Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Other Words Conference 2012 Presents "Wanderlust: Writing and Travel”

New Winners and New Workshops Headline Other Words 2012
Join Us Nov. 8-11 to  Indulge Your WANDERLUST: Writing and Travel

Starting with a Thursday night reading by a Florida Book Award winner and finishing with our first-ever Advanced Breakthrough Workshops in poetry and fiction on Sunday, Other Words 2012 is set to become a milestone.
The Eighth Annual Other Words Conference, held again this year at Flagler College in the nation’s oldest city of St. Augustine, will include panels, readings, workshops, and Florida’s largest independent literary book fair.  Papers and panel proposals on the conference theme of “WANDERLUST: Writing and Travel” are now being accepted.  Panels on topics other than the main theme will also be considered.

Gold Medal Florida Book Award winner for poetry, Stephen Kampa, will lead the opening celebration reading Thursday evening.  Kampa, who currently lives and works as a musician in Daytona Beach, holds degrees from Carleton College and the Johns Hopkins University. His work has appeared in the Hopkins Review, Southwest Review, River Styx, Subtropics, and Smartish Pace. His first book of poetry, Cracks in the Invisible, won the Hollis Summers Award and was published by Ohio University Press last year. 

Other Words  conference readings will conclude Saturday night with two of Florida’s best and most widely travelled prose writers, Kelle Groom and Bob Schacochis.

 is currently completing a national tour in connection with her memoir, I Wore the Ocean in the Shape of a Girl (Free Press/Simon & Schuster 2011; paperback 2012), which is a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers pick, a New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice selection, a Library Journal Best Memoir of 2011, a Barnes & Noble Best Book of the Month, O Magazine selection, and an Oxford American Editor's Pick. Her poetry collections are Five Kingdoms (Anhinga Press 2010), Luckily (Anhinga 2006), and Underwater City (University Press of Florida 2004). Her work has appeared in Best American Poetry 2010, The New Yorker, Ploughshares, and Poetry, among others, She is Distinguished Writer-in-Residence (2012-2013) in the Sierra Nevada College, Lake Tahoe, where she is also on the faculty of the low-residency MFA Program. Former poetry editor of The Florida Review, she is now a contributing editor.

Shacochis, acclaimed for both his fiction and nonfiction, is well-known for writing about travel in both. His new novel, set on several continents, is The Woman Who Lost Her Soul, scheduled for publication this year by Grove/Atlantic.  His first collection of stories, Easy in the Islands, won the National Book Award for First Fiction in 1985, and his second collection, The Next New World, was awarded the Prix de Rome from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1989. He is a former columnist for Gentleman’s Quarterlyand a contributing editor for both Outside and Harper’s. A collection of his columns forGQ, Domesticity: A Gastronomic Interpretation of Love, was published by Scribner in 1994. Swimming in the Volcano, the first book in a projected trilogy, was a 1993 National Book Award Finalist. The Immaculate Invasion, a chronicle of the 1994 military intervention in Haiti, was a finalist for The New Yorker Magazine Award for best nonfiction of 1999. He has also received a James Michener Fellowship and a grant from the NEA. He is Writer-in-Residence at Florida State University in Tallahassee.

Concluding the conference are the new Advanced Breakthrough Workshops in Poetry, Fiction and Creative Nonfiction.  The four-hour sessions offer writers in-depth work with Other Words core faculty members Terry Witek, Mark Powell, and Ira  Sukrungruang.

Terri Witek is the author of four books of poems-- Exit Island (2012), The Shipwreck Dress (2008), a Florida Book Award winner; Carnal World (2006); Fools and Crows (2003); and Courting Couples (2000), a Center for Book Arts Prize winner. She holds the Sullivan Chair in Creative Writing at Stetson University where she has received the McInery Award for Teaching and the John Hague Teaching Award for outstanding teaching in the liberal arts and sciences.

Mark Powell is the author of the novels Blood Kin, which received the Peter Taylor Prize,  and Prodigals, both published by the University of Tennessee Press, and has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Breadloaf Writers' Conference. He was educated at The Citadel, The University of South Carolina, and Yale Divinity School. He teaches in the English Department at Stetson University in DeLand, Florida.

Ira Sukrungruang is author of the memoir Talk Thai: The Adventures of Buddhist Boy and the co-editor of What Are You Looking At? The First Fat Fiction Anthology and Scoot Over, Skinny: The Fat Nonfiction Anthology. He has published his essays, poems, and short stories in many literary journals and anthologies, including Creative Nonfiction, The Bellingham Review, North American Review, Isotope, Crab Orchard Review, Post Road, and Tilting the Continent: Southeast Asian American Writing. He teaches at the University of South Florida, Tampa.

Conference registration fees remain the same as last year.  The new Advanced Breakthrough Workshops being offered for the first time can be taken without full conference registration. Those rates are: Sunday Advanced Breakthrough Workshops Only:  $100 for members, $125 nonmembers; Member Students, $55 Sunday only; Nonmember Students $70 Sunday only.  See the registration page for full details.

Monday, May 21, 2012

YellowJacket Press Meinke Prize update

YellowJacket Press is pleased to announce the 2012 Peter Meinke Prize for a poetry chapbook by a Florida poet. Submissions must be postmarked June 15-30, 2012. The contest is free, but only one manuscript per contestant may be submitted. All entrants must be permanent adult residents of Florida.

Poetry manuscripts for the Peter Meinke Prize should be no longer than 24 pages of poetry, including title page, table of contents and acknowledgments. Include a brief bio, date you became a Florida resident, notice of previous publications of specific poems, if applicable, and SASE. Manuscripts will not be returned. For more information on YJP and Peter Meinke, visit:

Jane's Stories loses valued member

FLAC member Jane's Stories Press Foundation mourns the passing of one of Jane's Stories most faithful members and volunteers, Gail Pflaster who passed away peacefully at her home in St. Augustine on May 13, 2012 after a long, brave battle with cancer. A teacher, organizer, writer, and friend, she helped create the Festival of Muses to celebrate Womens' History Month. In 2009 she founded the ROWITA Awards (Recognizing Outstanding Women In The Arts) to honor artistic achievements of women and recognize their contributions to the arts community. This year the Cultural Council re-named the award, The Dr. Gail Pflaster Recognizing Outstanding Women in the Arts Award. Gail's passion for writing resulted in "Furry Tales," a loving tribute to her animal companions over the years that is due for publication this week. More on Gail here

Sunday, May 6, 2012

UT Press Poet becomes Utah Poet Laureate

University of Tampa Press poet Lance Larsen was appointed Poet Laureate of Utah yesterday by Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert. Lance, who won the Tampa Review Prize for Poetry for his collection entitled In All Their Animal Brilliance (University of Tampa Press, 2005), will serve a five-year term as Utah’s Poet Laureate. The University of Tampa Press will be publishing his fourth collection of poems, Genius Loci, this fall and also previously published his third book, Backyard Alchemy, in 2009. You can read details of the appointment in the Salt Lake Tribune at this link: And you can hear a short reading by Lance at the Utah Division of Arts website: