Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Chariott, Martone essays called “Notable”
by Best American Essays 2009

Two essays appearing in upstreet number four have been cited as Notable Works by Best American Essays 2009: “Vocabulary Lesson,” by Katherine Lien Chariott, and “Hermes Goes to College,” by Michael Martone.

Katherine Lien Chariott holds an MFA from Cornell University and a PhD from University of Nevada/Las Vegas, where she was a Schaeffer Fellow in fiction. Her prose has appeared or is forthcoming in Columbia, Hunger Mountain, Sonora Review, Concho River Review, 580 Split, and elsewhere. She lives in Shanghai, China.

Michael Martone, who was also the interview subject in upstreet’s fourth issue, teaches in the Program for Creative Writing at the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa, and the Postgraduate Writers’ Conference at Vermont College of Fine Arts. He is the author of thirteen books of fiction and nonfiction, including Alive and Dead in Indiana, Michael Martone, and Racing in Place. He has edited nine other volumes, the most recent of which is Not Normal, Illinois: Peculiar Fictions from the Flyover. His stories and essays have appeared in many magazines and journals, and he has received numerous fellowships, prizes, and awards.

upstreet number four won the Bronze Medal in the anthologies category of the 2009 Independent Publisher Book Awards. A third essay in that issue, “Everlasting,” by Frank Tempone, was cited as a Notable Work by Best American Nonrequired Reading 2009.

upstreet is delighted, and congratulates all of its Notable essayists.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Reiter chapbook available
from Amsterdam Press

upstreet poet Jendi Reiter’s poetry chapbook, Swallow, winner of the 2008 Flip Kelly Poetry Prize, can now be purchased from Amsterdam Press.

Jendi is the Vice President of, a monthly online newsletter dedicated to the finding and creation of resources for writers, which has been named one of Writer’s Digest’s “101 Best Websites for Writers” for the past five years. Jendi’s first poetry collection was A Talent for Sadness (Turning Point, 2003). Her poem “Poet’s Resume” was published in upstreet number one. Her work has also appeared in Best American Poetry 1990, and in many journals, including Poetry, The New Criterion, Southern Poetry Review, The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, Pavement Saw, Hanging Loose, First Things, The Lyric, The Christian Century, The Saint Ann’s Review, Cider Press Review, A New Song, U.S. Catholic, The Rose & Thorn, About Such Things, Grasslands Review, Alaska Quarterly Review and Clackamas Literary Review. She has won two awards from the Poetry Society.

You can visit Jendi at her website, Reiter’s Block.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Tempone essay cited as ‘Notable’
by Best American Nonrequired Reading

“Everlasting,” an essay by Frank Tempone in upstreet number four, has been listed as a Notable work by the editors of Best American Nonrequired Reading 2009.

This is the first time a work appearing in upstreet has been mentioned in one of the prestigious annual Best American anthologies. upstreet number four was the winner of the Bronze Medal in the Anthologies category of the Independent Publisher Book Awards. The editors of that issue nominated “Everlasting” for a 2008 Pushcart Prize and for Volume III of The Best Creative Nonfiction.

Frank Tempone holds an MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. A fiction writer and essayist, he has been a secondary school teacher for fifteen years, and his work has appeared in Another Chicago Magazine, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, 580 Split, and The Berkshire Review. Another one of his personal narratives, “Born Again,” appeared in upstreet number three, whose editors nominated it for a 2007 Pushcart Prize and for Volume II of The Best Creative Nonfiction. The founder and former director of Word Street, the drop-in tutoring and writing center in Pittsfield, MA, he now lives in Chicago, IL.

We are very happy to congratulate Frank, who was Fiction Editor for upstreet number one, and Prose Editor for number two, and conducted the author interview for both issues.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

upstreet submissions up 21%

During the first month of its submission period, upstreet number six recorded a total of 648 submissions (fiction 290, poetry 288, creative nonfiction 70), compared with 534 submissions (fiction 210, poetry 254, CNF 70) for upstreet number five during September of 2008. This represents an increase of 21 per cent.

This will be the second year that upstreet has used Submission Manager, the online submission system developed by Devin Emke of One Story magazine. The Submission Manager software is available for purchase by literary journals through the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses.

To have your work considered for upstreet number six, go to the website, click on Submit, read the guidelines, and follow the instructions. The submission period ends March 1, 2010.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Jean Valentine wins Wallace Stevens Award

Jean Valentine, whose poem, “Who watches,” appears in upstreet number five, has won the 2009 Wallace Stevens Award, given annually to recognize outstanding and proven mastery in the art of poetry. Established in 1994, the award now carries a stipend of $100,000 for the recipient. This year’s judges were Frank Bidart, Rita Dove, Robert Hass, Lyn Hejinian, Galway Kinnell, Nathaniel Mackey, Sharon Olds, Carl Phillips, Robert Pinsky, Kay Ryan, Gary Snyder, Gerald Stern, Susan Stewart, James Tate, Ellen Bryant Voigt, and C. K. Williams.

Past winners have included A. R. Ammons, Louise Glück, Adrienne Rich, Ruth Stone, Mark Strand, James Tate and Richard Wilbur.

Valentine, current New York State Poet, has lived most of her life in New York City. Her collection, Door in the Mountain: New and Collected Poems 1965-2003, won the 2004 National Book Award. Her tenth collection is Little Boat (Wesleyan, 2007). She has received a Guggenheim Fellowship and awards from the NEA, The Bunting Institute, The Rockefeller Foundation, the New York Council for the Arts, The New York Foundation for the Arts, and The Poetry Society of America. She has taught at Sarah Lawrence College, New York University, Columbia University, the 92nd Street Y, and Vermont College of Fine Arts. She was one of six featured poets in the May 2009 upstreet reading at BookCourt in Brooklyn.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

upstreet editor/publisher
featured on “Write the Book”

An interview with upstreet editor/publisher Vivian Dorsel will be featured on the August 31 broadcast of “Write the Book,” the radio show and podcast for writers and curious readers. Hosted by writer Shelagh Connor Shapiro, “Write the Book” features interviews with authors, poets, agents, editors, illustrators and other people who love—and live—books. Previous interviewees have included Margot Livesey, Richard Russo, Mary McGarry Morris, Michael Collier, David Jauss, Richard Jackson, Tim Brookes, Sue William Silverman, and upstreet number five authors Robin Behn, Phyllis Barber, and Robin Hemley, among others. The show airs every Monday (2-3 pm) on WOMM-LP, 105.9 FM, The Radiator, in Burlington, VT. To hear Monday’s broadcast, go to, and follow the “Listen to live stream” instructions. A free podcast of the program will be available Tuesday, September 1, at

“Write the Book” host Shelagh Shapiro is a graduate of Middlebury College and the Vermont College MFA in Writing Program. Her stories have been published in a number of literary journals, including North Dakota Quarterly, Hunger Mountain, Short Story, The Baltimore Review and Hot Off the Press, an Australian anthology published by the New South Wales Writers’ Center, at which she was a participant in 2005. She lives near Burlington, VT, with her husband and two sons.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

upstreet 5 features Hemley interview

upstreet number five, which is now on sale, features a 20-page interview with Robin Hemley, director of the nonfiction writing program at the University of Iowa, and author of the recently released memoir, Do-Over! In Which a Forty-Eight-Year-Old Father of Three Returns to Kindergarten, Summer Camp, the Prom, and other Embarrassments. Robin, currently in the Philippines on a 2008 Guggenheim Fellowship, also teaches in the MFA in writing program at Vermont College of Fine Arts.

This year’s issue, at 224 pages, received the largest number of submissions in upstreet’s five-year history. It contains nine short stories, selected from 1,178 submitted; nine creative nonfiction pieces, chosen from 358 submitted; and 28 of the 2,053 submitted poems.

The 42 contributors to upstreet number five are located from Seattle, Washington, to Birmingham, Alabama, from Portland, Maine, to Kentfield, California, and outside the country in France, Sweden, Scotland, and Hong Kong. Their levels of experience range from a MacArthur Fellow and a member of the Nevada Writers’ Hall of Fame to an author whose first published story appears in this issue. upstreet is proud of the geographic and experiential diversity of its contributors. We hope we will continue to attract high-quality submissions, both from established authors and from the new voices whose discovery makes publishing a literary journal such an exciting and rewarding enterprise.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Marshall Jon Fisher publishes book on
"the greatest tennis match ever played"

upstreet number one poet Marshall Jon Fisher (“Cannibals”) has published A Terrible Splendor (Crown/Random House, 2009), an account of the 1937 match between the world’s No. 1 tennis player, American Don Budge, and No. 2, the German Baron Gottfried von Cramm. In this last match of the Davis Cup semifinal, held at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, more was at stake than national pride and a tennis trophy. That day, as the swastika, the Union Jack, and the Stars and Stripes flew together over Wimbledon’s Centre Court, 22-year-old Budge was on his way to becoming a superstar, and 28-year-old von Cramm, who had refused to join the Nazi party, feared he was on his way to prison—or worse. This story of the gripping five-set contest between the world’s top two tennis players on the eve of World War II has been widely reviewed; here is a sample—

The San Francisco Chronicle, April 19, 2009: Joel Drucker calls Splendor “enthralling,” “a gripping tale,” and writes, “Wedding the nuances of a sport to broader historical events is a challenge, but Fisher pulls the task off with supreme finesse, at once revealing the triumph and tragedy of a remarkable tennis match.”

The Washington Post, May 3, 2009: “Marshall Jon Fisher has gotten hold of some mighty themes: war and peace, love and death, sports and savagery. …As the match enters its final set, all the narrative pieces lock together, and A Terrible Splendor becomes as engrossing as the contest it portrays.”

Vanity Fair, May 2009 (”Hot Type” column): “For his smashing serve and spectacular rallies between sports history and political drama, game, set, and match go to Marshall Jon Fisher’s A Terrible Splendor.”

The New York Times Book Review, June 21, 2009: “Absorbing…puts readers at the edge of their seats…. [Fisher’s] nuanced portrait…shows how, with unflinching generosity, von Cramm stoically endured his tribulations.”

Marshall Jon Fisher played varsity tennis at Brandeis University and has worked as a sportswriter in Miami and a tennis pro in Munich. He holds an M.A. in English from City College of New York. A freelance writer and editor, he has written for The Atlantic Monthly on topics ranging from wooden tennis racquets to Internet fraud, and his work has also appeared in Harper’s, Discover, DoubleTake, and other publications, including Best American Essays 2003. His book The Ozone Layer (Chelsea House, 1992) was selected by the New York Public Library as one of the best books of 1993 for teenagers. His book (with his father, David E. Fisher) Tube: the Invention of Television was published by Counterpoint in 1996 and in paperback by Harcourt Brace in 1997. Their second book together, Strangers in the Night: a Brief History of Life on Other Worlds (Counterpoint, 1998), was selected by the New York Public Library as one of the twenty-five Books to Remember of 1998.

Marshall lives in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts with his wife, Mileta Roe (a professor of Spanish and comparative literature at Bard College at Simon’s Rock), and their two sons, Satchel and Bram. For more about A Terrible Splendor and its author, visit his website.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Four upstreet authors in new
Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction

Three of the 25 contributing authors to the new Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction (Rose Metal, 2009) are upstreet authors: Randall Brown, Michael Martone, and Bruce Holland Rogers. Also, one of the sample flash fiction stories in the book is by Lydia Davis, who was the interview subject in upstreet number two and has a short story in number five.

upstreet welcomes submissions of flash, sudden, and/or quick fiction--otherwise known as the short-short story. For examples of fictions under 1,000 words that have appeared in upstreet, see number two (Linda Pierce, "Neighbors"), number three (Molly Ritvo, "Babysitting;" Katy J. Vopal, "Howled"), number four (Randall Brown, "Patterns;" Molly Ritvo, "April 4, 1968"), and the upcoming number five (Lydia Davis, "An Awkward Situation").

Creative nonfiction pieces (prose poems/lyric essays) of under 1,000 words have appeared in upstreet number one (Anna Viadero, "At the Table"), number three (Kathy Briccetti, "Slow Dancing to a Fast Song;" Lorene Delany-Ullman, "Filler;" Bruce Holland Rogers, "Something is in the Air;" Max Ruback, "Soldiers;" Kiki Smith, "Babycakes"), number four (Jen Bills, "The Stairs are Broken So I Took the Elevator Again;" Daniel Hales, "Run Story;" Tiff Holland, "Ooh Baby"), and number five (Chris Gordon, "You Were Always on My Mind;" Catherine Harnett, "Automat;" Tiff Holland, "Eidetic;" Joanna McNaney, "Learning How to Smoke").

Flashers of both genres are advised that the submission period for upstreet number six will be from September 1, 2009, to March 1, 2010. We'd be happy to hear from you.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

upstreet poet Carvalho releases audiobook

upstreet number one poet Edward J. Carvalho ("God Was Like an Endless Night") has released his first audiobook, Chants from the Seven Cities (Guerrilla Ignition, 2009), available in CD and MP3 from and The 17-track playlist was selected from Carvalho's full-length poetry collection, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short (Fine Tooth Press, 2007), and new, previously unpublished work. The audiobook was recorded in a two-hour marathon session by producer, publisher and upstreet number one poet Synnika Lofton ("A Revolutionary Mood") in Norfolk, VA. The cover artwork is by Jason Beam.

Edward J. Carvalho holds an MFA from Goddard College. He is a PhD candidate in the Literature and Criticism program at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where he is a teaching associate in the English Department and received the 20th and 21st Annual IUP Doctoral Fellowships (2006, 2008). His work, twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize, has appeared in Quay, Walt Whitman Quarterly Review, and other journals. He was guest editor of David B. Downing's Works and Days journal on "Academic Freedom and Intellectual Activism in the Post-9/11 University" (Fall/Spring 2009), which features his interviews with Noam Chomsky, Martin Espada, and Cornel West, and was discussed on Stanley Fish's New York Times blog. His collection, "If the Radiance of a Thousand Suns": Songs of the American Hiroshima, is forthcoming from Six Bad Apples Press (2009).

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Ten Fletcher essays selected
for 2009 publication

upstreet’s Creative Nonfiction Editor is on a roll—or so it seems. Nine essays by Harrison Candelaria Fletcher have been selected for 2009 publication in five literary journals. They are:

“Inheritance,” New Ohio Review, Spring 2009.
“Windows,” “Monster,” and “Stray,” Grasslands Review, Summer 2009.
“Rings,” Dos Passos Review, Fall 2009.
“Relics,” Palabra, Fall 2009.
“Wreath,” “Brotherhood,” and “Ash,” Water~Stone Review, Fall 2009.

Also, Harrison’s essay, “The Beautiful City of Tirzah,” will appear in Sue William Silverman’s forthcoming book, Fearless Confessions: A Writer’s Guide to Memoir (U. of Georgia Press, June 2009), a textbook and anthology for beginning and experienced writers who want to craft compelling art out of personal experience. This is the essay that was selected by Michael Martone and Lex Williford for The Touchstone Anthology of Contemporary Creative Nonfiction (Simon and Schuster, 2007), and by the Pushcart editors for a Special Mention in the 2008 Pushcart Prize anthology.

Nice going, Harrison.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

upstreet fiction editor signs
Viking Penguin novel contract

upstreet Fiction Editor Robin Oliveira has signed a contract for her novel, My Name is Mary Sutter, with Kathryn Court at Viking Penguin. The contract, for an undisclosed sum, was described as “the deal of the week” by Publishers Marketplace, calling the deal “a pre-empt,” which is a situation in which a publisher especially eager to get a book offers a large enough advance to make an immediate deal.

Set in the mid-19th century, Robin’s novel follows the aspirations and difficulties of a brilliant, somewhat odd, yet remarkable young midwife from Albany, NY, whose lofty hope of becoming a surgeon far exceeds what her family and the physicians and medical schools of her time are willing to accept. She travels to Washington, DC, to work in the Civil War hospitals, only to find the challenges formidable and the pull of home unavoidable. A chapter of the novel, which is scheduled for June 2010 publication, appeared in the July 2008 issue of Provincetown Arts magazine.

In 2007, Robin won the $10,000 15th annual James Jones First Novel Fellowship, awarded to an American author of a first-novel-in-progress by the James Jones Literary Society and Wilkes University, Wilkes-Barre, PA. Born in Albany, NY, in 1954, she earned a BA in Russian from the University of Montana and continued to study at the Pushkin Language Institute in Moscow, USSR. She became a Registered Nurse, and then worked as a bone marrow transplant and cardiac care nurse in Seattle before earning an MFA in writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts in 2006. She has been Fiction Editor for upstreet three, four, and the upcoming five, which will be released in late June of this year. Robin lives in Seattle with her husband, Andrew Oliveira, their daughter, Noelle, and their son, Miles.

Friday, May 15, 2009

upstreet number four wins IPPY Bronze Medal

upstreet number four has been named the Bronze Medal winner in the anthologies category of the 2009 Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPY). These awards, chosen from 3,380 entries in 65 national categories (there is no literary journals category), have been given annually for the past thirteen years in recognition of excellence in independent publishing.

upstreet number four, which was released in June of 2008, features a 24-page interview with Indiana-born author Michael Martone. The 36 poets and prose writers whose work appears in this issue include finalists for the 2007 National Book Award (David Kirby) and the 2008 National Book Critics Circle Award (Michael O’Brien), a winner of the World’s Greatest Short Story Contest (Michael Martone), a 2008 IPPY Bronze Medalist (Karen Chase), a 2008 Guggenheim Fellow (Bill Zavatsky), and the winner of the 2003 Governor General’s Award for English Fiction, Canada’s highest literary prize (Douglas Glover). Their work has appeared in such publications as The New Yorker, Poetry, Ploughshares, Harvard Review, Yale Review, Best American Short Stories, Best Canadian Stories, and the Norton anthologies. Besides these accomplished authors, upstreet number four includes many whose publication careers are just beginning. We are very pleased about this, since upstreet was founded with the vision that it would ultimately be a mixture of established and emerging writers.

In the IPPY anthologies category, the 2009 Silver Medal winner is Listen to Me: Shared Secrets from WriteGirl, by Keren Taylor (WriteGirl), and the two books tied for the Gold Medal are A Stranger Among Us: Stories of Cross Cultural Collision and Connection, edited by Stacy Bierlein (Other Voices Books), and And the World Changed: Contemporary Stories by Pakistani Women, edited by Muneeza Shamsie (The Feminist Press, CUNY). The medals will be presented at an awards ceremony and reception in New York City on Friday, May 29.

Our thanks and congratulations to everyone who has been a part of upstreet number four.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Ruback story to appear in war anthology

Max Ruback, whose creative nonfiction piece, “Soldiers,” appeared in upstreet number three, will have a short story in Home of the Brave: Stories in Uniform (Press 53), which will be released on Saturday, May 23. This anthology of war stories, edited by Jeffery Hess, also contains work by 23 other writers, including Tim O’Brien, James Salter, Kurt Vonnegut, and Tobias Wolff. A portion of the book’s proceeds will be donated to USA Cares, a nonprofit organization that assists post-9/11 members of the military and their families to cope with the financial burdens resulting from their service to America.

Max Ruback was born in Massachusetts and graduated from Mount Ida College. He teaches English and reading at John I. Leonard High School in West Palm Beach, Florida, where he also coaches the JV boys’ basketball team. He has recent or forth-coming work in Descant, Frostproof Review, Quick Fiction, Zing, Smokelong Quarterly, and other publications. He recently finished a collection titled The Kindest Light.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

upstreet author elected VCFA Faculty Chair

Author and editor Xu Xi, whose short story “Anon.” will appear in upstreet number five, has been elected to a three-year term as Faculty Chair of the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA in Writing program. She has been a member of the program’s prose faculty for seven years, and advises both fiction and creative nonfiction students. As Faculty Chair, she will work in cooperation with the program’s administrative director and faculty advisory committee to provide oversight for the program on academic issues and matters having to do with faculty. She will also conduct the graduation exercises during each residency and respresent the program in broader literary forums such as the Association of Writers and Writing Programs. She will continue to conduct workshops, and will advise a reduced number of students each semester.
Xu Xi is the author or editor of ten books. Recent titles include Evanescent Isles (essays), Fifty-Fifty (ed., anthology), Overleaf Hong Kong (stories and essays) and The Unwalled City (novel). She inhabits the flight path connecting New York, Hong Kong and the South Island of New Zealand. To learn more about her and her work, visit her website.
upstreet is happy to congratulate Xu Xi on her new position.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Two upstreet authors featured
in Hunger Mountain auction

Hunger Mountain, the semiannual arts journal published by Vermont College of Fine Arts, will hold its spring fundraising auction on ebay, beginning at noon EST on Saturday, May 2. Participants will have an opportunity to bid on manuscript critiques to be conducted by mail, e-mail or phone with notable authors and agents, two of whom will be upstreet authors Michael Martone and Xu Xi. Bidding will end at noon EST on Saturday, May 9th. Two other writers whose manuscript consultation services are being offered are David Jauss, who purchased the first copy of upstreet number one sold, and Philip Graham, upstreet’s first subscriber.

All auction purchases are tax deductible. Along with other items, the one-on-one critiques in fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, writing for children and writing for the stage will be available at Check it out.

upstreet wishes Hunger Mountain a successful auction.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Two upstreet authors published in
2008 Best of the Net Anthology

Two authors whose work has appeared in upstreet have had pieces that were published in online magazines chosen for the Best of the Net 2008 anthology. “His Wife,” a story by Barry Jay Kaplan that was published in Apple Valley Review, was one of five stories chosen, and “To a Motion Activated Paper Towel Dispenser,” a poem by Paul Hostovsky that was in Thick with Conviction, was one of the 17 poems selected.

Barry’s story, “His Brother Calls,” appeared in upstreet number three. His stories have also been in Descant, Bryant Literary Review, Central Park, Brink, Appearances, and the Northern New England Review. He has written the novels Black Orchid (with Nicholas Meyer), That Wilder Woman, and Biscayne. His book of interviews, Actors at Work (with Rosemarie Tichler) was published in August 2007. His plays have been produced in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Key West. Landscape of Desire, published by Smith and Krause, was the American representative to the 25th Australian National Playwrights Conference. He lives in New Haven, CT, and is currently working on a novel, The Body in Exile.

Paul’s poem, “A Woman Taking off Her Shirt,” was published in upstreet number four and another, “The Sadness of Dads,” will be in the upcoming number five. His poems have also been featured on Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, and The Writer’s Almanac, and have been published in Carolina Quarterly, Shenandoah, New Delta Review, Atlanta Review, Poetry East, and many other journals and anthologies. He won the Comstock Review’s Muriel Craft Bailey Award for 2001 and the White Pelican Review’s Hollingsworth Prize in 2005. He has three chapbooks, Bird in the Hand (Grayson Books, 2006), Dusk Outside the Braille Press (Riverstone Press, 2006), and The Best Lunches (Frank Cat Press, 2008), as well as one full-length poetry collection, Bending the Notes, (Main Street Rag, 2008). Paul’s poems have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize 13 times; he has won once. He makes his living in Boston as an interpreter at the Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing where he specializes in working with the deaf-blind.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Two upstreet authors to teach at
Postgraduate Writers’ Conference

upstreet authors Michael Martone and Robin Behn will be on the faculty of the fourteenth annual Postgraduate Writers’ Conference, which will take place at Vermont College of Fine Arts, Montpelier, from August 11-17, 2009. The Conference will offer fourteen workshops in fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and young adult literature.

Michael Martone will facilitate a workshop on The Short Story, for the fifth consecutive year. His essay “Hermes Goes to College” appeared in upstreet number four, in which he was also the subject of the author interview. He is the author of thirteen books of fiction and nonfiction, including The Blue Guide to Indiana, Alive and Dead in Indiana, and Racing in Place. His 2005 book Michael Martone gathers fifty fictions in the form of “contributor’s notes,” and Double Wide: Collected Fiction of Michael Martone was released in 2007. He co-edited The Scribner Anthology of Contemporary Short Fiction and The Touchstone Anthology of Contemporary Creative Nonfiction. The Flatness and Other Landscapes, a collection of his own essays about the Midwest, won the AWP Prize for Creative Nonfiction in 1998. He teaches at the University of Alabama.

Robin Behn will lead a Poetry Manuscript workshop; this will be her third time teaching at the Conference. Her poem “Elegy and Lament” will appear in upstreet number five. She is the author of Paper Bird, which won the AWP Award Series in Poetry, The Red Hour, Horizon Note, which won the Brittingham Prize, and the chapbooks The Oboist and Naked Writing. She is also co-editor of The Practice of Poetry: Writing Exercises from Poets Who Teach. The recipient of National Endowment for the Arts and Guggenheim Fellowships, she teaches in the MFA programs at The University of Alabama and Vermont College of Fine Arts.

For more information about the program, including accommodations, fees, and how to apply, contact Conference Director Ellen Lesser at (802) 828-8835 or e-mail:

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Eight upstreet poets published
in Wom-Po listserv anthology

Eight of the 259 poets, or one out of every 32 (3%) whose work appears in the new anthology of poems from the Women’s Poetry Listserv, have had or will have work published in one or more of the first five issues of upstreet. Wom-Po is an international listserv devoted to the discussion of Women’s Poetry. Membership is open to all individuals who are interested in discussing poetry written by women. The discussion covers women poets of all periods, aesthetics, countries, and ethnicities.

Letters to the World: Poems from the Wom-Po Listserv, edited by Moira Richards, Rosemary Starace, and Lesley Wheeler (Red Hen Press, 2008), contains the following work by upstreet poets:
—Jeanne Marie Beaumont (upstreet #4), “Home in the World,” p. 57
—Nicole Cooley (#5), “Grief As Is,” p. 98
—Lisken Van Pelt Dus (#1, 2, & 5), “Broken Things,” p. 131
—Eve Grubin (#5), “Modesty,” p. 174
—Marilyn Hacker (#5), “Ghazal: In Summer,” p. 180
—Maryanne Hannan (#1), “To You Who Speak of Audre Lorde,” p. 184
—Elaine Sexton (#3 & 4), “Public Transportation,” p. 338
—Yerra Sugarman (#4), “To Miklós Radnóti,” p. 354

The anthology also includes an introduction by D’Arcy Randall and a preface by Wom-Po founder Annie Finch. This one-of-a-kind international collection of 259 poets (258 women and one man) was shaped by consensus-based feminist collaboration over the internet.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Lisken Van Pelt Dus
publishes poetry chapbook

Everywhere at Once, a chapbook by upstreet poet Lisken Van Pelt Dus, has been published by Pudding House Press. It is a collection of twenty poems, unified by bird imagery. In poems that travel the globe, the book deals with themes of immanence, identity, the human condition, and, of course, love. The cover illustration is by the poet’s brother, John Van Pelt. The book is available in Berkshire County (MA) bookstores, from the publisher, or directly from the author.

Lisken’s poem “Barn” appeared in upstreet number one, “Entropy” was in number two, and “Light” will be included in number five, which will be released around the Fourth of July.

Lisken is a poet and martial artist who was raised in England, the U.S., and Mexico, and teaches English and other languages at Monument Mountain Regional High School, Great Barrington, MA. Her poetry can also be found in Conduit, Main Street Rag, The South Carolina Review, The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, and other journals, and has earned awards from The Comstock Review, Atlanta Review, and Writing the River: the 2004 Word Street Writing Contest. She lives in Pittsfield, MA, with her husband, Bob Dus.

Mark DeCarteret is named
Portsmouth, NH Poet Laureate

Mark DeCarteret, whose poem “Heir” appeared in upstreet number three, has been named seventh Poet Laureate of Portsmouth, NH. He will serve for the next two years as the public face of poetry in the community and create a project that supports the mission of the Poet Laureate Program, “building community through poetry.” The Poet Laureate is selected by a committee of seven local writers, community members, and city officials from nominations made by the public.

Born in Lowell, Massachusetts in 1960, Mark graduated from Emerson College in 1990 with a BFA in Creative Writing, and was Emerson’s representative at the 1990 Boston Inter-Collegiate Poetry Festival. Since graduating from the University of New Hampshire in 1993 with an MA in English, he has been a fixture in the New Hampshire/Southern Maine poetry scene as a reader, editor, performer and publishing poet. He lives in Stratham, NH, and teaches at the New Hampshire Institute of Art. Mark’s poetry has appeared in more than 150 literary reviews, including AGNI, Atlanta Review, Caliban, Chicago Review, Cream City Review, Gargoyle, Phoebe, Poetry East, Salt Hill, and Sonora Review, and in such anthologies as American Poetry: The Next Generation and Thus Spake the Corpse: An Exquisite Corpse Reader 1988-1998. He is the author of three books: Over Easy, Review: A Book of Poems, and The Great Apology.

The Portsmouth Poet Laureate Program, established in 1997 by local arts organizers and writers, appoints and supports an outstanding local poet as Poet Laureate for the city, sponsoring events that feature area poets and authors from outside the New Hampshire Seacoast, and encouraging a love of poetry among people of all ages.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Amy Small-McKinney publishes chapbook

The publication of Clear Moon, Frost, a poetry chapbook by Amy Small-McKinney, has been announced by Finishing Line Press, and is available for pre-ordering. Amy’s poem “Eddie and His Beagle” appeared in upstreet number one.

Amy’s first chapbook, Body of Surrender (Finishing Line, 2004) was showcased at Poet’s House in New York. She was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2004 and again in 2006. Her work has appeared in on-line and print journals such as Wild River Review, The Cortland Review, The Pedestal Magazine, ForPoetry, Elixir Press, Fox Chase Review, and Blue Fifth Review. She interviewed Pulitzer Prize poetry nominee Bruce Smith for the April 2006 issue of The Pedestal Magazine, and was guest editor for its June 2006 issue. Her poem “Nigeria 2002” was awarded third place in the 2007 Philadelphia Eco Poetry Project. Her essays have appeared in a number of publications, such as The Philadelphia Inquirer and Women in Judaism: A Multidisciplinary Journal—University of Toronto, and other publications.

When not writing poetry, Amy works as a consulting counselor in local school districts, and facilitates community groups dealing with psychosocial issues. She will soon be joining a private practice as a therapist for children, young adults, and families. She feels that not having an MFA is both a blessing and a curse. The curse is that she writes, and educates herself, alone; the blessing is that she permits the poems to emerge without an internal censor or shame. She lives with her husband and daughter in Blue Bell, PA.

“Amy Small-McKinney writes with a commitment to inner life, inner depth, and inner truth.”—Molly Peacock

“Amy Small-McKinney…has secretly and quietly produced some of the most beautiful poems I have ever read.”—Franz Wright

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Sirenland 2009 is a smash!

The consensus among the attendees of the 2009 Sirenland Writers’ Conference is that the gathering’s third year was a great success. Held at Le Sirenuse, a five-star hotel in Positano, Italy, it included a three-hour mixed-genre (fiction and memoir) workshop each morning and readings and talks in the evenings, with plenty of time in between to work, relax, or enjoy the sights, food, and shopping in and around this lovely little Amalfi Coast village. There were nine writers in each of three workshops, led by Peter Cameron, Dani Shapiro, and Jim Shepard, the author interviewed for upstreet number one. One of the highlights of the week was a dinner at the home of Carla and Antonio Sersale, owners of Le Sirenuse, which featured an open-mic reading for the workshop participants. For further information on Sirenland, including information on how to apply for next year's conference and a slideshow of photographs by conference co-organizer Michael Maren, go to the Sirenland website.

The photo above, taken by conference co-organizer and One Story founder/ editor Hannah Tinti, shows the members of one workshop: Allison Gehlhaus, Sylvia Mann, Mary Medlin, Kabi Hartman, Robin Maguire, Jim Shepard, upstreet editor/ publisher Vivian Dorsel, Jane Percy, Eric Grunwald, and Mary Mott.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Pushcart Board nominates
two upstreet poems

For the second year in a row, the Pushcart Board of Contributing Editors has nominated two works from upstreet to be considered for inclusion in the next Pushcart Prize anthology, along with the six nominations made by our editors. They are two poems by Alan Feldman, “Preparing for Class” and “The Grounding,” from upstreet number four.

It is a great compliment for upstreet to be singled out by this Board, which contains some very well known writers. Congratulations to Alan, and best wishes to him in the competition.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Casperian releases Sybil Baker novel

The Life Plan, a novel by upstreet author Sybil Baker, has been released by Casperian Books. Sybil is the author of the short story “Cape of Good Hope,” which appeared in upstreet number four.

The Life Plan is the story of Kat, a modern-day woman who is on track to have everything she’s ever wanted—a satisfying career, a loving family, and a house of her own—until her husband decides to go to Thailand to become a massage therapist. To save their marriage, Kat tags along on his misguided spiritual quest and winds up in her own crazy misadventure. With the help of her new friends—a fun-loving Italian sexpot, an insane Frenchman, and an unexpected English heartthrob—Kat starts to wonder whether having it all is really all there is. A fast-paced romp through exotic Thailand, the novel has been called a “screwball comedy for the 21st century” and “the most original, no-holds-barred, well-informed and readable traveler’s guide to Thailand.” To find out more about The Life Plan, visit Casperian’s product page.

Sybil Baker taught for twelve years in South Korea before accepting a position as an assistant professor of English at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga. She holds an MFA in Writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts, and her fiction and essays have appeared in numerous journals, including The Bitter Oleander, Paper Street, and Alehouse. Her essay on American expatriate literature appeared in The Writer’s Chronicle in September 2005, and her short story, "Tempo," is forthcoming in Motif: Writing by Ear (Motes Books, April 2009), You may visit Sybil at her website or her blog.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Jim Shepard to teach at Sirenland

Fiction writer Jim Shepard, subject of the author interview in upstreet number one, will be one of three workshop leaders at the 2009 Sirenland Writers Conference in Positano, Italy, from March 15-22. This is the third year for the conference, whose centerpiece is a mid-morning two-hour workshop. Workshops will be mixed-genre, fiction or memoir, with nine participants who were chosen based on their submitted manuscripts. Each of the 27 workshop participants will also have a private conference with Jim or one of the other workshop leaders—Peter Cameron and Dani Shapiro—over the course of the week. Evenings will be devoted to readings and discussions. upstreet editor/publisher Vivian Dorsel will be one of the workshop participants at this year’s conference.

Jim Shepard, the J. Leland Miller Professor of English at Williams College, is the author of six novels, the most recent of which is Project X (Knopf, 2004), and four short story collections, including Like You'd Understand, Anyway (Knopf, 2007), a National Book Award finalist and winner of the 2007 Story Prize. Five of his books have been named Notable Books of the Year by The New York Times. His essays and short stories have appeared in many journals and anthologies, including The Paris Review, The New Yorker, Fiction, McSweeney’s, The Atlantic Monthly, Tin House, and Best American Short Stories 1994 and 2002.

Monday, February 23, 2009

upstreet nominates Ackerman and Meltz
for Best New Poets 2009

The annual Best New Poets prize anthology allows eligible literary magazines to nominate two emerging poets (poets who have not published a book-length collection) each year. We have submitted two nominations from upstreet number four for the 2009 anthology: Stephen Ackerman, “How to Touch a Woman,” and Daniel Meltz, “Ode to the Xes.”

Stephen Ackerman works as a lawyer for the New York City Law Department. His poems have appeared in The Antioch Review, Boulevard, Columbia Review, Mudfish, Partisan Review, Seneca Review, and upstreet. He lives in Dutchess County, NY, with his wife, Laurie, and their sons, Nicholas and William.

Daniel Meltz is a technical writer at Google who lives in New York City. His poetry has been published in American Poetry Review, Mudfish, and Columbia Review. He is co-writing the book of a musical, titled “Too Hot for Hollywood,” about the 1934 Hays Code.

The guest editor for Best New Poets 2009 is Kim Addonizio, who will select 50 poems from nominations made by literary magazines and writing programs, as well as an open internet competition. The upstreet selections were made by Poetry Editor Jessica Greenbaum and Editor Vivian Dorsel. We wish both nominees the best of luck in the competition.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

upstreet is having a party—
and you're invited

upstreet will host an off-site party/ reading during the 2009 AWP Conference, which will take place in Chicago from February 11-15. Our party will be held at The Book Cellar, 4736-38 North Lincoln, beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday 12 February. This event is free and open to the public.

The readers, poets and prose writers from upstreet number four, will be Sybil Baker, Jennifer Barber, Jeanie Chung, Michael Martone, Elaine Sexton, and Kip Zegers. upstreet Editor/ Publisher Vivian Dorsel will emcee the festivities.

Some wine and other refreshments will be provided by upstreet, and after that runs out, plenty more will be available for purchase. Come help us celebrate AWP 2009 in Chicago—and don’t forget to visit upstreet’s table (#311) in the Bookfair.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Robin Oliveira lectures at Pacific residency

upstreet Fiction Editor Robin Oliveira delivered a lecture on “Demystifying the Editorial Process” during the Pacific University MFA in Writing Program Winter Residency at Seaside, Oregon, on Saturday 17 January. Robin’s lecture began with an overview of upstreet’s history, policy and practices, including submission guidelines and the qualifications of the editorial staff. She described the submission-evaluation process, giving a brief statement about what each of the genre editors is looking for.

Regarding fiction, Robin emphasized her belief that character is desire. “If your characters don’t want something,” she said, “there is nothing for the reader to hold on to, and ultimately, no reason for the story. The conflict has to be up front, beginning with line one. A character wants something, and is up against some person, thing, or other obstacle that prevents him from obtaining it.” She went on to discuss various story elements such as scene, dialogue, subtext, time, and drama at the sentence level, citing Douglas Glover’s essay, “The Drama of Grammar,” in the Canadian journal The New Quarterly (No. 105, 2006).

Robin concluded by saying that she thought the biggest challenge for writing students is story structure. “When I’m reading a shortlisted story,” she said, “I discover that it is almost always the ending that fails. When you are editing your stories, check the through line. Boil down your story to its complication, action and resolution to see if it has the architecture to carry it through to a successful end. A successful story is a story in which a character comes to grips with his or her desire through a series of actions in which emotional change takes place that is of significance to the character, and therefore to the reader.” She went on to discuss three stories—Charles D’Ambrosio’s “The Point,” Tim O'Brien’s “The Things They Carried,” and Raymond Carver’s “Cathedral”—reducing the stories to their architecture to illustrate successful resolutions.

Pacific University’s Master of Fine Arts in Writing is a low-residency program in which each student creates a portfolio of fiction, nonfiction or poetry under the supervision of writer advisors. The Atlantic Monthly’s 2007/08 Fiction Issue rated the Pacific program as one of the nation’s top five low-residency MFA in Writing programs, along with the programs of Antioch University, Bennington College, Vermont College of Fine Arts, and Warren Wilson College.

Robin Oliveira, who lives in Seattle, holds an MFA in Fiction Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her novel-in-progress, The Last Beautiful Day, was awarded the 2007 James Jones First Novel Fellowship. An excerpt from the novel appears in the 2008 issue of Provincetown Arts Magazine. The upcoming upstreet number five is the third issue for which Robin has served as Fiction Editor.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Boisseau poetry collection
available for pre-ordering

A Sunday in God-Years (Arkansas, 2009), a poetry collection by Michelle Boisseau which will be released February 1, is now available for pre-ordering through Barnes & Noble, Borders, Target, and, and also by local independent booksellers and directly from the publisher. A poem from the book, “Recriminating Rags of Sunlight,” appears in upstreet number four (p. 75).

A winner of the 2009 University of Arkansas Press Poetry Series, A Sunday in God-Years takes its title from the notion that if we consider ourselves inside the long stretch of geologic time, human history happens in the blink of God’s eye as he rolls over during a Sunday nap. The book is centered on the long poem “A Reckoning,” made up of fifteen shorter sections (some of them documents like wills and runaway slave notices). This long poem tries to reckon and recognize the sticky webs that bind the heirs of those who were slave holders (like the Boisseaus) and of those who were held as slaves.

“In every line on every page of this beautiful and ambitious book, the present comprehends the past ‘the way the sidewalk burns hours after / the sun’s gone down.’ Unsentimental, stunningly alive in sound as well as sense, compassionate, unflinchingly honest, A Sunday in God-Years is a flat out wonderful book, one of the best I’ve read in years.”—Alan Shapiro, author of Old War: Poems

“Even a ‘ragged chunk of limestone’ opens up expanses of geological, historical, and familial time in the artful hands of Michelle Boisseau, who revisits her slave-owning ancestry for a reckoning. . . . Her poems are a unique blend of sensuality, rue, fresh insight, engaging candor, anguish, wicked humor, taut lyricism and a pungent dash of caustic.”—Eleanor Wilner, author of
The Girl with Bees in Her Hair

“The title of this splendid book reflects the tonal complexity of these richly layered poems. . . . Boisseau sounds like nobody else and her vision demands our attention.”—Mark Jarman, author of Epistles: Poems

Michelle Boisseau is Professor of English at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where she also serves as associate editor of BkMk Press. She is the author of three books of poetry: No Private Life; Understory, winner of the Samuel French Morse Prize; and Trembling Air, a PEN/USA finalist. She is also co-author (with Randall Mann and Robert Wallace) of the popular book Writing Poems (Longman, 2007), now in its seventh edition.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Greenbaum poem on Poetry Daily

“Little White Truck,” a poem by upstreet Poetry Editor Jessica Greenbaum, will appear on Poetry Daily for Monday 12 January 2009. The poem, which was originally published in the Winter 2008/2009 issue of Salamander, appears below:

Little White Truck

Because the white truck traveling the span of the Williamsburg Bridge
could be the white fastener traveling the top of a zip-lock bag,
the East River and tugs might be contained without spilling
in today’s October light, along with this new spray of trees and
picnic tables which appeared when the industrial tide of Williamsburg
went out. If these could be contained, then likewise the two cyclists,
now dismounted and steadying their bikes as they kiss, and surely
it could hold the music they heard last night eddying again
around their thoughts, and the memory of their first idea of the future
loosed when he held her in a doorway lit by cobwebs of spring rain.

©2008 Jessica Greenbaum