Posts Tagged 'Rosebud'

Rosebud 60

issue60Rosebud 60 (Fall/Winter 2015) is a beauty. There’s the joyous cover art by featured artist Toni Pawlowsky. Inside, for starters, you’ll find all five winning essays in Rosebud’s eighth biennial X. J. Kennedy Award for Nonfiction (which I had the pleasure of co-judging with editor Rod Clark): Grand Prize winner Chris Ellery (“A Boy of Bethany”), and runners-up Jennifer Arin (“Adrián de Sevilla”), Katherine Baker (“No Gas, No Soap in Cuba”), Joan Frank (“The Where of It”), and Brett Alan Sanders (“Attractions of Barbarity, or Dreaming a Complete Argentina”). The winning essays this year are international in scope with timely and thought-provoking visits to Jerusalem, Paris, Havana, and Buenos Aires.

There’s much more goodness to unpack in Rosebud 60, from poetry by Thomas Merton, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and Thich Nhat Hanh, to the “medical science fiction” of Dr. Tatsuaki Ishiguro (“The Hope Shore Sea Squirt”). Even a graphic short story (“What Is” by Mort Castle) illustrated by Weshoyot Alvitre. And we’re still only scratching the surface. Regular features include top-of-their-game work from Rod Clark, P. S. Mueller, and Rick Geary. Guest art director Kathy Sherwood (filling in for Parnell Nelson, sidelined with health concerns, but returning for Rosebud 61) has given the magazine a sleek presentation.

African-American Classics

W.E.B. Du Bois, Zora Neale Hurston, and Langston Hughes in illustrated form on the cover of African-American Classics.

Congratulations to editor Tom Pomplun, whose Graphic Classics Vol. 22, African-American Classics, receives a glowing full-page review by critic Rob Thomas in The Capital Times (week of Feb. 15-21). Thomas writes:

The 22 pieces in this terrific collection, all by African-American illustrators, bring to life short stories and poems by America’s earliest African-American writers, some famous, others largely lost to the shifting winds of time and brought back to life here. As a collection of fine writing and illustrating, as well as a window into the mind of the African-American artist of generations ago, the collection is indispensable.

Tom Pomplun was for ten years the graphic designer for Rosebud magazine before launching Graphic Classics. I had the pleasure of reviewing Graphic Classics: Mark Twain (2004) and Graphic Classics: O. Henry (2005) in Cambridge Book Review. (Tom also designed the memorable cover for Walk Awhile in My Autism, published in 2005 by CBR Press and still selling briskly.)

Fisherman’s Beach: The E-Book Cover

Cover design: Dan Parent. Photo: Thomas J. King.

Here’s Dan Parent’s sharp cover design for Fisherman’s Beach, an ebook coming this spring from CBR Press. Originally published by St. Martin’s Press in 1962, the new ebook edition will mark the 50th anniversary of George Vukelich’s potent novel about a struggling Two Rivers, Wisconsin fishing family. The Milwaukee Journal said at the time, “This impressive first novel by George Vukelich has all the turbulence, surge, ebb and, sometimes, serenity of the great body of water which is its setting—Lake Michigan … Every character is as true as life.” The ebook edition features a new Foreword by Doug Moe, columnist for the Wisconsin State Journal and colleague and friend of Vukelich’s. Also included are photos of Two Rivers by photographer Thomas J. King. Watch for excerpts from Fisherman’s Beach forthcoming in Rosebud #52 (March 2012) and Madison Magazine (May 2012).

“Redshift: Greenstreem” on Kindle!

Rod Clark’s Redshift: Greenstreem with illustrations by Spencer Walts is now available in a Kindle edition for $2.99 and includes two bonus stories! The 2011 paperback second-printing is also available for $8.00 from PayPal and Amazon.

Ad design by Parnell Nelson for Rosebud #51

Happy 50th Rosebud!

Rod Clark stopped by this morning with the much anticipated fiftieth issue of Rosebud magazine. Congratulations are in order. Certainly to Mr. Clark and his tireless editorial helmsmanship. To graphic designer Parnell Nelson. To associate publisher John Smelcer. To founder and editor emeritus John Lehman. And to the general excellence—past and present—of the magazine’s contributors and its masthead personalities who have kept Rosebud running and the quality unwavering since the inaugural winter 1993/94 issue. The 50th brings back the artist showcased in the first issue: the wildly original and often disturbing Wisconsin illustrator Dierdre Luzwick. There’s a wealth of new fiction, essays, and poetry. Known names like Ray Bradbury, Elie Wiesel, and Ursula Le Guin combine with new voices. Wonderful, too, to see contemporary Wisconsin poetry represented by work from Sarah Busse, Michael Kriesel, and Wendy Vardaman.

Every Natural Fact: Five Seasons of Open-Air Parenting

Published in June by Duluth-based Holy Cow! Press, Amy Lou Jenkins’s Every Natural Fact: Five Seasons of Open-Air Parenting has a blurb from me on the inside front cover. One of the book’s chapters was a runnerup in Rosebud‘s X. J. Kennedy Award for creative nonfiction in 2007, which I co-judged with editor Rod Clark. Here’s the blurb: “Her vivid imagery mixes a naturalist’s precision with a spiritual seeker’s poetry”—Robert Wake, author and editor of Cambridge Book Review Press and co-judge for the X. J. Kennedy Award for Nonfiction. And here’s my complete write-up on Jenkins’s piece, titled “Close to Home,” from 2007:

In “Close to Home,” writer Amy Jenkins uses the occasion of a Wisconsin nature walk with her 11-year-old son DJ to weave a meditation on the topic of death. “It is July second,” she informs us, “the date of a full moon in the month that Buddhists believe the dead return to visit the living.” Mother and son together catch sight of a majestic buck moving through the forest. (“His coat was caramel with cream trim, and scratched from shoulder to rear as if keyed by an angry hoodlum.”) They discover the remains of a decaying fox carcass. “Everything dies,” DJ remarks. Jenkins struggles to find the proper parental response: “Right here is the place where I’m supposed to have the answers, I thought.” We are deep in the woods now and Jenkins movingly shares with us that her stepfather died from prostate cancer two years previous. She and DJ nursed the old man in his final days. Suddenly the essay deepens as a testament to loss and remembrance. “The entire forest,” Jenkins writes, “is a composition of bits of organic matter that came from life feeding on death.” Her vivid imagery mixes a naturalist’s precision with a spiritual seeker’s poetry. “The woods felt so busy today,” says DJ, “like we were not alone.”

Verse Wisconsin Publishers Lunch

A terrific Saturday afternoon of good food and literary talk with small press publishers at Edenfred arts residency in Madison. The event was sponsored by Verse Wisconsin, a newly launched poetry magazine edited by Wendy Vardaman and Sarah Busse. The magazine is a reboot and redesign of Linda Aschbrenner’s much-admired Free Verse, which flourished for over ten years until Linda decided to pass the torch last year.

Wendy Vardaman and Sarah Busse were kind enough to spend a few minutes talking with Coffee Spew at Edenfred about their co-editorship of Verse Wisconsin:

Thanks is due Edenfred executive director David Wells for preparing a startlingly upscale gourmet lunch. See below for photos of the attendees:

Left to right: Jerry and Paula Anderson (Echoes), B.J. Best (Arbor Vitae), Sarah Busse (Verse Wisconsin), Rod Clark (Rosebud), John Lehman (The Village Poet).

Left to right: Linda Lenzke (Our Lives), Jeri McCormick (Fireweed Press), Ralph Murre (Little Eagle Press), Charles Nevsimal (Centennial Press), Erik Richardson (Signs and Wonders).

Left to right: Wendy Vardaman (Verse Wisconsin), Lester Smith (Popcorn Press), Shoshauna Shy (Poetry Jumps Off the Shelf), F.J. Bergmann (Mobius), Jason A. Smith (Wisconsin People & Ideas).

The Writer’s Cave

cave-cd-single-coverJohn Lehman’s The Writer’s Cave: Why Writers Write What They Do has seen several incarnations over the last few years. First as a two-part essay in Rosebud issues 39 & 40. Then as a two-person theatrical piece presented last year in Madison’s Frederic March Play Circle as part of the Wisconsin Book Festival. This summer Lehman went into a recording studio and produced an audio version of The Writer’s Cave, now available on CD. It’s Lehman’s own voice sharing his homebrew memoir and writer’s handbook, with fascinating forays into film criticism (touching on Orson Welles and Ingmar Bergman) and literary biography (about the great Wisconsin poet Lorine Niedecker).

Here’s an audio sample from The Writer’s Cave:


rosebud45The Summer/Fall 2009 issue of Rosebud should be arriving in bookstores. Also available for purchase online. The featured artist is watercolorist Chris Hartsfield. Dig that crazy, vibrant cover illustration. More of Hartsfield’s work can be found on the back cover and scattered throughout the issue. And you’ll find my short story “Liquidity” on pages 118-127.

Rosebud 44

rosebud44Watch bookstore magazine racks or check online for the Spring 2009 issue of Rosebud. Included are the winning essay and four runners-up for the fifth biennial X.J. Kennedy award for creative nonfiction. ($1,000 first prize, $100 runners-up, plus publication in Rosebud.) I’ve had the honor of co-judging the last three contests with the magazine’s editor, Rod Clark. This year’s winner: Kim Garcia for “Water and What Contains It,” praised as “the luminous reverie of an expectant mother.” And feast your eyes on the vibrant psychedelia of featured Neenah, Wisconsin artist Bruce Bodden (that’s his work on the cover). Don’t miss Rod Clark’s piece on Bodden, “Mad Cows and Electric Trees.”


Recall: A Short Story

Walden West and the Twilight of Transcendentalism

eBook Single .99

Caffeine & Other Stories by Bob Wake

Order Caffeine to Go ($2.99 on Kindle)

Cloud Spew

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