Blossom is our official blog covering news, updates, and all things
On Thursday, January 12, we sent our biggest and best issue yet off to the printers. Which means it’s time for our usual cover art reveal!
The art on the cover of issue 3 is a painting called “Line Dance,” by Chestertown artist Marcy Dunn Ramsey. This painting showcases the beautiful reedy marsh-scape of our tiny Chester River wonderland here on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Previously exhibited in the Carla Massoni Gallery, “Line Dance” is now in the private collection of Drew and Betsy Vaden in Newport Beach, California.
Inside the issue is brand-new poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and literary shade from Eloisa Amezcua, Kate Anger, Sarah Blake, CL Bledsoe, Paul Bone, Kim Bridgford, Nan Byrne, Lauren Camp, Doritt Carroll, Michael Chin, Charlotte Covey, Heidi Czerwiec, Stephanie Dickinson, R.M. Fradkin, Avital Gad-Cykman, Melanie Graham, Dave Housley, Anna Kelley, Shara Lessley, Matthew Lippman, Raye Hendrix May, Damon McLaughlin, Erika Meitner, Lynn Melnick, Tyler Mills, Michael Mingo, Rajiv Mohabir, Julie L. Moore, John A. Nieves, Ashley Robertson, Martha Silano, Matthew Thorburn, Robert Vivian, Stacey Waite, Cody Walker, Michael Walsh, and Phillip B. Williams. At a whopping 218 pages, this is our biggest issue yet!
Although the issue is officially released on February 15, 2017, we will be debuting issue 3 at the AWP Conference in Washington, DC from February 9-11. We’ll have copies available in the Bookfair at the Rose O’Neill Literary House booth #626.
And on Thursday, February 9, we will have our official launch event! Cherry Tree is co-hosting a fabulous AWP offsite reading with Baltimore-based Doctor T.J. Eckleburg Review at Busboys & Poets @ 5th & K from 9:00-11:00 p.m. We’ll have readings from Cherry Tree contributors Michael Chin (fiction), Rajiv Mohabir (creative nonfiction), Lynn Melnick (poetry), and Julie Marie Wade (creative nonfiction), as well as readings by Eckleburg contributors and editors. So please mark your calendars and be sure to join us! The first 50 attendees will get free drink tickets (wink wink).
And if you haven’t already, today is the perfect day to subscribe!
This holiday season at the Literary House Press: buy a gift for a friend, and get a free gift for you!
From December 5 through 19, the Literary House Press will be offering special holiday deals to our online shoppers. For the 2016 winter holiday season, we are giving away free gifts with certain purchases:
Buy a 2-year subscription to Cherry Tree, get a free copy of issue 1 & a Cherry Tree tote bag!
Buy any 2 LHP broadsides, get a third free! After purchase, email email@example.com with your third broadside choice.
For any purchase of $50 or more, get one free swag item: Rose O’Neill Literary House or Cherry Tree tote bag, a trucker hat (white/red or black/white), or a Nalgene water bottle. After purchase, email firstname.lastname@example.org with your choice of swag item.
See our deluxe & standard edition chapbooks here.
See our letterpress broadsides here.
All purchases may be made through our online form here. Please note: The Literary House Press web payment form will NOT work properly if used in Microsoft Edge or Explorer. Please use a different web browser to complete your purchase, such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Apple Safari.
And don’t forget to check out our paperback books, available on Small Press Distribution and Amazon!
Happy Holidays from the staff at the Literary House Press!
Here’s our final list of contributors for issue 3 of Cherry Tree!
- Eloisa Amezcua
- Sarah Blake
- CL Bledsoe
- Paul Bone
- Kim Bridgford
- Nan Byrne
- Lauren Camp
- Doritt Carroll
- Charlotte Covey
- Melanie Graham
- Anna Kelley
- Shara Lessley
- Matthew Lippman
- Raye Hendrix May
- Damon McLaughlin
- Erika Meitner
- Lynn Melnick
- Michael Mingo
- Julie L. Moore
- John A. Nieves
- Martha Silano
- Matthew Thorburn
- Stacey Waite
- Cody Walker
- Michael Walsh
- Michael Chin
- Stephanie Dickinson
- R.M. Fradkin
- Avital Gad-Cykman
- Dave Housley
- Ashley Robertson
- Kate Anger
- Heidi Czerwiec
- Tyler Mills
- Rajiv Mohabir
- Robert Vivian
- Phillip B. Williams
Thank you to our fantastic student screeners: Nicolas Anstett, Julie Armstrong, Reilly D. Cox, Dylan Hogan, Sarah Mann, Ryan Manning, Meaghan Menzel, Aliya Merhi, Catalina Righter, and Emma Way. Thank you as well to our fabulous senior readers in poetry: Emma Sovich and Alex Vidiani; in fiction: Sarah Blackman and Elise Gallagher; and in nonfiction: Elise Gallagher (again!). And a huge round of applause for our Creative Nonfiction & Literary Shade Editor James Allen Hall (who is also our Editor-in-Chief), our Poetry Editor Jehanne Dubrow, and our Fiction Editor Roy Kesey. Issue 3 is only possible because all of the volunteer work that you all do for Cherry Tree.
The issue is now being laid out by our Production Intern Caroline Harvey. Proofs will be sent out to all contributors in late December. Issue 3 is scheduled for release on February 9, 2017 at the AWP Conference in DC. So if you do not have a current subscription, now is the perfect time to remedy that! Buy a subscription for yourself or as a holiday gift for a dear friend. Just subscribe! And you can do that here.
Though we are knee-deep in submissions for issue 3, we have taken a brief break from reading new work to decide which six pieces from issue 2 to nominate for 2017 Pushcart Prizes. The nomination period runs each year from October 1 through December 1.
And here are the five poems and one short story that we have nominated for the 2017 Pushcart Prizes:
- Child of the Desolate, by Claudia Emerson
- White Out, by sam sax
- Hatchet, by Roy Kesey
- MEMORANDUM: To Eustratius of Alexandria, regarding Enhanced Interrogation Technique Subcategory B, “The Inducement of Shame and Elimination of Bodily Sovereignty Via Forced Prostitution and Other Mechanisms,” by Sara Biggs Chaney
- from Letters to Mao (Dear Mao, / Even the island is not really an island…), by Jennifer S. Cheng
- Letter to the Republic, by Matthew Olzmann
Congratulations to our issue 2 nominees! We wish you the best of luck!
Brief note in service of transparency: Roy Kesey served as contributing editor for issues 1 & 2, and recently joined the staff as Fiction Editor (starting his tenure with issue 3). The selection of prize nominees is handled exclusively by the Editor-in-Chief and Managing Editor.
Announcing a new section of Cherry Tree: A National Literary Journal @ Washington College: Literary Shade!
Starting with our third issue, Cherry Tree will now have a regular section dedicated to Literary Shade. The call for submissions for this section begins today! Here’s the section description:
In the great tradition of Jennie Livingston’s documentary, Paris is Burning, we are looking for impeccably-crafted shade. But not just ordinary shade: we’re especially interested in poems, short stories, or nonfiction that throws shade at the institutions that have whitewashed our literature and history, be they laws or events or texts authored by dead old cisgendered white supremacist misogynistic homophobes. We believe that shade—subversive wit, withering critique—can empower. And we want to read the shadiest shade around.
Payment is two copies of the journal, a year’s subscription, and a copy of a letterpress broadside of your choosing.
And as with fiction and nonfiction, please send no more thantwenty-five pages of prose. If you are submitting poetry, send no more thanseven poems and upload them all as a single file.
Since we are nearing the end of our regular reading period, which closes on October 15, we only have a short amount of time to receive your submissions of the greatest literary shade for this next issue. So if you have shade of the literary variety (and we know you do!) please send it to us between now and October 15.
Cherry Tree opens for submissions for our third issue on August 15.
Somehow August has rolled around once again, which means that our Cherry Tree editorial staff and student screeners are gearing up for our next open reading period. We will be reading submissions in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction from August 15 to October 15 for our third issue, which will be released in February 2017 at the AWP Conference in Washington, DC.
In the past few months we have had a few changes in the Cherry Tree masthead. Here’s our editorial line-up for issue 3 and beyond:
- Editor-in-Chief: James Allen Hall
- Managing Editor: Lindsay Lusby
- Poetry Editor (& Founder): Jehanne Dubrow
- Fiction Editor: Roy Kesey
- Nonfiction Editor: James Allen Hall
- Senior Poetry Reader: Emma Sovich
- Senior Poetry Reader: Alex Vidiani
- Senior Fiction Reader: Sarah Blackman
- Senior Fiction & Nonfiction Reader: Elise Gallagher
You can see their smiling faces and read their bios on our website here. Also there, you will find our 2016 Production Intern, Caroline Harvey ’18, who will help us lay out the third issue after all of the final pieces are selected. Caroline isn’t entirely new to the business: she worked as the Literary House Press Intern for the Spring 2016 semester, during which she assisted in the editing and proofing of LHP’s newest poetry anthology, Still Life with Poem: Contemporary Natures Mortes in Verse.
There is also a good mixture of new and familiar faces in the roster of student screeners for this upcoming reading period: Nick Anstett ’16, Julia Armstrong ’15, Reilly D. Cox ’16, Dylan Hogan ’16, Sarah Mann ’16, Ryan Manning ’17, Meaghan Menzel ’16, Aliya Merhi ’16, Catalina Righter ’17, and Emma Way ’16.
We’re all so excited to read the fantastic submissions you send to us! So mark your calendars: send your best poetry, fiction, and nonfiction to Cherry Tree (via Submittable) between August 15 and October 15. Help us to make issue 3 the best yet!
The Stump is where our contributors stand to read their work aloud to the wide web-audience. Here we post audio recordings of select contributors reading their poems, stories, and creative nonfiction from the pages of Cherry Tree.
And we’re back at The Stump with new readings from our second issue! Here are the featured contributors you can listen to on our page:
- Katie Berger, reading two poems from Swans
- Jennifer S. Cheng, reading an excerpt from her creative nonfiction piece “in between such shadows”
- Sally Rosen Kindred, reading her poem “An Aftermath”
- Emilia Phillips, reading her poem “Apostrophe in Oregon Hill”
- Lesley Wheeler, reading her two poems “Perimenopause” and “This Has Gone On Long Enough”
- Laura Madeline Wiseman, reading her poem “Studs”
We’re also once again featuring a few chosen pieces from the new print issue as preview PDF on our Work We Love page. Here you can read issue 2 excerpts from Rick Barot, Sara Biggs Chaney, Vievee Francis, Roy Kesey, and Jennifer S. Cheng!
And if you still haven’t had enough? Well, then it’s time to subscribe! Get a copy of the full second issue with a new subscription here.
To celebrate the release of our second issue, we asked contributors, subscribers, and friends to fill Facebook and Twitter with their CT2 selfies, using the hashtag #cherrybomb. And you did it!
We are so incredibly excited to be able to welcome the second issue of our beloved Cherry Tree into the world; and we are so grateful to all of you for sharing in our excitement!
We got #cherrybomb photos from our fantastic contributors:
We got #cherrybomb photos from our lovely editorial staff:
We got #cherrybomb photos from our wonderful subscribers:
We even got #cherrybomb photos from past-contributors-who-are-current-subscribers!
Thanks to all of you (and your photogenic pets) for helping us to announce the arrival of CT2 to the social media world. You rock our cherry-loving world! And because we love them all so much, we have gathered all of your #cherrybomb photos in a happy little gallery you can flip through here:
P.S. If you haven’t subscribed yet, do it now!
On Friday, January 22, we sent our newest beloved issue off to the printers. This, of course, means it’s time for the big cover reveal!
The art on the cover of issue 2 is a print called “Dawn’s Early Light,” by DC-area artist Joseph Craig English. It is an image of the Jefferson Memorial cast in silhouette. And the silhouetted branches hovering in the foreground are—you guessed it—cherry trees!
Inside the issue is brand-new poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction from Rick Barot, Katie Berger, Kelly Grey Carlisle, Sara Biggs Chaney, Jennifer S. Cheng, Claudia Emerson, Vievee Francis, Rebecca Morgan Frank, Roy Kesey, Sally Rosen Kindred, Keetje Kuipers, Elline Lipkin, Dave Madden, Dániel Nyikos, Wendy Oleson, Matthew Olzmann, Emilia Phillips, sam sax, Aaron Smith, Girija Tropp, Nicole Walker, Lesley Wheeler, and Laura Madeline Wiseman.
The issue is due to be released on February 15, 2016. And if you haven’t already, today is the perfect day to subscribe!
With its inaugural issue, Cherry Tree: A National Literary Journal @ Washington College, is living up to its moniker, as well as its mission to feature new works by emerging and established writers.
One of the poems included in Cherry Tree, Julie Kane’s “As If,” was selected by renowned poet and critic Edward Hirsch for the 2016 edition of Best American Poetry.
Hirsch’s selection of Kane’s poem positions Cherry Tree amongst the likes of The New Yorker and Poetry Magazine, long-running publications well-respected by the selection committee for Best American Poetry.
Kane’s poem was a clear favorite among Cherry Tree’s founding editor Jehanne Dubrow, her fellow faculty editors, and her staff of student screeners, who Dubrow says are trained “to look for pieces that pay close attention to the relationship between form and content, that use language beautifully but also to speak about important matters, and that risk something emotionally and/or intellectually.”
Dubrow developed a course, “Literary Editing & Publishing,” specifically to prepare student screeners for the task at hand. In addition to providing hands-on training in the process of editing and publishing a top-tier literary journal, the course includes extensive research and discussion of nationally recognized literary magazines and covers topics such as a publication’s mission statement, its aesthetic vision, and its editorial practices.
“As If” stood out to Dubrow and the students both for its rich content and imagery. “Julie Kane’s poem is a brilliant sonnet that tells quite a very big story in its 14 lines,” Dubrow says. “That Kane can do so much in such a short poem, each line filled with vivid imagery and furthering the narrative, is what makes the text such an impressive, high-wire act of language.”
James Hall, the poetry and creative nonfiction editor of Cherry Tree, was drawn to the intense language and structure of the poem. “There was so much tension and propulsion in the language itself, which is characteristic of Kane’s work in general. Like Professor Dubrow, I was immediately drawn to the way Kane interweaves the personal and the political,” Hall says.
Edward Hirsch, the 2016 guest editor of Best American Poetry, is the author of the national bestseller, How to Read a Poem and Fall in Love with Poetry. He has also published nine books of poems, including The Living Fire: New and Selected Poems, which anthologizes 35 years of work, and Gabriel: A Poem, a book-length elegy for his son that The New Yorker calls “a masterpiece of sorrow.”
The second issue of Cherry Tree will be available on February 15, 2016. Presale and subscriptions for Cherry Tree are available here. Best American Poetry 2016, published by Simon & Schuster, will be available for purchase in September.
A poem from the inaugural issue of Cherry Tree has been selected for the yearly anthology.
Enormous congratulations to Cherry Tree contributor Julie Kane, whose poem “As If” (which first appeared in our inaugural issue) has been chosen for the 2016 edition of Best American Poetry by guest editor Edward Hirsch! This volume is due to be released on September 6, 2016.
Thank you, Julie, for taking us along for the ride! We are thrilled for you and your beautiful sonnet.
The editorial staff of Cherry Tree share the top book titles on their holiday wishlists for 2015. Here’s what they’re reading (or hoping to read!) over the coming winter weekends. Let it snow!
1. The New England Review
2. Bellevue Literary Review
3. The Southwest Review
1. Our Lady of the Forest (fiction), by David Guterson
2. Voyage of the Sable Venus (poetry), by Robin Coste Lewis
3. The Necropastoral: Poetry, Media, Occults (essays), by Joyelle McSweeney
James Allen Hall
1. Between the World and Me (nonfiction), by Ta-Nehisi Coates
2. The Empathy Exams (essays), by Leslie Jamison
3. Split (poetry), by Cathy Linh Che
1. The Rings of Saturn (nonfiction), W.G. Sebald
2. What Our Speech Disrupts (nonfiction), Katharine Haake
3. Purity (fiction), by Jonathan Franzen
1. Useful Information for the Soon-to-be Beheaded (poetry), by Shivani Mehta
2. Some Versions of the Ice (essays), by Adam Tipps Weinstein
3. The Arson People (fiction), by Katie Jean Shinkle
1. Letters to a Stranger (poetry), by Thomas James
2. Life (poetry), by Elizabeth Arnold
3. Sun Under Wood (poetry), by Robert Hass
1. Vacation (fiction), by Deb Olin Unferth
2. Beauty is a Wound (fiction), by Eka Kurniawan
3. Margaret the First: A Novel (fiction), by Danielle Dutton
1. The FifthWave (YA fiction), by Rick Yancey
2. The TurnerHouse (fiction), by Angela Flournoy
3. The SecretChord (fiction), by Geraldine Brooks
After a few months of reading submissions and working to shape them into a complete volume, we have our final list of contributors for issue 2 of Cherry Tree!
Sara Biggs Chaney
Jennifer S. Cheng
Rebecca Morgan Frank
Sally Rosen Kindred
Laura Madeline Wiseman
Kelly Grey Carlisle
Jennifer S. Cheng
Thank you to our fantastic student screeners: Nick Anstett, Grace Arenas, Julie Armstrong, Maria Comé, Reilly D. Cox, Kendall Davis, Jess Fitzpatrick, Aileen Gray, Dylan Hogan, Cara Koontz, Emily Lasdin, and Kim Uslin. Thank you as well to our fabulous senior readers in both poetry: Emma Sovich and Alex Vidiani; and fiction: Owen Bailey and Sarah Blackman. And a huge round of applause for our Poetry and Creative Nonfiction Editor James Allen Hall and our Fiction Editor Kate Kostelnik. Issue 2 is only possible because all of the volunteer work that you all do for Cherry Tree.
The issue is now being laid out by our Production Intern (who also served as a fiction & nonfiction screener) Nick Anstett. Proofs will be sent out to all contributors early in the new year. Issue 2 is scheduled for release on February 15, 2016. So if you do not have a current subscription, now is the perfect time to remedy that! Buy a subscription for yourself or as a holiday gift for a dear friend. Just subscribe! And you can do that here.
Though we are knee-deep in submissions for issue 2, we have taken a brief break from reading new work to decide which six pieces from issue 1 to nominate for 2016 Pushcart Prizes. The nomination period runs each year from October 1 through December 1.
And our Cherry Tree inaugural issue nominations for the 2016 Pushcart Prizes are:
- “Dead American Christmas Ghazal,” by Charlie Clark
- “The Exotics,” by Kate Gaskin
- “[That],” by Leslie Harrison
- “Stingray Touch Pool,” by Tanya Muzumdar
- “At the Sperm Bank,” by Bruce Snider
- “On Loving Others,” by Yerra Sugarman
Good luck to all of our nominees! We are so glad you chose Cherry Tree as a home for your fantastic work.
Poems from Cherry Tree’s inaugural issue have been featured on the free daily poetry site, Verse Daily. Huzzah!
Monday, August 31, 2015 on Verse Daily:
Tuesday, September 1, 2015 on Verse Daily:
Friday, September 4, 2015 on Verse Daily:
Tuesday, September 8, 2015 on Verse Daily:
We’re currently midway through our reading period for issue 2. If you haven’t yet, please send us your best poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction before October 15! Go to our Submittable page for guidelines and to submit.
The editorial staff of Cherry Tree share the top book titles on their summer reading lists for 2015, before they all get back to reading submissions for issue 2 in August.
1. Made in Detroit (poetry), by Marge Piercy
2. Shells (poetry), by Craig Arnold
3. The Scent of Desire (nonfiction), by Rachel Herz
1. Hausfrau (fiction), by Jill Alexander Essbaum
2. She Has a Name (poetry), by Kamilah Aisha Moon
3. Bone Map (poetry), by Sara Eliza Johnson
James Allen Hall
1. The Argonauts (nonfiction/autotheory), by Maggie Nelson
2. How To Be Drawn (poetry), by Terrance Hayes
3. Appetite (poetry), by Aaron Smith
1. The Goldfinch (fiction), by Donna Tartt
2. Creative Writing Pedagogies for the Twenty-First Century (nonfiction/scholarship), edited by Alexandra Peary & Tom C. Hunley
3. Butch Geography (poetry), by Stacey Waite
1. Invisible Man (fiction), by Ralph Ellison
2. The Color of Magic (fiction), by Terry Pratchett
3. The Planets (nonfiction), by Dava Sobel
1. Mr. West (poetry), by Sarah Blake
2. The Bone and the Body (poetry), by Laura Kochman
3. It Had Been Planned and There Were Guides (fiction), by Jessica Lee Richardson
1. Now That My Father Lies Down Beside Me (poetry), by Stanley Plumly
2. Two Men Fighting with a Knife (poetry), by John Poch
3. Lodgings, Selected Poems (poetry/translation), by Andrzej Sosnowski (translated by Benjamin Paloff)
The Stump is a new feature of the Cherry Tree website, where you can listen to audio recordings of contributors reading their work aloud.
Earlier this spring, we decided to ask our inaugural issue contributors to record themselves reading their pieces from the issue for us to post on the Cherry Tree website. Since we are a print-only publication, our editor thought that this would be a wonderful way to share free samples of the issue and for readers to experience that work in a different light. You get to hear the writer’s voice. You get to hear how the writer intended the work to be read. You get feel closer to the writer whose work you admire.
The Stump is a platform where our fantastic contributors can stand to read their work to a wider web audience. Right now, our Stump line-up is Juliana Gray, Laura Madeline Wiseman, Matthew Lippman, and Pamela Hart. We will add even more recordings in the months to come. Maybe, if you are intrigued enough by the pieces you hear, you will even decide to subscribe to Cherry Tree.
So grab a seat by the stump. Dig your toes into the warm grass. Close your eyes. Listen up.
Editor Jehanne Dubrow interviews Jeannine Hall Gailey, a contributor to the inaugural issue of Cherry Tree. In her latest poetry collection, The Robot Scientist’s Daughter (Mayapple Press, 2015), Jeannine Hall Gailey examines the impact of nuclear research on the American landscape, family history, and the self. The book makes science intimate and personal, close as a father, the history of the atom a frightening fairy tale told to a little girl at bedtime.
1. Your poetry collection begins with a beautiful essay about overlapping themes in The Robot Scientist’s Daughter: the Tennessee countryside, your father’s work as a scientist and professor, and the potential risks of nuclear research. Was this essay part of the original draft of your manuscript? Or, did you decide—in collaborating with your editor at Mayapple Press—that the book needed this piece of prose?
JHG: The essay was written after the manuscript was ready for publication, actually. I had read a few author’s notes to books that I’d been reading, and although I’d included footnotes in previous books, I’d never included an author’s note. I thought the subject matter was important enough that I should probably explain some things in prose at the beginning of the book – things like, a little history about Oak Ridge, a little about nuclear pollution, and some of the details of my childhood, that kind of thing.
2. With poems like “Cesium Burns Blue,” “Iodine-131,” and “‘Now I Am Become Death’” you merge science and lyricism. What strategies do you use for incorporating scientific language (not to mention actual scientific facts) in your poems, while preserving their musicality and narrative compression?
JHG: I’ve been balancing scientific language with imagery and more consciously lyrical/musical language since my very first poetry workshop in my MA workshop in my early twenties, when I brought in a poem to workshop that included words like “sentry enzymes.” The large Latinate words that accompany any science vocabulary are not, themselves, easy to read or easy to fit effortlessly into poetry, so it takes some conscious kajiggering to balance the scientific terminology – which I didn’t want to sacrifice – with poetic devices like alliteration, syllabics, and internal rhyme.
3. The Robot Scientist’s Daughter also explores the intersection of the natural world and the high-gloss, metallic realm of the laboratory. You give us foxfire and Geiger counters, mountainsides and test tubes. How do you see these two landscapes enacted in your poems? Why show us both?
JHG: Well, the fun/ominous part of Oak Ridge National Laboratories is that it’s an incredibly sophisticated nuclear research center – which you might not even notice if you drove past it, because of the dense woods, agricultural landscape surrounding it, etc. My childhood was literally one of gathering flowers in the yard and then coming in and “helping” my Dad with the robot arm in the basement, or trying out a few lines of code. In college for my B.S. I studied Biology, and I was fascinated then too with the juxtaposition of the beautiful and the horrifying, like a jar of tiny fetal pigs sitting out, or the strange, almost-but-not-quite-baking-like smells of cinnamaldehyde we made in the lab.
4. Woven throughout your collection is a series of poems titled “The Robot Scientist’s Daughter,” each one containing different bracketed information, such “[medical wonder],” “[experiments in sleep deprivation],” and “[ghost in the machine].” This series is clearly the anchor of the collection. Did you write these poems first and then build the rest of book around them? And how did you find the third-person voice of these poems, which seems a mixture of autobiography and mythology?
JHG: Some of the poems in this book were written years before the “Robot Scientist’s Daughter” poems, and the “Robot Scientist’s Daughter” poems really were just a trio of poems for a long time, that I didn’t think about making into a larger series. So the poems sort of grew together organically. When I first put the collection together, too, I saw that I would need some poems that filled in the gaps of the history of Oak Ridge, the descriptions of Knoxville and its environs, a little about my own autobiography – those poems probably came in the latest.
As far as the voice – well, if you’ve read my other three books, you know the mode I’m most comfortable writing in and have the most fun with is persona poetry, so I kind of tried to create a persona that was sort of me but not quite me, which allowed me to mix personal details with science fiction, fantasy, mythology, history, etc. I also think those poems were probably still, like my second book, She Returns to the Floating World, highly influenced by Japanese anime, particularly the movies of Hayao Miyazaki. That guy really is one of my continuing muses!
5. Ekphrasis plays an important role in this collection. There are poems inspired by movies and photography (there’s also a great poem that engages with W.H. Auden’s “Musée des Beaux Arts”). How does ekphrasis serve you when you’re writing a book-length series of poems? Why turn to other art forms or other artists?
JHG: Yes, I’d say almost all my books have some elements of ekphrastic poetry in them – simply because many times I’m inspired by “things” – comics, anime, scientific news articles, visual art, a song, a short story – and the poems definitely reflect that. External stimuli often “knock” poems out of me. I do think it’s important that poetry is in conversation with other art forms and with “real world” objects that people can relate easily to – say, television shows or comic books. Sometimes people think of poetry as so rarified, difficult to access – but those same people can walk up to a visual art piece or listen to music and immediately access it. They don’t think of those art forms as “rarified.” I want my poems to have that sense of immediacy, and also have some sense of involvement in the world. As a poet, I want people to know I’m not sitting in a garden with a quill pen listening for a muse or something; I’m doing the same things they are – dealing with traffic, listening to the news, trying to re-write last night’s episode of The Vampire Diaries so it makes more sense…
Buy Jeannine’s book here.
Visit Jeannine website here.
Cherry Tree and the Literary House Press are counting down to the 2015 AWP Conference & Bookfair, which this year will be held in Minneapolis, Minnesota from April 8-11. We will be at the Rose O’Neill Literary House table in the Bookfair: table 1724.
Last year at this time, we were still in the planning stages for our brand-new national literary journal Cherry Tree. We brought flyers with us to the 2014 Conference in Seattle that we handed out at the Rose O’Neill Literary House table in the Bookfair, detailing our mission statement and when we would open for our first round of general submissions. Cherry Tree was just an idea then, with no tangible presence.
But this year will be a big one for us at the AWP Conference. This year Cherry Tree is a real thing. This year we have shelves full of gorgeous copies of our Inaugural Issue. This year we have a pretty and practical Cherry Tree tote bag for accessorizing swag. And this is a hefty tote bag. Planning to buy 100 pounds of books during the Bookfair? You can fit 38 copies of Cherry Tree’s inaugural issue in this beautiful canvas tote (seriously, I just checked).
At table 1724 in the AWP Bookfair in the Minneapolis Convention Center, we will have the following special Conference-only offers:
- Special AWP Offer: $10 ea. for copies of the inaugural issue (normally $14 one-year subscription price)
- Buy a two-year subscription, get a free tote bag! Two-year subscriptions are only $25, and include the inaugural issue & our upcoming 2016 issue. Tote bags will also be sold individually at $12 ea.
But the cherry on top of this year’s Conference will be the official Cherry Tree Launch Party we are hosting on Thursday, April 9 at 7:00PM at the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis, 1300 Nicollet Mall. We will be celebrating the release of the inaugural issue of our brand-new literary journal in style with readings by contributors Juliana Gray, Dore Kiesselbach, Bruce Snider, and Laura Madeline Wiseman! There will also be a generous spread of tasty refreshments (including an open bar), a sale & signing of the issue, and good literary conversation. We would like to invite all of you to join us for this very special event, if you can make it! If you can, please RSVP to me at email@example.com.
We are gearing up for an incredible AWP Conference in Minneapolis. Please come out to see us and say hello!
Literary House Press Intern, Nicolas Anstett, takes an analytical look at the inaugural issue of Cherry Tree: A National Literary Journal @ Washington College. The issue will be released on February 15, 2015.
George Washington stares blankly back at you through the cover of the inaugural issue of Cherry Tree. Trapped within the confines of a crinkled one-dollar bill, Washington sits captured in American iconography. It is hard to think of a more fitting cover for Cherry Tree’s first foray into the national literary landscape. It simultaneously captures the many elements that make this magazine and inaugural issue so unique: a commitment to history, creation and evolution of the American myth, the mundane and personal, but also the lyrically beautiful. Through the works of an eclectic grouping of writers Cherry Tree has created something personal, but also carries with it the weight of truth and myth.
Cherry Tree’s inaugural issue almost reads like a three act play, separating itself into interconnected but thematically different acts. It begins with a celebration of past and text. Leslie Harrison, Christine Stewart-Nuñez, and Moira Egan structure lyric ekphrastic poems engaged with the writings of Emily Dickinson and a watercolor painting by Madeline Ritz, illuminated manuscripts, and the paintings of Suzanne Valadon. Similarly, Anna Journey constructs her lyric nonfiction essay “On the Back of a Flying Fish, Dear Sister” as an examination of found text, in this case a postcard shared between two women. Like the dollar it adorns on its cover, Cherry Tree begins with an exchange of artifacts that allow for a human examination of the past and the emotions hidden in words and image.
From here, Cherry Tree transitions into its second act: a formation of the American myth through pop culture and contemporary pathos. It slices its way into the proceedings with Gabrielle Hovendon’s unnerving piece of magical realist fiction, “When We Were Dissected.” Here Phoebe Reeves, Laura Madeline Wiseman, Matthew Lippman, and Bruce Snider intersect ruminations on gender, cultural protest, workplace boredom, and parenthood with images of fast food chains, digitally-rendered monsters, Nicholas Sparks, and sperm banks. John Vanderslice’s work of fiction “Something for Dinner” surrounds race, religion, class, and post-colonialism in a disarming local tourist trap that helps further Cherry Tree’s regional identity. It’s a creation of the contemporary American myth that adds the smudged fingerprints and torn edges to the green paper cover.
Through Betty Jo Buro’s nonfiction essay concerning pregnancy and the tribulations of motherhood “The Road from Emmaus,” the texts transition into the issue’s final act. Here the lyricism of the early works combines with the grit and immediacy of its second act to create a blend of personal but stylistically musical works of nonfiction and poetry. Julie Marie Wade examines the relationship between her mother and her visual impairment in “Lazy Eye.” Jericho Brown’s “Atlantis” views his experience with gender politics through the lens of New Orleans. In the end, Charlie Clark’s “Dead American Christmas Ghazal” closes us out, proclaiming, “It is difficult to picture the dead as nothing / Even this long after they are gone.”
Cherry Tree is a socially and lyrically aware furthering of the American myth and follows suit on its mission statement of finding truth. Like currency, it passes its baton through dozens of writers of varying sex, gender, race, class, and literary schooling. The result is something that impresses through craft, emotion, and humanity.
Want to read the issue for yourself? Subscribe here!
Nicolas Anstett is the 2015 Literary House Press Intern at the Rose O’Neill Literary House. He will be joining the Cherry Tree staff as a student screener for its second issue, beginning in August 2015.
After a lot of hard work, our very first issue is headed to print. Get a sneak peek at the cover and specially selected excerpts from the issue!
We have finally completed all layout, design, and editing work for the inaugural issue of Cherry Tree: A National Literary Journal @ Washington College. After weeks of painstaking proofreading, we think the text is practically perfect (in every way, as Mary Poppins would say). And like Mary Poppins, the simple but stunning cover we’re unveiling today says a lot with such a very little. It is an image we all know well, but we hope that altering it slightly and making it larger than life on the front of this issue makes it new again and worth paying attention to. George will be making appearances throughout the issues to come as well, but with a difference. We do love him so.
And you can now read a small sampling of select poems by Leslie Harrison, Bruce Snider, and Jericho Brown; a fiction excerpt from Stephanie Dickinson’s short story; and a brief creative nonfiction essay by Anna Journey over at our “Work We Love” page under the Submissions tab! Get a taste for the upcoming issue and then order a subscription to read the entire fantastic journal. Subscription prices are still $14 for a year (one issue) and $25 for two years (two issues). The final printed beauty will be available beginning February 15!
The editorial staff of Cherry Tree share the top book titles on their Christmas/Chanukah/non-denominational-winter-solstice-celebration wishlists for 2014. This is what we’re hoping to snuggle up with during the inevitable snow days to come.
1. The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm: The Complete First Edition (fiction), edited by Jack Zipes
2. The Best American Poetry 2014 (poetry), edited by Terrance Hayes
3. Madness, Rack, and Honey: Collected Lectures (nonfiction), by Mary Ruefle
1. The Sasquatch Hunters Almanac (fiction), by Sharma Shields
2. I Hope I Join the Band: Narrative, Affiliation, and Antiracist Rhetoric (nonfiction), by Frankie Condon
3. A Wedding in Haiti (fiction), by Julia Alvarez
James Allen Hall
1. Citizen: An American Lyric (poetry), by Claudia Rankine
2. White Teeth (fiction), Zadie Smith
3. Prelude to Bruise (poetry), by Saeed Jones
1. The Accidental Universe: The World You Thought You Knew (nonfiction), by Alan Lightman
2. Shirley (fiction), by Susan Scarf Merrell
3. Hansel & Gretel (fiction), by Neil Gaiman & Lorenzo Mattotti
1. There Once Lived a Mother Who Loved Her Children Until They Moved Back In (fiction), by Ludmilla Petrushevskaya
2. The Bone Clocks (fiction), by David Mitchell
3. The Biographer’s Tale (fiction), by A.S. Byatt
1. The Next American Essay (nonfiction), edited by John D’Agata
2. Blood Dazzler (poetry), by Patricia Smith
3. Sleeping with the Dictionary (poetry), Harryette Mullen
1. I built a boat with all the towels in your closet (and will let you drown) (poetry), by Leia Penina Wilson
2. This Boring Apocalypse (fiction), by Brandi Wells
3. Citizen: An American Lyric (poetry), by Claudia Rankine
(Jehanne Dubrow is currently buried under final-paper-grading and will send her list soon!)
The votes are in! As of this morning, we have now responded to all submissions. Our final list of contributors for the inaugural issue of Cherry Tree is a whopping 33 names long.
Contributors of Fiction:
Contributors of Nonfiction:
Betty Jo Buro
Julie Marie Wade
Contributors of Poetry:
Jeannine Hall Gailey
Thomas Alan Holmes
Laura Madeline Wiseman
We are extremely excited to be bringing you new work from all of the above writers. We are so confident in these pieces and the ways in which they work together.
The inaugural issue of Cherry Tree will be released on February 15, 2015. Subscribe today by e-mailing Owen Bailey at firstname.lastname@example.org. Subscriptions are $14 for one year and $25 for two years (these prices include shipping).
Cherry Tree closed for general submissions for Issue 1 at midnight on October 15. Here is what you sent us!
Total number of submissions: 544
Poetry submissions: 325
Fiction submissions: 162
Nonfiction submissions: 57
Wow! Thank you all so much for trusting us with your very best work in poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. We have found so many wonderful poems, stories, and essays for inclusion in Issue 1.
And we still have a few more submissions to sift through before closing the books on this reading period. We plan to respond to all in-progress submissions in the next couple of weeks. There are still a few slots left to be filled. So if you’re waiting on a response from us, keep your fingers crossed!
Stay tuned for the official list of contributors for Issue 1 (coming soon). And if you’re interested in buying a subscription, check out your options here.
Special Announcement from the Editors
Cherry Tree has now CLOSED for FICTION SUBMISSIONS for the current reading period! We have received so many amazing pieces and have accepted (nearly) all the fiction we can fit for this issue. We WILL continue to read & consider all pieces already submitted to us for this category.
We hope the rest of you will send us your best fiction pieces during our next reading period, which opens August 15, 2015. Thank you so much!
Because we still make time for our fun reading, even when there is no time. We’re serious multitaskers here at Cherry Tree.
1. Copia (poetry), by Erika Meitner
2. Ultimatum from Paradise (poetry), by Jacqueline Osherow
3. The current issues of Rattle, West Branch, and New England Review
1. Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers (nonfiction), by Mary Roach
2. If the Tabloids Are True, What Are You? (poetry), by Matthea Harvey
3. How a Mother Weaned her Girl from Fairy Tales (fiction), Kate Bernheimer
1. An Arsonist’s Guide to Writers’ Homes in New England (fiction), by Brock Clarke
2. The New Yorker Stories (fiction), Ann Beattie
3. The Ocean at the End of the Lane (fiction), by Neil Gaiman
James Allen Hall
1. White Girls (nonfiction), by Hilton Als
2. Citizen (poetry), by Claudia Rankine
3. Still Life with Oysters and Lemon (nonfiction), by Mark Doty
1. A Clash of Kings (fiction), by George R. R. Martin
2. Monsters: A Collection of Literary Sightings (fiction), edited by Brian Baldi
3. This is Your Country on Drugs (nonfiction), by Ryan Grim
1. Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit (fiction), by Jeanette Winterson
2. The Bloody Chamber (fiction), by Angela Carter
3. Duplex (fiction), by Kathryn Davis
1. The Book of Goodbyes (poetry), by Jillian Weise
2. Striking Surface (poetry), by Jason Schneiderman
3. The Local World (poetry), by Mira Rosenthal
1. Saturn (fiction), by Simon Jacobs
2. Raising Steam (fiction), by Terry Pratchett
3. Red Doc> (poetry), by Anne Carson
Meet our student screeners for the inaugural issue!
Although all has seemed quiet here at Cherry Tree, we’ve been hard at work building all the invisible architecture that gets a literary journal standing upright and ready to publish the best new creative writing out there. Let me get you up to date.
- The Library of Congress has granted us our official ISSN! We are 2372-9791.
- We are now a proud member of the Council of Literary Magazines & Presses.
- A NewPages Classified Ad will be announcing our inaugural call for submissions. After we print our first issue in February, we can be considered for a NewPages Literary Magazine listing.
- We have a market listing on that fabulous database, Duotrope.
- We have a Facebook page! And a Twitter profile!
- We’ve beefed up our roster of contributing editors with wonderful Washington College writing alumni: Roy Kesey, Erin Murphy, Peter Turchi, Laura Maylene Walter.
- We’ve got a cover design for issue one already in production, and are tinkering with the journal layout and interior design (so exciting!!).
And we’ve hired our line-up of Literary Editing & Publishing students as our first-tier screeners! These are the ladies and gents who will have the first look at your amazing submissions. Here’s a little more about them:
Grace Arenas, poetry screener
Class of 2014
Grace graduated from Washington College this past May and completed the Literary Editing & Publishing course in spring 2014. She attended the 2014 AWP Conference in Seattle as part of the Rose O’Neill Literary House team and was a finalist for this year’s Sophie Kerr Prize.
Reilly D. Cox, poetry screener
Class of 2016
Reilly is a junior at Washington College and completed the Literary Editing & Publishing course in spring 2014. He won the 2013 Jude & Miriam Pfister Poetry Prize through the Academy of American Poets. He was also awarded an Honorable Mention for the 2014 William W. Warner Prize for Creative Writing on Nature & the Environment.
Samantha Gross, poetry screener
Class of 2014
Samantha graduated from Washington College this past May and completed the Literary Editing & Publishing course in spring 2014. She also served as Literary House Press Intern this past spring, during which she assisted greatly in the editing & publishing of The Book of Scented Things: 100 Contemporary Poems about Perfume.
Jessica Fitzpatrick, fiction screener
Class of 2014
Jessica graduated from Washington College this past May and completed the Literary Editing & Publishing course in spring 2014.
Aileen Gray, fiction screener
Class of 2014
Aileen graduated from Washington College this past May and completed the Literary Editing & Publishing course in spring 2014. She has served in two internships at the Rose O’Neill Literary House: the Pegasus Media Internship in electronic publishing & the Literary House Summer Internship in arts administration. For the latter, she organized & executed her own event at the Lit House: “Literary Publishing from the Inside Out: How to Publish Your Work & the Work of Others,” with poet, editor, and professor Mary Biddinger. She also attended the 2013 AWP Conference in Boston & the 2013 West Chester University Poetry Conference as part of the Rose O’Neill Literary House team.
Claire Hansen, fiction screener
Class of 2014
Claire graduated from Washington College this past May and completed the Literary Editing & Publishing course in spring 2014.
Ariel Jicha, poetry screener
Class of 2015
Ariel is a senior at Washington College and completed the Literary Editing & Publishing course in spring 2014. She has served in two internships at the Rose O’Neill Literary House: the Literary House Press Internship in print publishing & the Pegasus Media Internship in electronic publishing. For the former, she designed The Sophie Kerr Prize Anthology: 2011 & 2012. She also attended the 2014 West Chester University Poetry Conference as part of the Rose O’Neill Literary House team.
Emily Lasdin, fiction screener
Class of 2015
Emily is a senior at Washington College and completed the Literary Editing & Publishing course in spring 2014.
Carissa Marcelle, poetry screener
Class of 2014
Carissa graduated from Washington College this past May and completed the Literary Editing & Publishing course in spring 2014.
Kimberly Uslin, poetry screener
Class of 2014
Kim graduated from Washington College this past May and completed the Literary Editing & Publishing course in spring 2014. She was a finalist for this year’s Sophie Kerr Prize and attended the 2014 West Chester University Poetry Conference as part of the Rose O’Neill Literary House team.
Alexander Vidiani, poetry screener
Class of 2015
Alex is a senior at Washington College and completed the Literary Editing & Publishing course in spring 2014. He attended the 2014 West Chester University Poetry Conference as part of the Rose O’Neill Literary House team.
Cherry Tree opens for general submissions on August 15, 2014!
A few words from managing editor, Lindsay Lusby.
On August 15, 2014, our brand-new literary journal Cherry Tree will open for general submissions of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction! In the meantime, we’ve been working our butts off to get all of the infrastructure in place, so that we are able to produce one of the most beautiful inaugural issues you have ever seen. Speaking of which, here’s the gorgeous logo that Washington College’s Director of Visual Arts in the Office of College Relations, James Arnold, created for us:
Our first annual issue will be released on February 15, 2015 and we will be debuting it in all its printed glory at the 2015 AWP Conference in Minneapolis.