Meet Our Contributors: Q&A with Saida Agostini

Saida Agostini is a queer Afro-Guyanese poet and social worker. A Cave Canem fellow, her work has appeared in several publications, including pluck! The Affrilachian Journal of Arts and Culture, Torch Literary Arts, Delaware Poetry Review and Beltway Poetry Quarterly. She is currently working on her first collection, uprisings in a state of joy.

On March 17 at The Writer’s Center in Bethesda (pictured right), Agostini read “Harriet Tubman is a Lesbian,” “Great Granny’s Last Night,” and “The Night before HB2’s Passage,” which was published in LPR‘s Winter Issue (available for purchase at this link).

Q: Who are some of your inspirations?

There are so many. I truly love Jacqueline Trimble’s American Happiness–it’s a searing and moving treatise on Black womanhood, family, and the inheritance of trauma. Recently, I’ve had the opportunity to interview Joan Cambridge, a powerful Afro-Guyanese activist who has founded a retreat in the Amazon named Yukuriba. Yukuriba has been claimed by Cambridge and a collective of Guyanese women as the conscience of the Amazon. In this moment when so much is being visibly taken away from us–I am moved by the power of these Black women who stand in resistance against the destruction of our ancestral homes.

Q: What are your goals for this next year?

Thanks to a Ruby grant, I was gifted with the opportunity to return back to Guyana (my family’s home) to research my family’s history, travel across the country, and interview storytellers, folklorists, and other artists. In just one month, I met family I never knew existed, returned to my granny’s village and birthplace, Kabakaburi, and painted the grave of my great-grandmother.  My goal now is to figure out how in the world this makes a cohesive story.

Q: What are you working on now?

I’m currently working on my first collection of poems inspired by the histories of my grandmothers–it is an attempt to celebrate their work to create an inheritance of liberation for their descendants, and what that work cost them.

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Our Wider Literary Community: A Brief History of Nimrod International Journal

At Little Patuxent Review, we seek to foster dialogue and community in the literary world. This guest post by Diane Burton, the associate editor of Nimrod International Journal, introduces readers to the great writing being fostered in Tulsa, Oklahoma. As Burton writes, the “core” of Nimrod’s mission remains the same today as when the journal began in 1956— “to discover and promote great new writers.”

Publishing information about this journal is available at the bottom of this post.

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Nimrod was founded in 1956 at The University of Tulsa and is one of the longest-running continuously published little magazines in the United States. While it was begun by students at the university, its first editor-in-chief, James Land Jones, made clear that the journal’s reach would extend beyond that of a student literary magazine. From the start, the editors solicited and received work from poets and fiction writers, well known or new to publication, from all over the country.

Nimrod began as a very little magazine, just 48 pages stapled together, printed in black and white; over the years it has grown to its present perfect-bound format, averaging 224 pages per issue, with a four-color cover featuring original art. Originally published three times a year, it has appeared twice a year, spring and fall, since 1970. Each year the spring issue is devoted to a theme, while the fall issue features the winners of the Nimrod Literary Awards.

The title Nimrod comes from the name of the Biblical hunter Nimrod, great grandson of Noah in the book of Genesis. Jim Land Jones came upon a use of the name in Alexander Pope’s “Windsor Forest” and was struck by it. The mission of the journal at its outset was announced as “hunting for good writing”—wherever it was to be found.

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From Our Current Issue: Q&A with Teri Ellen Cross Davis

Over the past two months, Little Patuxent Review has hosted two popular readings. In the video above, from our reading on January 21 in Columbia, Maryland, Teri Ellen Cross Davis reads her poems, “Knowledge of the Brown Body,” a response to poet Saida Agostini’s “Harriet Tubman is a Lesbian,” and “Ode to Orgasms,” which was published in LPR‘s Winter Issue (available for purchase at this link). Below the jump, Davis answers questions about her experience at our reading on March 17 in Bethesda, Maryland, and gives insight into her life as a poet.

Teri Ellen Cross Davis is the author of Haint, published by Gival Press and winner of the 2017 Ohioana Book Award for Poetry. She is a Cave Canem fellow and has attended the Soul Mountain Writer’s Retreat, the Virginia Center for Creative Arts and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. She is on the Advisory Council of Split This Rock (a biennial poetry festival in Washington DC), a semi-finalist judge for the NEA’s Poetry Out Loud and a member of the Black Ladies Brunch Collective. Her work has been published in many anthologies including: Bum Rush The Page: A Def Poetry Jam, Full Moon on K Street: Poems About Washington, DC, The Golden Shovel Anthology: New Poems Honoring Gwendolyn Brooks and Not Without Our Laughter: poems of joy, humor, and sexuality and The BreakBeat Poets Vol. 2: Black Girl Magic. Her work can be read online and in the following journals: ArLiJo, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Delaware Poetry Review, Fledging Rag, Gargoyle, Harvard Review, Little Patuxent Review, Natural Bridge, North American Review, MER VOX, MiPOesias, Poet Lore, Tin House, Torch, and Sligo Journal. She is the poetry coordinator for the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., and lives in Maryland with her husband, poet Hayes Davis, and their two children. Her website is www.poetsandparents.com.

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Publisher Emeritus Mike Clark Receives Howie Award


The Little Patuxent Review is honored to announce that last week our publisher emeritus, Mike Clark, received the Howie Award as an Outstanding Community Supporter of the Arts. Clark received this recognition at the Howard County Arts Council’s 21st annual Celebration of the Arts in Howard County. Mike’s speech is available in the video above, and a transcript is provided below the jump.

Much of Mike’s work life was spent reporting the news for the Baltimore Sun. His focus was on Howard and Anne Arundel counties.

After retiring, he helped start a phone referral service for our neighbors in need along with a series of outreach ministries for Christ Episcopal Church in Columbia known as Christ Church Link. He began a holiday gift project to provide presents to low income families and a program offering supportive services to Hispanic immigrants. In addition, he initiated a county-wide backpack and school supply program known as Prepare for Success.

He is a past recipient of the Audrey Robbins Humanitarian Volunteer of the Year award and the Casey and Pebble Willis Making a Difference award.

About ten years ago Mike joined with others to revive Little Patuxent Review, a journal that was founded in the 1970’s by Columbia, Maryland poets, Ralph and Margot Treitel. Mike served as publisher for its first ten years. The bi-annual launch of the notable journal draws up to a hundred or so literary enthusiasts to Oliver’s Carriage House for its public readings every January and June. The journal also has joined with the Columbia Art Center for the past ten years to hold monthly salon events drawing upon presentations by musicians, artists, poets, fiction writers and even a Nobel Prize astronomer talking about the Big Bang.

Mike accepts the Howie Supporter of Community Arts Award for all who appreciate the wonder of artistic creativity and the power of the written word in our daily lives.

Thank you for all your service, Mike!

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Photos from Annual Reading on March 17

Little Patuxent Review hosted its annual reading of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry on March 17 at The Writer’s Center in Bethesda. Below are some photos of our readers, including contributors to our most recent issue, four members of the Black Ladies Brunch CollectiveLPR editors, and Ian Anderson, the editor of Mason Jar Press, an independent press in Baltimore. Maria Termini and Anya Creightney were unable to attend, but others read their work, nonfiction and poetry, for them.

Daien Guo, LPR contributor, fiction

Steven Leyva, LPR editor, poetry

 

Ann Bracken, LPR editor, interview with artist Paul Rucker

Ian Anderson, Mason Jar Press, fiction

 

 

Saida Agostini, LPR contributor, poetry

Teri Ellen Cross Davis, LPR contributor, poetry

 

 

Tafisha A. Edwards, LPR contributor, poetry

Katy Richey, LPR contributor, poetry

 

Annual Reading on March 17 at The Writer’s Center in Bethesda

Rucker cover

Little Patuxent Review will host its annual reading of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry at 2 p.m. on March 17 at The Writer’s Center in Bethesda. The reading will feature contributors to our most recent issue, including five members of the Black Ladies Brunch Collective, as well as LPR editors and Ian Anderson, the editor of Mason Jar Press, an independent press in Baltimore.

A reception will follow the reading. Our lineup:

  • Daien Guo, fiction
  • Ann Bracken, interview with artist Paul Rucker
  • Steven Leyva, poetry
  • Maria Termini, nonfiction (read by Desirée Magney)
  • Ian Anderson, fiction

And from the Black Ladies Brunch Collective:

  • Saida Agostini, poetry
  • Anya Creightney, poetry
  • Teri Ellen Cross Davis, poetry
  • Tafisha A. Edwards, poetry
  • Katy Richey, poetry

The Writer’s Center in Bethesda is at 4508 Walsh St, Chevy Chase, MD 20815.

Winter Issue 2018: Introducing Daien Guo

Daien Guo is a writer based in Washington, DC. Little Patuxent Review is delighted to present her first published piece of fiction, “A Bathroom Renovation,” in our Winter 2018 issue (available for purchase at this link).

In a recent blog post for LPR, Alan King writes, “It’s exciting when the list of contributors for a publication I’m in is a reunion of sorts.” We expect the literary world will be reading more of Guo’s fiction in the future and look forward to more of the reunions King describes.

Guo will read her work at LPR’s annual reading at The Writer’s Center on Saturday, March 17 from 2:00 – 4:00 PM. More information about the annual reading, which will feature multiple artists from our Winter 2018 issue, is available at this link.