or ideas. As the editor of the literary journal Off the Coast over the course of eight years I came to expect surprises and new ways of interpreting ideas and also to accommodate different viewpoints.

Short Prose: Fiction or non-fiction, 5,000 words or less, flash and micro works encouraged. A single work greater than 1,000wds, 1-2 pieces less than 1,000 wds. Previously published work is OK if you hold the copyright.

Poetry: 1-3 poems, any style or format, less than 50 lines preferred. Previously published work is OK if you hold the copyright.

Ephemera: Hand written notes, recipes, and other items are welcome. Send scanned high resolution images in jpg, tif, psd, or pdf format.

Include a brief bio and a statement about your work. Query if you are unsure whether your work falls within the guidelines.

Deadline (online and postmark): March 15, 2017

Please submit online: https://offthecoast.submittable.com/submit/74805/3-nations-anthology

Email: 3nationsanthology@gmail.com

Or mail to:

Valerie Lawson
PO Box 14
Robbinston, ME 04671

Resolute Bear Press

resolute bear-stumpResolute Bear began as a chunk of log on the side of the road in Pennsylvania. Most books come from a similar source.

Michael and I stopped at the road side stand of a chain saw carver on the way home from a trip to Pennsylvania Dutch country, where Michael had lived as a child. There was a whole row of bears and a few other different carvings waiting to be sold. The bears had been burned lightly with a blowtorch to make them black where the fur should be. The carver was spraying his creations with linseed oil to help them last longer. The smell of wood chips, singed wood, and the oil was heavy in the summer air.

Most of the carvings were happy little bears resolute bear-oiledwith wide-eyed grins. One lone bear with his mouth set in a non-committal way waitied to be convinced to lean into a frown or brighten up to a grin. His eyes were smaller than the others, too, making him slightly myopic looking.

Naturally, Michael and I would be drawn to the odd bear. We chatted with the man, made a deal, and the bear came home with us. We call the bear “Resolute.” For the record, almost everything in our yard had a name. There was Melba the Peach Tree, Red Auerbach the Maple, Nathaniel the Hawthorne, and the trio of potted Christmas Trees we rescued from Home Depot: Luke, Bruce, and Blue. In the front yard was Stanley, the Blue Spruce, for Stanley Kunitz, the famed gardener poet who also lived on the Cape.

resolute bear wrapped for homeThe bear settled in, if a bit oddly, on the front steps of our home on Buzzards Bay, MA, a place where you are more likely to see mermaids or sea horses, even pink flamingoes on front steps and in gardens. The bear looked more like he belonged at a summer camp.

Resolute must have known he was going to fetch up on the front porch of our present home in the tiny town of Robbinston Maine, the last Downeast town on Passamaquoddy Bay. He definitely looks more at home here. Resolute has kin here. We share our property with a lot of critters, among them an elusive Mama Black Bear.

Within a year of moving to Maine, we were presented with the opportunity of taking over the helm of the literary magazine, Off the Coast. We decided to create a press to go with the magazine and Resolute Bear Press was born. Off the Coast is now in the capable hands of Ally Talbot, who interned with us and then served on our Editorial team for six years.

Resolute_Bear_logo_white_bkgrd
The original Resolute Bear Press logo

The 3 Nations Anthology will be the first book produced by Resolute Bear Press. In honor of this change, I decided to give Resolute a new look. The original logo was a more literal representation of the chain saw carving. The new logo is more whimsical. Resolute is in the same pose, but sitting a little taller, holding a book, and finally, has begun to wear glasses. I hope you enjoy Resolute’s new look.

Stay tuned for more news about the 3 Nations Anthology. The deadline is this Wednesday, March 15.

3 Nations Anthology Update

I am excited that submissions are coming in for the 3 Nations Anthology! I have had a lot of computer troubles the last few weeks which has slowed down outreach and calls for submission. My computer was cleaned up, emails changed, and eventually I bought a new computer, and then had to have our router upgraded. Thankfully, everything is back and working now except for a couple of minor glitches synching some files.

Briefly, it felt like the universe was telling me not to do this project. The 3 Nations Anthology was conceived in a much more hopeful time. The increasingly nationalistic tone of the new administration makes this call for dialogue among neighboring nations all the more critical. We must keep communication open.

Last Sunday, the Portland Sun Journal published a poem I wrote after participating in a community project to build a birch bark canoe with Master Passamaquoddy artisan, David Moses Bridges. Over the course of two weeks, David coordinated a group of eager people at all skill levels to build an ocean-going birch bark canoe. It was a monumental undertaking as the cedar, birch bark, and spruce roots were fashioned using ancient methods into a canoe. David worked tirelessly and patiently taught everyone who needed instruction—this is how to form the bark, bend the ribs into place, how to join the pieces at the gunwales, carve the pegs to hold the pieces in place, lash them together with spruce roots, and seal the seams with a mix of pine pitch and bear fat.

The canoe, constructed in The Commons of the Cobscook Community Learning Center, slowly moved from a sheet of bark to a finished work as not just a vessel, but a work of art. It glowed in the center of the room with soft reflected light on the bark and the wood. The scent of spruce and the bark, and then the pine pitch and bear fat was intoxicating.

One day an expedition went out to gather more spruce roots, which became an opportunity to learn about gathering and prepping the roots. A lot of visitors stopped by during the two weeks. It was blueberry season, so someone dropped off a big bowl of wild Maine blueberries to snack on. One of the participants, a man from the Caribbean, made a batch of jerked porcupine stew. The locally renowned Grand Lake Stream style canoe builder Gump Miller checked in now and then and helped out.

When the canoe was finished, it was loaded onto a truck and driven to Sipayik where it would be launched. One of the builders said it was a strange feeling crossing so many streams along the way in a truck with a canoe on it. When the canoe arrived at Sipayik, it was blessed first at the Catholic Church in a dual ceremony with Elders and Catholic priests, and then at Split Rock by Passamaquoddy Chief Rick Doyle. The canoe was nudged into the waters of Passamaquoddy Bay where it made its maiden voyage. The canoe would be raffled off as a major fundraiser for the Save Passamaquoddy Bay organization, which works tirelessly to protect the bay.

A community was built in that room along with the canoe. This is what happens when people gather with purpose, when they are open, and when they work together. One of the builders said, “You could break this canoe in half and it would still float.” Though true, it is better to think of the canoe whole, to think of the people who built it, the people who shared the work of their hands to create it, and mostly David, for being the one who taught us so much and brought us all together.

We live in an area where we share many things. On either side of the border with Canada there are parks administered jointly by the US and Canada: Roosevelt-Campobello International Park (summer home of Franklin Roosevelt) and St. Croix Island (where Samuel Champlain landed and wintered in 1604).  Both countries claim Machias Seal Island, whose most famous inhabitants are a breeding colony of Atlantic Puffins, Razorbills, and Guillemots. The borders here are more like filters than walls.

Please send your submissions to the 3 Nations Anthology. The deadline is March 15. For complete guidelines click here and to submit your work visit: https://offthecoast.submittable.com/submit/74805/3-nations-anthology.

 

 

3 Nations Anthology- Submission Call

3 Nations Anthology, a collection of writings by Native American, Atlantic Canadian, and New England writers. The anthology will be a conversation among writers of both prose and poetry.

Seeking works of short prose and poetry for this anthology which conveys what living here is like where 3 Nations exist close together; what we share and what keeps us apart. Send works that describe a life or an instant. Subject matter can be very broad, from borders and bridges, the water that flows around-under-through, the solid ground we stand on, the tides that alternately obscure and reveal, kinships, animosities, heritage, geography, dawn, dawn land, northern lights, moose meat stew, poutine, ployes, lobster, pollock, lumber, boat-building, pregnant cows, art, music, literature—anything that makes up life in this region where three nations share space, history, and the future.

Short Prose: Fiction or non-fiction, 5,000 words or less, flash and micro works encouraged. A single work greater than 1,000wds, 1-2 pieces less than 1,000 wds. Previously published work is OK if you hold the copyright.

Poetry: 1-3 poems, any style or format, less than 50 lines preferred. Previously published work is OK if you hold the copyright.

Ephemera: Hand written notes, recipes, and other items are welcome. Send scanned high resolution images in jpg, tif, psd, or pdf format.

Include a brief bio and a statement about your work. Query if you are unsure whether your work falls within the guidelines.

Deadline (online and postmark): March 15, 2017

Please submit online: https://offthecoast.submittable.com/submit/74805/3-nations-anthology

Email: 3nationsanthology@gmail.com

Or mail to:

Valerie Lawson
PO Box 14
Robbinston, ME 04671

My partner, Michael Brown, and I moved to Maine ten years ago from diverse communities where Michael worked as a teacher and I as a tech in an inner city hospital. We chose the Passamaquoddy Bay area for its unique setting, the arts community, and the presence of the Passamaquoddy tribe and Canada.

We had been part of the literary and spoken word communities in the Boston area where we organized literary events for decades, and published five books between us. We participated in cultural exchanges between Massachusetts and Ireland celebrating the United Nations Decade Calling for a Culture of Peace, and traveled extensively reading, performing, and teaching workshops. Shortly after we arrived in Maine we took over the publication of the literary journal, Off the Coast.

I attended the Bachelor of College Studies program at the University of Maine Machias where I created an individualized Electronic Publishing concentration, which included Book Arts with Bernie Vinzani, publishing experience, and computer design and coding classes. It is my goal to create this anthology not just as my final project, but as a lasting work of literary merit highlighting the many talented writers and spoken word artists in the tribal lands, Maine, and Atlantic Canada.

 

On to New Things

Previously, this blog followed work in the Book Design and Publishing course I took at the University of Maine at Machias. This was the biggest project I worked on as an editor to date. It was a great project, bringing back to life a historic Maine book by Mary Agnes Tincker, a roman à clef novel of incidents in the life of Father John Bapst, who was tarred and feathered in Ellsworth Maine by a band of No-Nothings in 1854.

otc_cover_summer2016Since the book was finished other projects have occupied my time, including another issue of Off the Coast poetry journal. Right now, the fall issue is in process. With a quarterly journal the process is continuous. While poems pour in another issue is under production, while you read poems and make editorial selections, another issue is being marketed and sold. You pray the printer’s schedule matches dates when you will be at events. A couple of years ago we were disappointed to find an issue would be unavailable to take with us to the Massachusetts Poetry Festival. On our way out of town, the UPS truck flagged us down and there on the side of Route 1, that great road that stretches from just north of our house all the way to the Florida Keys, we transferred the boxes from the truck to the car and went happily on our way.


This semester, I’m focusing on electronic publication. I was pleased to find that HTML and CSS skills are a great start. Currently, I’m taking a deep dive into Lynda.com to learn more about epub formatting and refining my skills with InDesign. Along the way, I had to detour through options for upgrading my Adobe CS5 to CS6. Opting for Creative Cloud for now (the student discount is worth it), the other option, to upgrade to CS6, now takes a phone call to customer support. CS6 or Adobe CC is necessary to have access to the Digital Publishing Suite in InDesign.

 “Creative Cloud gives you everything you need to turn your brightest ideas into your best work across your desktop and mobile devices and share it with the world.”

—Adobe.com

otc-fall-2016On the left is the cover image for the fall issue of Off the Coast. In the coming days, the poem selections will be made and layout will begin.

With luck, this will be the first issue of OTC that will also be released as an eBook. By the end of the semester, I hope to also have an eBook of my own work available.

In the coming weeks, I’ll post further adventures in publishing, electronic publication, and a life among the bookish.

Stay tuned!

Weeks 3 & 4:Typography–The Thing and the Making of the Thing

 

Taking the 5 books we chose from the previous week, we were to comment on the aesthetic and practical considerations of our choices. After writing a short piece about each of the five, we selected one as our overall choice.

51kmofq9wvl-_sx330_bo1204203200_I chose The Children’s Blizzard by David Laskin. The book recounts the Great Blizzard of 1888, which swept across the Plains just as children were heading home from school. The morning of the storm had been unseasonably warm and many children did not wear coats, boots, hats, or mittens to school that day. This fine non-fiction book gives a wealth of background information and first hand accounts of this tragic event. The designer, along with the author, eases us into the story.

The design elements of this book are consistent on a micro and macro level.  For the sample text, I used the opening chapter. The heading is in small caps. The chapter title, Deaprtures and Arrivals, is large and italicized; there is an urgency to the italics. To begin the chapter, there is an ornament where a drop cap would be placed. The angle of the ornament matches the path of the storm, pointing from northwest to southeast. The typeface is fairly heavy, serif, but also conveys a sense of space typical of the Great Plains. These ornaments, doubled, are also incorporated as section breaks.

The book, a trade paperback with an elaborate cutaway cover, is a very nice package. The Children’s Blizzard, though a rather grim slice of history, is a very attractive book with an evocative title. The design elements do not detract in any way and enhance the telling of the story.

The text and design felt the most integrated in this book. There is a sense of direction and progression in both text and design. The ornamentation is both attractive and relevant. In an age where much of design is an attempt to make objects disappear into their function, this book partners design and function as equals. The experience of reading is enriched by the balance.

You can see The Children’s Blizzard here, using Amazon’s Look Inside! feature.

Our next assignment will explore typography and typefaces in more detail. Typography is an ancient art. If you look it up in the dictionary, you’ll find that it is both the appearance, style, or arrangement of words on a page and the act of creating the page. It is the thing and the making of the thing both. The immediate image that comes to mind is Escher’s drawing of the hands drawing the hands.

In the assignment we will use a double page spread from The House of Yorke and conduct a font test. Each student will select five different five typefaces, render the text in those typefaces, and print the samples. When we meet after winter break next week, we will create a gallery of our samples and select a typeface for the book. (We may select several typefaces and use different ones for the body of the book, headings, and other material.)

To get a sense of what a font test is like, visit TypeTester, where you can plug in sample text and select three typefaces to compare how they look. TypeTester has more than 2200 typefaces available.

I chose classic, old-style readable book typefaces like Palatino and Zapf Elliptical, both designed by the legendary typographer, Hermann Zapf. Palatino was Zapf’s first popular typeface and was based on his own calligraphy. There is a delightful video of Zapf demonstrating calligraphic technique:

Zapf Elliptical was developed by Zapf for Bitstream, one of the first foundries devoted to making digital fonts. Zapf also designed Optima, which was used to inscribe the names on the Vietnam Memorial.

80020231_026f04f393_z
photo: Evan Bench, Vietnam Memorial

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Editing the copy of The House of Yorke is well underway.  The “Comma Team” has been giving it a close read and offering suggestions, from the large questions: should we expand the introductory material to include more background, to fact checking footnotes, and pointing out typos.  We have been working with a Google doc, which has made the task difficult at times. The ms has more than 500 pages but the Google doc has no chapter or section breaks.  For my own sanity, I finally started bookmarking the chapters and the contents to help with moving around in the document. There have been some weird formatting things going on in the document as well. Some of the footnotes have adopted a 36 point space after the paragraph. Footnotes do not have the “select all” function, so each one will have to be edited separately.  Also, a chunk of text went missing.  Fortunately, this is not the only copy of the ms.

When the editing is complete, the ms will go back to the editorial committee which will accept or reject our suggestions. Once this phase of the process is complete, The House of Yorke will move to the typography and art units.