Saturday, August 26, 2017

Backbone Press will publish The Ocean Between Us!

I'm excited and honored to announce that Backbone Press chose my chapbook The Ocean Between Us as one of their two Fall 2017 publications from 120+ entries.  It will be in the pre-order stage for a few weeks ($9 via paypal).  The Riddle of Longing by Faisal Mohyuddin is the other chapbook chosen. Faisal just won the the 2017 Sexton Prize selected by Kimiko Hahn! 

Backbone's description: 
The Ocean Between Us is a collection of poems wrapped in memories and language. Beatriz Fernandez artfully weaves together dazzling imagery and alluring sounds to create concrete visions of Puerto Rico, Florida, and a geography of loss. With the ability to use the perfect words to describe imperfect times, she poses questions that pierce the human spirit. Unsure of the answer, this is a book of poetry that is rich with the “embryonic code of things to come.”

I'm really happy to have another chapbook published so soon after my first, Shining from a Different Firmament, in 2015 (Finishing Line Press).

The Ocean Between Us is very different than Shining, which was mostly a collection of persona poems about historical, literary and legendary women.  Ocean, as I described in my last post, is a collection of 25 poems about my personal experiences in Puerto Rico and Florida, from childhood to the present.  The first poem, Calle del Cristo, is an exception in that it is a persona poem.

The suffering of all Puerto Ricans as the island has endured two hurricanes is omnipresent in my mind these days.  My family members are safe and being very brave about the circumstances but I can't imagine living through that.  We were in Miami during Hurricane Andrew, but it did not hit our area directly.  Irma again sideswiped us, leaving only fences and trees down, mostly.  We are so lucky to have our homes and our lives to go back to.

Friday, August 04, 2017

Backbone Press finalist!

I'm very happy to learn that my chapbook, The Ocean Between Us, is a finalist in Backbone Press's Spring open reading session.

Backbone Press is a small press for ethnic poets and is interested in:
language that is elegant and provocative; poetry that informs and engages us in broader cultural conversations.
Even if my chapbook doesn't get accepted for publication, it is an honor to make it to the final round!
The Ocean Between Us is a 25-poem chapbook divided into two sections: Puerto Rico poems and Florida poems.  The journey begins with a brief visit back to Puerto Rico that brings back many memories of my childhood spent there. I’m the daughter of an immigrant and an islander whose ancestors also immigrated to their respective homelands.  Within every generation of my family there came a decision: to leave or to stay, and my ancestors always chose to leave, for their own sake and for their children’s.  From this restless heritage I derived a curious lack of home sense—I’ve always been neither one thing nor another, neither native nor alien.  These poems are an attempt to gather all these emotions together into a cohesive whole—to define what we mean by “home” and to highlight that perhaps it’s the ocean between that really matters:  that ever-changing, ever-the-same body that divides us and yet also unites us into a single body.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Alsina Publishing to present my flash fiction trilogy

I'm excited to announce that Alsina Publishing will present my fantasy fiction trilogy via LingoBites, their app for language learning via story-telling.

I'm also so pleased and grateful that Selina Fenech, an incredible Australian artist and author, agreed to let me use her beautiful artwork for the trilogy cover!

This gorgeous piece, entitled "Saviour" perfectly illustrates my stories! Check out Selina's website for all her fiction, artwork, coloring books, figurines, etc. You will be amazed!



Update on this post:  LingoBites is in Beta launch mode and I have a limited number of free trial codes to give out--contact me if you are interested!

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Rejections can be sweet...

thirty west finalist
However, their critique of the manuscript let me down very easy!  I am going to frame it and post it by my writing desk for encouragement!  Thank you, Thirty West Editorial panel!
Excerpts:
"These pieces are unique, fresh, and beautifully written. The muses here have constructed some unique narrative voices and superbly distinct pieces ..." "Supremely creative."
"...one must be widely-read and knowledgeable of literary, artistic, and historical touchstones to fully catch all of the allusions here. That makes the target audience for these pieces much less universal than some other pieces."  "The unique thoughtfulness and dedicated execution of these pieces far outweighs any audience concerns."
"Not only is this magnificent on a conceptual level, but the beauty in the writing lies in its use of literary devices throughout. For instance, the internal rhythm and rhyme in “Guinevere to Arthur” is so seamless as to seem easily done..."
"..the level of intellectualism and foresight, the knowledge and exploratory nature of poetic structure and elements, and the skill and artistry in execution make this a great piece that any publishing company should be honored to print."

Saturday, July 01, 2017

Whale Road Review publishes my poem "The Astronomer's New Eyes"

Many thanks to the Whale Road Review for their May publication of my poem:

 "The Astronomer's New Eyes" in their Summer Issue 7.



Whale Road is a unique journal that publishes poetry, short prose, chapbook reviews and pedagogical papers!


This poem was written in honor of my husband, astronomer James R. Webb, of course!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

June publications!

June has been a good month for me!

First, Alsina Publications accepted two flash fiction fantasy pieces, with a view to a third to complete the trilogy.  Alsina is launching a new language learning app, LingoBites, that will help students and other customers learn languages by reading stories!

Then Highland Park Poetry republished my poem "The Last Thing I'll Lose" in their Muses Gallery bird themed summer issue.

The Ginger Collect, self professed publishers of "The Weird, the New Age and the Strange" were kind enough to publish two of my poems in their Issue Two:  "The Story of the Stones" and "Under a Graveyard Sun."

Songs of Eretz Poetry Review also featured my poem "Plague Graffiti" on their page.
This poem was based on a BBC news article:

(Songs of Eretz Editor’s Note:  "This is a unique and moving elegy that resonates as much today in the age of indiscriminate terror attacks as it would have 500 years ago during the black plague that struck Cambridgeshire.")

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Thirty West Publishing House's beautiful hand-bound chapbooks!



Thirty West Publishing House produces hand-bound chaplets and chapbooks.  As I previously posted, they recently chose my poem "The Surest Poison" as winner of their sonnet challenge (part of their celebration of National Poetry Month) and now editor Josh Dale is publishing a chaplet of all the weekly challenge winners!  It will include work from four different writers and four different genres/forms, and will include my winning sonnet as well as a second sonnet "Blood Pacts."  Many thanks to TWPH for their support of poetry and writers!  I would like to learn to make hand-bound chaps like these!  In Josh's picture, you see some of the tools he uses and the resulting chapbooks.

P.S.
If you look closely at the picture, you will see that my two poems happened to fall in the middle pages of the chaplet!





Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Retirement vs. Jubilación

Although I haven't posted about any financial/frugal ideas lately it doesn't mean they haven't been on my mind.  With the house paid off, now my main focus is building up our liquid savings and saving for our mythical retirement.  Since my husband and I enjoy our current occupations so much, I have a feeling that retirement will not be our choice, but something forced upon us by circumstances beyond our control, but we'll see.  In any case, someday either one or both of us will be officially retired, at least partially.  I guess one could say I've been semi-retired for 10 years now, since I began working part-time, but the difference is I have not considered myself retired.  I have come to realize retirement is a state of mind, not just a financial one.

In Spanish, we say a retired person is "jubilado" which technically means "freed" or "released" rather than "retired."  I have felt released and freed most of my life, so in that sense I've been retired all along! "Jubilación" sounds a lot like "jubilation" in English, which of course means great joy and elation, so I guess the term is a more positive-sounding one than "retirement" which sounds like you're retreating from life.

Anyway, in the effort to save for retirement I try to keep frivolous, impulsive purchases on a tight rein but I also like to keep track of low-cost purchases that deliver high satisfaction and make life more pleasant.

This year my frugal winners are:

A Cool Gear thermos on sale at Tuesday Morning that keeps my iced tea cold for 24 hours.  (The first one we got for free but its top eventually broke so I needed a new one--I now use the old one at home but I needed one with a tightly sealed top for work)  Cost: $10  (normally this type of thermos goes for $25-30 at the supermarket).

A cushioned zero-gravity chair for Jim--the removable cushion alone was worth the price I paid for both the chair and cushion.  It's a sueded material that makes the chair look much more living-room-worthy. Cost: $80

A Hamilton Beach room odor eliminator Cost $25.  Wow, this has really helped cat-related odors in my room and doubles as a personal fan and gray noise generator as well!


Thursday, April 20, 2017

The Ghazal Page published my poem "Rilke Returns to Ronda" -- late to report

For some reason, I never announced the publication of my latest favorite poem,

"Rilke Returns to Ronda,"

a ghazal in an earlier issue (number 63) of The Ghazal Page.

This poem was inspired by my visit to Ronda, Spain last year.  I found out that Ernest Hemingway had famously visited Ronda, and so had Rainer Maria Rilke, one of my favorite poets. Rilke had been experiencing terrible writer's block and stayed a few months in a hotel in the hills there, during which he experienced a re-awakening of inspiration and began writing again.

I had been toying with the idea of writing about Rilke in Ronda but had not hit upon a way to approach the theme when I heard of The Ghazal Page's "places" challenge and realized it had to be a ghazal!  I had not written a tercet ghazal before but this one seemed to demand to be one, maybe because Rilke wrote his famous "Spanish Trilogy" in Ronda! 

Rilke's real first name was "Rene" so I used "reborn" in the last stanza, according to the tradition.
I make a passing reference to Hemingway as well!  While I was in Ronda, my travel companion wanted to see the bullring, which is the oldest existing one in Spain, so I saw that firsthand.  And the carpark we used was called "Poeta Rilke!"


Sunday, April 16, 2017

"Seagrapes" published by The Australia Times Poetry Magazine

The Australia Times Poetry Magazine published my poem "Seagrapes" in February; the cute illustration is by TAT artist Shallamar Mugot.  I'm very sad to find out that TAT will be closing its doors by May of this year.  I loved learning about Australia via its writers' works!  Poetry editor Maureen Clifford is the best!


The Ghazal Page publishes my ghazal "Wings" about Ada Lovelace in their Freedom issue.

POEMS

Beatriz F. Fernandez
Wings

"The Surest Poison" wins Thirty West Publishing House's sonnet challenge


Many thanks to Thirty West Publishing House for choosing my poem, The Surest Poison, as winner of their sonnet challenge!  They are a micropress based in Philadelphia, which naturally appeals to me.  They will possibly re-publish this sonnet in a chaplet compilation of their contest winners.  This was a great way to celebrate National Poetry Month!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Red Bird Weekly Read site publishes my poem "Origins"

Red Bird Chapbooks, a respected publisher of multiple genre type chapbooks, featured my poem "Origins" on their "Weekly Read" column and their facebook site.  Many thanks to editor Sarah Hayes!

Red Bird does not limit itself to poetry chapbooks, so visit them to see all the possibilities they offer!

From their site:


"Red Bird Chapbooks is a venue for emerging and existing authors to bring forth small collections of their work in artistically appealing forms. We publish quality, handcrafted chapbooks, broadsides and pamphlets that introduce aspiring and inspiring writers and artists to a larger audience."

I'm very honored to be included in their list of published authors; the Weekly Read feature began in July 2016.  I heard about it via Trish Hopkinson's ever-useful blog!  I had also submitted a chapbook to them last year.

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Looking back at 2016 -- the year of the anthology

It was the year of the anthology for me, as four anthologies have accepted my poems, three of which will be published in 2017.  Also, it will be a first for my work to be included in an art exhibit!  

2016: Year in Review

Publications: 14

The Quarterday Review print and online (Maid Marian’s Many Silences ghazal)

The Ghazal Page online (3 ghazals, From Dante to Beatrice, From Beatrice to Dante and Rilke Returns to Ronda)

The Copperfield Review online (3 poems, Maid Joan’s Gethesemane, Genesis, 1880, and the Lost Colony)

The Australia Times Poetry Magazine online (4 poems, The Last Thing I’ll Lose, Inspiration, Bahia Honda Beach Conch and Mother Re-gifts)

Stonecoast Literary Review (1 poem, Monody for a Leading Man)

Anthologies/Collections: 2

Pay Attention: Poems for Oral Interpretation (2 poems, Her Last Cotillion, Richard the Lionheart’s Mummified Heart Examined)

Total 14 publications

Acceptances

Spark: A Creative Anthology (2 poems not published yet.)

Street Voice journal (3 poems, not published yet, Poem for My Father, In the Shadow of the Miami Metrorail Overpass, Departures)

Fiolet & Wing Domestic Fabulist anthology) (1 poem, A Modern Day Amazon visits the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston)

Feminine Rising: Voices of Power & Invisibility (with Ellen Bass!)   (1 poem, Reunion)

               Shabda Press’s Nuclear Impact Anthology: Broken Atoms in Our Hands (1 poem)
               
               Arte Latino Now 2017 exhibit in January 2017 (1 poem, Calle del Cristo, Old San Juan)

               Whale Road Review (1 poem, The Astronomer’s New Eyes, for their June issue)

               Total acceptances and publications: 24

Interviews:


Queens Center for Latino Studies interview—Meet the Writers—published online on their tumblr page.

Reviews:


Literary Arts Review of Shining from a Different Firmament



Nomination/Honors:

"Calle de Cristo, Old San Juan" chosen for the Arte Latino Now 2017 exhibit at Queens University in a nationwide competition!

Words Dance—actually last year, my poem Late Night Shift was a finalist in their nomination list for Best of the Net and I didn’t realize it until recently! 

Workshops/Classes:

Key West Literary Seminar Writing Workshop with Campbell McGrath  --  this workshop yielded three new poems, two of which have already been published and one, "Calle del Cristo" which was chosen for the aforementioned Arte Latino Now exhibit!

Speculative Fiction writing class (online) with best-selling, award-winning science fiction author C.S. (Celia) Friedman!  This class yielded my first completely edited short story--about a robot!  I also began a story about Death as a character.  It generated many ideas for future stories and I also had several magic world-building ideas that Celia said were original and promising for novel-length works.  I don't intend to write novels, but maybe I could manage a novella or novelette!  I also met a great group of writers who are willing to read and critique my work.

   

Friday, January 06, 2017

Stonecoast Review publishes my "Monody for a Leading Man"

My poem, "Monody for a Leading Man" has been published in Stonecoast Review's Winter 2016 issue 6.  Stonecoast Review: a literary arts journal published by the University of Southern Maine's MFA program in Creative Writing.