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Malcolm R. Campbell's World

Archive for the tag “poetry”

Upcoming Contest Deadlines

Winning or placing in a contest brings writers validation, publicity that gives weight to resumes and platforms, some handy prize money, and free copies of anthologies/magazine issues containing the winning entry that can be handed out at book fairs and conventions. We can’t enter them all or we’ll go broke paying the entry fees. My suggestion: if you’re just getting started, don’t try the most prestigious contests first because your competition will include widely known authors. Look for those where you have your best chance in terms of that competition and the contest theme.

Upcoming Deadlines:

  • Bellevue Literary Prize – Poetry and Prose. Three prizes of $1,000 each. Works about health, healing, illness, body, and mind. Online submission system. $20 entry fee. July 1 deadline.
  • Boston Review – Poetry. $1,500 and publication for a poem or group of poems. Up to five poems on no more than ten pages. $20 entry fee. June 1 deadline.
  • Glimmer Train – Short story award for new writers. Prize of $2,500 and publication for winning story between 1,000 and 12,000 words. $18 entry fee. Submit between May 1 and June 30.
  • Lost Horse Press – Idaho Prize for Poetry. $1,000 and publication. Submit manuscript of at least 48 pages. $20 to $30 entry fee depending on whether you submit by mail or online. May 15 deadline.
  • New American Press – New American Fiction Prize. $1,000 and publication. Submit a selection of short stories, flash fiction, novella or novel of at least 100 pages. $25 entry fee. June 15 deadline.
  • Philadelphia Stories – Marguerite McGlinn Prize for Fiction. $2,000 and publication. Winner will receive free travel ans lodging to read at Rosemont College in October. Short  story up to 8,000 words. $15 entry fee. June 15 deadline.

To keep up with contests throughout the year, look at the Poets & Writers database of Writing Contests, Grants & Awards


Malcolm R. Campbell is the author of Eulalie and Washerwoman, a story about a conjure woman fighting the Klan set in the Florida Panhandle of the 1950s.


Review: ‘The Rabbi, The Goddess, and Jung’

First published in Literary Aficionado

The Rabbi, The Goddess, and Jung: Getting the Word from Within

Review by Malcolm R. Campbell

In the introduction to this spiritual and psychological collection of essays, poet and Jungian analyst Naomi Ruth Lowinsky writes, “I didn’t have to account to God or my analyst for why I wasn’t Moses, or for that matter, Jung. I had to account for why I wasn’t Naomi.”

This visionary collection follows the transformations that molded Lowinsky from the prima materia of her young self in chaos and doubt into the Naomi that life and the gods were waiting for her to discover.

Readers of The Rabbi, the Goddess, and Jung witness outrageous fortune’s wont to injure seekers of the voice within with the arrows from its quiver of devils, demons, shadows, temptations and tricks. Ultimately, when the seeker hears and responds in harmony to that voice, s/he discovers the meaning of Joseph Campbell’s promise that “The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are” and that the Tewa prayer’s answer from nature’s light in “Song of the Sky Loom” is a Garment of Brightness.

In “My Lady Tree,” Lowinsky writes that “Words bring the raw stuff of emotion and experience into a focused form that we can share; they bring the prima material of the unconscious into consciousness; they tell our stories.” Late in the book in “Grandmother Spider’s Song,”—in contemplating the state of the planet and humankind’s relationship to it—she tells one of her inner mentors that she doesn’t know what to do. The mentor responds, “You’re missing the obvious fact that’s right under your nose. Your tool is poetry. That’s what you do.”

Every section of this book is richly illustrated by Lowinsky’s poetry, her response to the sights, sounds and voices of her journey from a lady tree she drew as a child, to her experiences with a secular Jewish upbringing, analysis, India, Africa, the forgotten feminine, Jung, Faust, alchemy, Kabbalah, old gods, spirits and the living Earth.

From “Lady Tree”:
You have written the book
Of life Your roots know sky
Your branches know down
below ground water
You drink from my dreams

From “Your People are My People”:
Your people are the drum beat people the field holler
People the conjure people Blues people Jubilee people people who talk
Straight to God Your people are the Old Man River people
The Drinking Gourd people singing the Lord’s song
                                                                            in a strange land

From “Sisters of My Time”:
What became of our fierce flowering? Don’t you remember
how that Old Black Magic revealed Herself to us—gave us the fever
the crazy nerve to burn bras, leave husbands, grow animal hair?
We knew Her belly laugh, Her sacred dance
Her multiple orgasms—It was our period.

Lowinsky brings to her search for herself and to this book an exquisite facility with words, a Jungian’s knowledge of consciousness and symbols, the ability to synthesize the common threads of diverse peoples and cultures into a universal whole where opposites disappear, an adept approach to dreams and active imagination, a cast of wise inner mentors, and an abiding love of the creaturehood of the sacred Earth.

Her path is not a recipe for her readers’ paths because her readers have widely varied ancestors, upbringings, goals and skills. Instead, The Rabbi, the Goddess, and Jung is a wise and loving demonstration of a path, flaws and doubts included, that inspires rather than prescribes.

Lowinsky recalls walking a labyrinth and hearing Earth’s voice telling her that staying in balance is what it’s all about. She goes home and reads in a book in her library that the chaos of a labyrinth opens up the mind to new and transcendent dimensions. “The world,” she writes, “is still as big a mess as it was before I entered that labyrinth. But I feel more balanced, rewoven into earth and soul.”

Reading the spell cast by the words of the prose and poetry of The Rabbi, the Goddess, and Jung will disturb the minds of readers walking the labyrinths of their lives enough to help unlock the silent inner voice and the journey toward the privilege of a lifetime.

TITLE: The Rabbi, The Goddess, and Jung: Getting the Word from Within
AUTHOR: Naomi Ruth Lowinsky
PUBLISHER: Fisher King Press
ISBN: 9781771690362

“To Find Our Larger Self”: An Interview with Juan Felipe Herrera |

Herrera - Wikipedia Photo

Herrera – Wikipedia Photo

“Poems are moments in-between the grinding gears of all the machines, hammers, and techno-clicks that have set off our lives into something close to madness. We all long for essence, for clarity, for harmony, for peace, for an enlightened way of life—yet we seem to have collectively agreed to let a mechanical delirium be our guide. What I am saying: find seventeen seconds of your day to reflect, to provide an offering—to write five words. ”

Source: “To Find Our Larger Self”: An Interview with Juan Felipe Herrera | From the Catbird Seat: Poetry & Literature at the Library of Congress

Herrera speaks about “the occasional poem,” a poem about the now of our lives today and what we’re experiencing and how we can share all of this with each other.

At least, that’s how I see it. I would prefer reading more occasional poems on, say, Facebook (for example) and fewer rants. I want to know how you experience good news and bad news on any given day, not a canned presentation from some group with an agenda that you linked into your status update.

Food for thought, this interview.


My publisher, Thomas-Jacob, is starting a newsletter to keep readers informed about new books and upcoming events. Plus, one lucky person who signs up for the newsletter will receive a Kindle Fire Tablet in the August 17h random drawing. Click on this graphic to sign up:



Fallen Journalist Finds Solace and Success in Poetry

Fallen Journalist Finds Solace and Success in Poetry –

BookBits“She is Patricia Smith, Staten Island’s literary sensation, a poet, an English professor and a star on the national stage. Last month, she won the Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry, awarded by the Library of Congress to luminaries such as James Merrill, Louise Glück and Mark Strand. In April, she won a Guggenheim Fellowship in poetry.”

Also in the News

I hope you’re enjoying these brief summaries of the day’s book news. Yes, I know, they’re sort of random.


Poet Mary Szybist on that other Mary

“All you can do is fail,” said Mary Szybist about the challenge of measuring herself against the ideal of the Virgin Mary.

“There’s something profoundly inhuman about her. She is valued because she is a mother and because she is a virgin. And I am not either. So how do you make your way in the world as a woman when you are not aspiring to and cannot be valued for either of those and do not want to be valued for either of those?”

via Poet Mary Szybist on that other Mary – The Washington Post.

We better understand the poems when we better understand the poet.


Poetry: Who Needs It? –

Poetry: Who Needs It? –

“GAINESVILLE, Fla. — WE live in the age of grace and the age of futility, the age of speed and the age of dullness. The way we live now is not poetic. We live prose, we breathe prose, and we drink, alas, prose. There is prose that does us no great harm, and that may even, in small doses, prove medicinal, the way snake oil cured everything by curing nothing. But to live continually in the natter of ill-written and ill-spoken prose is to become deaf to what language can do.”

I love the cool graphic that goes with this interesting article.


Book Bits Xtra: Call for Submissions for PEN American 2014 Literary Awards

Call for Submissions for 2014 Literary Awards | PEN American Center.

The PEN Literary Awards are the most comprehensive in the United States. Each year, with the help of its partners and supporters, PEN confers more than $150,000 to writers in the fields of fiction, science writing, essays, sports writing, biography, children’s literature, translation, drama, or poetry. Until December 16, 2013, PEN will be accepting submissions and nominations for the following awards for the 2014 awards cycle.

SOFcover“Book Bits” is compiled by Malcolm R. Campbell, author of the comedy/satire about an old-style reporter in the modern age called “Jock Stewart and the Missing Sea of Fire”

Visit my web site if your also a lover of fantasy and folktales

The PEN Literary Awards are the most comprehensive in the United States. Each year, with the help of its partners and supporters, PEN confers more than $150,000 to writers in the fields of fiction, science writing, essays, sports writing, biography, children’s literature, translation, drama, or poetry. Until December 16, 2013, PEN will be accepting submissions and nominations for the following awards for the 2014 awards cycle: – See more at:

New Position: Poetry Editor – Quail Bell: Imaginary, Nostalgic, Otherworldly

New Position: Poetry Editor – Quail Bell: Imaginary, Nostalgic, Otherworldly.

Quail Bell Magazine currently seeks a Poetry Editor. This editor will be responsible for reviewing Quail Bell‘s poetry submissions, notifying poets whose work has been accepted, and posting accepted work, in addition to seeking out new work. The editor will also be responsible for helping select poems for Quail Bell Magazine‘s print ‘zine, Quail Bell Express. The editor is encouraged, though not required, to write original poetry for The Unreal, especially Photo Tales. Work is done as necessary, depending mostly on the ebb and flow of submissions.”

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