Tuesday, September 17, 2019

From the Editor: 2019 Issue

Try not to resist the changes that come your way. Instead let life live through you. And do not worry that your life is turning upside down. How do you know the side you are used to is better than the one to come?
The worldwide perspective of this year's Bacopa Literary Review arises from a great diversity of authors' ages, backgrounds, gender identifications, and countries of origin--from Australia, Canada, China, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Nigeria, Tunisia, U.K., and from coast to coast in the U.S. As a result, it's not surprising to find reference to displacement and immigration across genres.

In the current editorial team's four annual issues, each year's world events have been reflected in submissions, from 2016's disorientation and anxiety, to 2017's concerns about the environment and human suffering, then to 2018's accusations of a culture ignorant of reverence where so much is wrong, culminating in 2019's works that bemoan universal wrongs.

Rumi's Rules of Love are introduced in Batool Alzubi's "Illegally Alive," whose protagonist thinks, These quotes are for people with a bearable amount of sadness... my life wasn't only turning upside down, my life was falling out of my hands.  Yet, the mother, daughter, and son in this story do bear the sadness of leaving their Syrian town, and a treacherous first crossing in their exodus to Europe.

An immigrant boy's fate is more tragic in CB Follett's "Photograph of a Very Young Boy," as there were too many waves and each too big... this was never the escape he was promised.

In "Everything About Today is Violet," Ojo Taiye tallies the costs of geographic borders, lamenting that yesterday is one place to bury two million undocumented displaced children.

Robbie Curry refers to old borders between countries as "Ghost Fences," where specters whisper of... electric deaths.

In "A Simple Sea Song for my Father," Jennifer Grant deepens our view of the sea as a gulf of unfinished stories. This is one of several works about lost fathers and mothers, most in grief, some in relief. B.W. Jackson's Jacob has cared for his invalid father since his mother's death, eyes opening to the beauty and character of the family home as he has gradually restored it. River Kozhar's cats have provided lifesaving company, from childhood to adulthood, in the face of her parents' gaslighting. Edward M. Cohen's Shiva after the mother's funeral was sparsely attended because she had done so much complaining in her final years that most of her friends had drifted away.

Threaded throughout this issue you'll find a variety of Haiku, whose very nature emphasizes the Yin-Yang balance of existence: nothing is all bad or all good; instead, these apparently opposite qualities are intertwined.
Tall yellow grasses
sewn by barbed wire. Then mule deers'
leaps rip the stitches (Carolyne Wright, p. 7)

sparrowhawk fence
an ending to the summer
as leaves start to stutter (Alan Summers, p. 39)

old    worn    out of touch
past prime    show up anyway
arrive like morning  (Jani Sherrard, p. 82)
There is also much joy in these pages, from "A Soundtrack for Early Motherhood," through "Cool Party Mix" and "Kiss Rehearsal," to a "Middle-Age Cartwheel." Even the loss of a parent can be held dear, as in "My Father's Irises" by Sayuri Ayers: ...a bulb / in my hand, its roots / clinging to my fingers. And Raphael Kosek reminds us the saints still come among us, When... the cry of the hawk punctuates / our sleeping and our waking, / calling us to all that is unnamed / but keener than a slim blade / piercing the only body we know.

by Bacopa Literary Review Senior Editor Mary Bast

Friday, September 13, 2019

Tenth Anniversary Celebration

by Senior Editor Mary Bast

With our 2019 issue, Bacopa Literary Review rejoices in ten years of publication. To celebrate, below are our First and Second Place prize winners from each year (follow links for more about the authors and/or the works):

Fiction (Editor Gen Aris): First Place Rick Sapp, "What the Old Man Knew About Time;" Second Place Jordanna Faye Brown, "Guardamar"
Creative Nonfiction (Editor Mary Bast): First Place Elaine Jordan, "Swimming with Joan Baez;" Second Place Charles Patrick Norman, "Walking Around the World for Life"
Poetry (Editor David Maas): First Place Angela Masterson Jones, "At the Crossing;" Second Place Valerie Ann Asay, "Arise"

Fiction (Editor Gen Aris): First Place JoeAnn Hart, "Open House;" Second Place Mandy Manning, "Growth"
Creative Nonfiction (Editor Mary Bast): First Place Amanda Skelton, "Warding Off the Monkey;" Second Place Carolyne Wright, "Los Olvidados:The Forgotten Ones"
Poetry (Editor Eldon Turner): First Place Colleen Runyan, "me or the tea;" Second Place Erika Brumett, "Fight Overheard in Sign Language"

Fiction (Editor Gen Aris): First Place Cecile Barlier, "Legionnaire;" Second Place Stephanie Seguin, "Candy Andy"
Short Fiction (Editor Kaye Linden): First Place Grier Jewell, "Girl in the Gibbous Moon;" Second Place Margaret F. Chen, "The Yellow Curtain, The Red Floor"
Creative Nonfiction (Editor Dorothy Staley): First Place Jeremiah O'Hagan, "The Hymnal;" Second Place Colleen O'Neil, "Transplant"

Poetry (Editor Eldon Turner): First Place Sb Sowbel, "Room 5, Guest 1: Being Human, American Style;" Second Place Nancy Hastie, "Barefoot days fall firefly nights"

Fiction (Editor Gen Aris): First Place JL Schneider,  "Dick and Jane Meet Again;" Second Place Shayne Laughter, "The Valentine"
Short Fiction (Editor Gen Aris): First Place Stephanie Barbe Hammer, "Red"
Creative Nonfiction (Editor Dorothy Staley): First Place Gina Warren, "A Sparrow;" Second Place Samantha Claire Updegrave, "Canoe"
Poetry (Editor Eldon Turner): First Place Carolyne Wright, "Sestina: Into Shadow;" Second Place Karen Majorowicz, "(sens of plas)"

Fiction (Editor Gen Aris): First Place Charlotte M. Porter, "Pangs;" Second Place Jim Fairhall, "The Night Baker on Firebase Arsenal"
Creative Nonfiction (Editor Dorothy Staley): First Place Melani "Mele" Martinez, "Burned;" Second Place JL Schneider, "Man in a Bag"
Poetry (Editor E.R. Turner): First Place Julia Wagner, "Coming to Center;" Second Place Richard King Perkins II, "Distillery of the Sun"

Fiction (Editor Shellie Zacharia): First Place Ellen Perry, "Milk--Bread--Soft Drinks;" Second Place Debra A. Daniel, "Assisted Living Home"
Creative Nonfiction (Editor Dorothy Staley): First Place Kaye Linden, "The Linear and Circular One Sentence of Tattoo Designs;" Second Place Michael Kite, "Memories of a Honeymoon and Milk Carton"
Poetry (Editor Gen Aris): First Place Diane Stone, "Local Weather;" Second Place Justin Hunt, "Autumn, Huntington Beach"

Fiction (Editor U.R. Bowie): First Place Afia Atakora, "The Crooked Man;" Runner-Up Joseph Saling, "Eva"
Creative Nonfiction (Editor Rick Sapp): First Place Jessica Conoley, "I Am Descended from Giants;" Runner-Up Debra Burks Hori, "A Clothesline Meditation"
Poetry (Editor Kaye Linden): First Place Carolyne Wright, "Sestina: That mouth...;" Runner-Up Leslie Anne Mcilroy, "Big Bang"

Fiction (Editor U.R. Bowie): Chad W. Lutz, "Ignis Fatuus, and More, at Eleven"
Flash Story (Editor Kaye Linden): Charlotte M. Porter, "Terminal Trance"
Creative Nonfiction (Editor Susie H. Baxter): Raphael Kosek, "Caregiver's Journal: How to Survive, or Not"
Poetry (Editor J.N. Fishhawk): Claire Scott, "A Mote of Dust"

Short Story (Editor Kaye Linden): Dean Gessie, "Nobody Knows How Much You Love Him"
Creative Nonfiction (Editor Susie H. Baxter): Roberta Marstellar, "I Said No"
Prose Poetry (Editor Kaye Linden): Cynthia A. Roby, "U-Turn"
Poetry (Editor J.N. Fishhawk): Patrick Synan, "Outside the Clinic"

Fiction (Editor Mary Bast): Avra Margariti,"The Calligrapher"
Creative Nonfiction (Editor Susie H. Baxter): Hugh E. Suggs, "From One Field to Another"
Mixed Genre (Editor Kaye Linden): Jeff Streeby, "A Brindle Bull, After Kuòān Shīyuǎn"
Haiku (Editor Kaye Linden): Michael Dylan Welch, "Shēngxiào / 生肖"
Poetry (Editor J.N. Fishhawk): Raphael Kosek, "When the saints come among us

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Bacopa Literary Review 2019's Bugle Call: Honks, Moans, Trills, and Purrs

Our Haiku & Mixed Genre Editor Kaye Linden wrote about haiku when we were preparing for submissions in the early spring, inviting this ancient form as one of our genres for the first time in our ten years of publication.

We didn't know then the degree to which the haiku in this issue would provide a yin balance to a yang theme, across genres, of displacement and immigration.

Thus it seems propitious that we are also graced with the photographic art of Michael Allard's Sandhill Cranes for our 2019 cover, cranes often the subject of traditional haiku.

Please take a moment to listen to the many sounds of cranes, announcing their presence with loud, rattling bugle calls. Their repertoire includes honks, moans, hisses, snoring, and--from the chicks--trills and purrs.

It's been said that when cranes appear, there is something in our lives we need to pay attention to. Our editorial staff brings your attention to Bacopa Literary Review 2019, now available in print and soon to be offered in digital form.

Mary Bast, Senior Editor/Fiction Editor 
James Singer III, Associate Editor
Susie H. Baxter, Creative Nonfiction Editor
J.N. Fishhawk, Poetry Editor
Kaye Linden, Mixed Genre Editor/Haiku Editor