Friday, March 17, 2017

Richard Chess Discusses His Newest Book of Poetry

Poet Richard Chess is the Director of The Center for Jewish Studies, Roy Carroll Professor of Honors Arts and Sciences, and Chair of the Department of English at the University of North Carolina Asheville. He is also the author of three previous collections of poetry, Tekiah (1994), Chair in the Desert (2000), and Third Temple (2007), all of them available from the University of Tampa Press. 

As the official publication date approaches, Rick sat down with Tampa Press Director Richard Mathews to talk about the new book, what he’s been up to, and what 2017 will bring. This is an excerpt of their discussion, but you can read the complete conversation with Richard Chess on Tampa Review Online.

* * *

Mathews: The variety and focus of work in your new collection of poetry, Love Nailed to the Doorpost, is surprising and impressive, even to those of us who have known your work well over the years.  Can you talk a little about how it came to be?

Chess: Since publishing Third Temple, I’ve become a regular contributor to “Good Letters,” the blog published by the folks at Image journal. I contribute a thousand-word piece (or a little less) to “Good Letters” about every eighteen days or so. I’ve been writing for them for six years now.

Writing for “Good Letters” has enabled me to discover a new voice and style of writing. It has been one of the most exciting developments for me as a writer at this stage of my life. A good number of the pieces are lyrical prose, more like longish prose poems. Some (but very few) are straightforward narrative, analytical, or argumentative pieces of prose. I’ve also written some about my experiences as an educator, looking in particular at ways I’ve been integrating contemplative practices into my teaching.

I am also very active in two other networks that have some bearing on the directions in which my writing and teaching have moved in recent years. First, I’m involved in a national movement exploring the use of contemplative practices in higher education. The organization is called “The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society.” It is the umbrella organization for the “Association for the Contemplative Mind in Higher Education.” I have been on the faculty of ACMHE’s summer seminar in contemplative curriculum development, and I have presented regularly at their annual academic conference. This organization has really become my professional home.

My work with this organization grows out of my own commitment to a personal contemplative practice discipline. I began my daily meditation and related contemplative practices in a Jewish context, participating in two cohorts of the sixteen-month-long Jewish Mindfulness Teacher Training Program, a national program. My engagement with contemplative life—in Jewish contexts and academic contexts—has been a transformative experience for me over the last eight years or so—since the publication of Third Temple.

I am a leader on my own campus of an initiative to integrate contemplative practice throughout university life. I’ve also been developing courses that I teach, mostly in the honors program, on topics connected to contemplative practices, including spiritual autobiography and poetry as a spiritual practice. 

I have no doubt that my writing has been deeply informed by these new developments in my personal and professional life.

Mathews: So we see all of these strands brought together in Love Nailed to the Doorpost?

Chess: Yes, directly and indirectly. These strands, I think, inform the way I move and think through a number of the poems and pieces of lyrical prose. These experiences have also opened my eyes to certain subjects that I don’t think I would have explored if it had not been for the practices in which I’ve been engaged as an educator, a Jew, and a writer.

* * *
Love Nailed to the Doorpost is available now for order in hardback or paperback.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

In Memoriam: R. C. H. Briggs

Author and Barrister R. C. H. Briggs

The editors and staff of the University of Tampa Press share a deep sense of loss at the passing of a friend and mentor, the British writer, barrister, and editor R. C. H Briggs.  He died peacefully on December 28, 2016, in his bed at home in Coombe Bissett, near Salisbury, with his family around him. He was 92.

Ronald Charles Hawkswell Briggs was born in West Yorkshire, and graduated from New College, Oxford. After serving in the Royal Armoured Corps (RAC) from 1943 until 1947, earning the rank of Captain, he completed a Master of Jurisprudence degree and an advanced degree in French.  He became a barrister at law, and following a period of practice at the Common Law Bar, in 1972 he accepted  appointment as Legal Secretary for the independent legal watchdog organization Justice, the UK section of the International Commission of Jurists. There he advanced the group’s mission of “promoting human rights” and “improving the system of justice.”

During his years at Oxford University, and even as he began his legal work, Ron was also becoming a leading authority on the work of William Morris. He was drawn to Morris for a host of reasons, from printing to politics.  In 1957, Ron proposed and successfully launched the first important traveling exhibition of Morris’s work as a printer and typographer: The Typographic Adventure of William Morris. He completed a groundbreaking "Handlist of the Public Addresses of William Morris” in 1960, which called attention to Morris’s speeches as a central and neglected part of his achievements. He launched the first issue of the Journal of the William Morris Society in 1961, serving as its founding editor, and continuing to edit and publish it for seventeen years and making it the single most important source for William Morris studies. In his "Editorial" for the first issue, Ron wrote: “Morris’ central theme, epitomized by him as ‘Reverence for the life of Man upon the Earth,’ led him to criticize much in the world around him; and much that Morris criticized still exists.”

As a leading light for the William Morris Society, he served as its Honorary Secretary as well as a trustee of the Kelmscott House Trust.  He designed numerous publications and led the Society’s publishing program, including introducing a custom of hand printing an annual Christmas greetings card, often in the Kelmscott House basement, which housed a treadle-operated Arab press and one of the original Albion presses from the Kelmscott Press. He organized excursions to important Morris sites, launched the William Morris Centre at Kelmscott House, and was instrumental in the historic home’s preservation and improvement. Today it continues to be home to the William Morris Society.

Ron was deeply committed to issues of human rights and human dignity, equitable justice, political integrity and reform, historical preservation, international thinking, and the preservation of the environment.  He worked to sustain and contribute to many of the works and perceptions that Morris advocated.  His friend and colleague Martin Williams, who served with him as an officer of the Morris Society and later became a founding trustee of the Emery Walker Trust, aptly observed: “Ron was a remarkable character—inspirational, idiosyncratic, and truly larger than life. There was something of William Morris about him, with that continuous energy and unrelenting pursuit of what he perceived to be the right.”

As a dedicated amateur printer, Ron was also drawn to the achievements and influence of Morris’s friend and Hammersmith neighbor, Emery Walker.  He campaigned in many ways for greater recognition of Walker's achievements, promoting him as not only an inspiration and virtual partner in Morris’s Kelmscott Press, but for his many impressive achievements as a photographer, photographic engraver, printer, and founding partner of the influential Doves Press. Ron championed efforts that led the London County Council to place a blue plaque at Walker’s residence at 7 Hammersmith Terrace in 1959.  For that occasion, he produced the earliest draft of another influential work, which was later revised and published by the University of Tampa Press—Sir Emery Walker: A Memoir

Ron is survived by his wife, Joan; his children, Julian, Roland, and Jeni; and his grandchildren, Sylvie and Sasha.

A memorial service was held in Salisbury on January 12. In lieu of flowers, the family suggested donations to one of Ron’s favorite charities, the Tibet Relief Fund.

Ronald Briggs at his home a few months before his 90th birthday.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Additional Printers’ Praise for “The Rich Mouse”

After a twenty-six year tenure at Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri, as Professor of Fine Arts directing the Printmaking program, Jim Jereb is now one of the curators of art at The Brinton Museum, located in Big Horn, Wyoming, and will head the Printmaking section of the museum’s new Art Education Center.

With his many years of printing experience, we’re happy to share with you Jim’s comments about a book he describes as, “A charming story with strong connections and relevance to the current society.”

Jim Jereb on The Rich Mouse . . .

The proportions of the book fit comfortably in the hand and present the story and illustrations for easy reading and viewing.

• The cover design is well integrated with the illustrations, using the texture of woodcut as a motif.

• The layout of the text blocks and illustrations (margins, pagination, gutters) enhances the reading experience.

 The selection of the J. J. Lankes woodcut illustrations complements the story and treats the reader to an enchanting visual and literary experience.

• Technically speaking, the illustrations and text are inked and printed with great skill.  The darks have rich solids yet maintain crisp, clean edges and definition.

• The paper that the book is printed upon is wonderful, with a slight texture that feels good under my fingers.  There is no ‘read-through’ or other technical distractions.

• The colophon is informative and concise.

• The binding gives the reader a sturdy, well-constructed object, with excellent ‘lay flat’ opening.  This makes for ease of handling while reading.”

On The Rich Mouse Compendium . . .

   This book pairs with The Rich Mouse in proportions so that both nestle in the slipcase. This quality storage makes both books immediately accessible for cross-referencing.”

   The chronology of J. J. Lankes gives a solid historical listing. This, coupled with the photographs of the artist through the years and the images of the manuscript stages invites the reader to become acquainted with the author. Further, the details of the origin of the Village Type Face and Lankes’s involvement in printing and the book arts give great insight into the creative process that is required to bring an idea into completed form. The photographs of the actual wood blocks were of great interest to me, allowing me to study the marks and carving style that produces the illustrations.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Matt Sumpter Wins 2016 Anita Claire Scharf Award

Poet Matt Sumpter
      Matt Sumpter of New York City has won the fourth Anita Claire Scharf Award given by the editors of Tampa Review. His new poetry manuscript, Public Land, will be published in 2017 by the University of Tampa Press.
     The Anita Claire Scharf Award is given to support publication of a book of poetry submitted to the annual Tampa Review Prize for Poetry competition that speaks to the journal’s mission to celebrate the beauty and diversity of the natural world and to illuminate the interconnectedness of our global environment. The award is named in honor of Anita Scharf, the founding editorial assistant, and later associate and contributing editor, of Tampa Review who helped define the aesthetic and global values that are part of the journal’s mission.
     “Matt Sumpter’s poems are gritty, often bleak, and intensely aware of the troubled relations between humans and the natural world,“ the judges wrote. “In fact, this book is an eloquent private and public act, intensely personal experience turned to poetry that constitutes a public call to face the dangerous implications of many of our current individual and social practices.”
     Sumpter’s poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The New Republic, Best New Poets 2014, Ninth Letter, 32 Poems, and Boulevard, and a group of five poems won the Crab Orchard Review Special Issues Feature Award. His fiction is forthcoming in Glimmer Train, and he is the Lead Narrative Designer for the adventure/fitness app, MarchQuest. His scholarship on writing pedagogy appeared in the March 2016 issue of College English.
     From 2008-2010, Sumpter worked on trail crews and conservation projects in Montana, Oregon, Illinois, and Missouri. He helped build and dig trail, fell invasive tree species, and suppress wildfires. Living in tents for weeks at a time, he became well acquainted with the difficulties and blessings of outdoor work: shoving his feet into wet socks on snowy mornings, drinking water sanitized with iodine, having his “office view” be overlooks in national forests. If it had paid a sustainable wage, he says he would still be doing it today. But the experiences helped inform and shape his prize-winning collection.
     “I am fascinated by the ways people interact with place: how our environments make possible surprising, troubling, and triumphant new ways of being ourselves,” Sumpter says. “How do public spaces transform our private lives? How can place help us reckon with darkness and loss? Do any of these things bring us closer to understanding the nature of place—or people?”
      He pursued these questions at The Ohio State University, where he received his MFA, and continues to consider them at Binghamton University, where he will receive his PhD this fall.
     “The more I explored the topic as a writer, the more I realized I had been exploring this topic my whole life, ” Sumpter says. “After elementary school, I would climb a tree next to my bus stop and listen to the pine needles.”
      A lifetime of natural curiosity sustained Sumpter through the long process of assembling Public Land. He reports that over the past seven years, he has written, revised, and re-ordered the poems more times than Microsoft Word can keep track of. He met his wife, Alex, married her, and witnessed the birth of their daughter, Rosalie. He moved from Cincinnati to St. Louis to Columbus to Binghamton to New York City. He submitted Public Land over sixty times, receiving nine finalist or semifinalist nods before hearing he won the Anita Claire Scharf Award from the University of Tampa Press. It will be his first book.
     “When I got the phone call, I was visiting my wife’s family in Florida,” Sumpter says, “Two dogs were playing outside in a lake, and I tried very hard to talk normally while jumping up and down.”  
     The Anita Claire Scharf Award is selected by the editors of Tampa Review from among the manuscripts submitted to its annual Tampa Review Prize for Poetry competition. Submissions for next year’s awards are now being accepted.
     To be eligible, authors are asked to submit a previously unpublished booklength manuscript. There is a contest fee of $25, and each submitter receives a complimentary one-year subscription to Tampa Review. Entries must follow published guidelines and must be postmarked by December 31, 2016. All entries will be considered for both the Tampa Review Prize for Poetry and the Anita Claire Scharf Award.
     Complete guidelines are available at or by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope to The Tampa Review Prizes, University of Tampa Press, 401 West Kennedy Blvd., Tampa, FL 33606.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Our Limited-Edition “Rich Mouse” Letterpress Production Earns Generous Praise

Amelia Fontanel, Associate Curator of the Cary Graphic Arts Collection at the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York, is a letterpress printer herself, and she knows first-hand the thrills and chills of producing work on an iron handpress.

Knowing her experience and accomplishments, we are even more delighted to publish her comments on the latest Tampa Book Arts Studio limited-edition project, now available from the University of Tampa Press.

Here’s what Amelia wrote:

“The Rich Mouse is a bibliophile’s dream!

When marketeers tout the publication of a forgotten manuscript by some bygone author, we oft expect a trade edition, maybe in hardback, sometimes in e-ink, and a chance to enjoy a bit more of that writer’s brilliance. But when bibliophiles get involved in breathing new life into a lost text, the result can be so much more than words on paper: it can be a book worthy of appreciation on many levels—good content in concert with excellent production and presentation.

This is just what the team of historians, typographers, and printers at the Tampa Book Arts Studio has done to publish The Rich Mouse, a sweet parable left unpublished in 1950 by famed woodcut artist J. J. Lankes. Great care has gone into the typographic choices, paper selection and even, meticulous printing of the book on the iron handpress once owned by Mr. Lankes himself. The Rich Mouse in limited edition is a labor of love in revealing a new facet of Lankes’s creativity. Its companion Rich Mouse Compendium also gives the rationale and describes the effort spent to bring this important work to press by bibliophiles and for bibliophiles too!”

Amelia Fontanel
Associate Curator
RIT Cary Graphic Arts Collection

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Nancy Chen Long Wins 2016 Tampa Review Prize


Nancy Chen Long, winner of the
Tampa Review Prize for Poetry
Nancy Chen Long of Morgantown, Indiana, has been named winner of the 2016 Tampa Review Prize for Poetry. Long receives the fifteenth annual prize for her manuscript, Light into Bodies. In addition to a $2,000 check, the award includes hardback and paperback book publication in 2017 by the University of Tampa Press. 
       Long is the author of a poetry chapbook, Clouds as Inkblots for the War Prone (Red Bird Chapbooks, 2013), and has recent and forthcoming work in Alaska Quarterly Review, Pleiades, Bat City Review, Superstition Review, DIAGRAM, the Anthology of Contemporary Indiana Writers, and elsewhere. She earned her BS in Electrical Engineering Technology and an MBA from Indiana University—Purdue University Fort Wayne, worked as an electrical engineer, software consultant, and project manager, and more recently completed an MFA in creative writing at Spalding University. 
       Tampa Review judges praised her “bold, intelligent, beautifully shaped manuscript” and commented that the poems in Light into Bodies clearly benefit from the poet’s strong scientific background. “Starting with the opening epigraph from Sir Isaac Newton’s Opticks and developing through vocabulary and metaphors informed by mathematics and engineering as well as by myth and literature, Nancy Chen Long has composed a shining suite of poems in which cultural and scientific history merge with and illuminate personal experience,” the judges wrote.
       Born in Taiwan, Long grew up in various parts of the U.S. as the daughter of a military man. She calls south-central Indiana home and works at Indiana University in the Research Technologies division. 
       “I’ve loved poetry and writing since I was a kid,” Long says. “And because I was also a bookworm, I handcrafted books of my poems and stories—illustrated them, carefully folded the pages and stapled them together for the binding, gave them ‘library numbers’ like I’d seen on real books. 
       “When considering college, creative writing was my first career choice. I was strongly counseled, though, that ‘female writers are a dime a dozen’ and that I should go into something like science instead. So I stopped writing creatively and eventually ended up in engineering and technology. I did continue to journal and scribble down small poems, but didn’t seriously write poetry again until years later when an acquaintance suggested that I attend a women’s writing circle. That experience inspired me to once again take up the pen. I started writing and writing. Things fell into place so that I could pursue an MFA part-time while still working full-time. As a sort of joke, I’d say I felt like I was living Pablo Neruda’s line ‘And it was at that age . . . Poetry arrived / in search of me.’ The poems kept arriving until a manuscript took shape.” 
       Long sent the manuscript out for three years before it was selected for the Tampa Review Prize for Poetry, and it had been a finalist fifteen times during that period. 
       “Through interviews with other poets and attending AWP panels on publication, I’d heard of poets whose manuscripts came in as finalists for ten years before being published,” Long says. “When I got the call that Light into Bodies had won the Tampa Review Prize for Poetry, I could almost not believe it. The whole experience has been one wild ride, beautifully unexpected. It’s the realization of a dream that I thought had been lost to me.”

* * *

The judges also announced ten finalists this year: 

Sally Lipton Derringer of Nanuet, New York,  for “Tilted Room”;
Mary Gilliland of Ithaca, New York, for “The Devil’s Fools”;
Roger Greenwald of Toronto, Canada, for “The Half-Life”; 
Shaun Griffin of Virginia City, Nevada, for “The Monastery of Stars”;
Julie Hanson of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, for “Dialectic and Infusion”; 
Kate Partridge of Anchorage, Alaska, for “Ends of the Earth”; 
Jim Peterson of Lynchburg, VA, for “The Horse Who Bears Me Away”;
Doug Ramspeck of Lima, Ohio, for “Naming the Field”; 
Nicholas Samaras of West Nyack, NY, for “The Kidnapped Child”; and
Jay Udall of Vienna, Virginia, for “Because a Fire in My Head.”

* * *

The Tampa Review Prize for Poetry is given annually for a previously unpublished booklength manuscript. Judging is by the editors of Tampa Review, who are members of the faculty at the University of Tampa. Submissions are now being accepted for 2017. Entries should follow the published guidelines and must be postmarked by December 31, 2016.
       Complete guidelines are available at or by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope to The Tampa Review Prize for Poetry, University of Tampa Press, 401 West Kennedy Blvd., Tampa, FL 33606.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Anne Ray Wins Tenth Annual Danahy Fiction Prize

Anne Ray of Brooklyn, New York, has been selected as winner of the tenth annual Danahy Fiction Prize by the editors of Tampa Review. She will receive a cash award of $1,000 and her winning short story, “Please Repeat My Name,” will be published in a forthcoming issue of Tampa Review.
       Ray grew up in suburban Maryland, graduated from the Creative Writing program at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, and completed an MFA in fiction at Brooklyn College. She has worked as a waitress, a gardener, an English teacher, and a fish monger. Her work has appeared in many literary journals, including Gettysburg Review, Opium, LIT, Conduit, Gulf Coast, and Cut Ban. She was the winner of the 2014 StoryQuarterly fiction prize. 
       She is also the author of the libretto for “Symposium,” a ten-minute opera written in collaboration with composer Oliver Caplan, which was performed by the Juventas New Music Ensemble in 2011 as part of a series on new opera. She was a fellow at the MacDowell Colony and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and works on the 18th floor of an office building in lower Manhattan.
       Ray’s Danahy Fiction Prize story takes place in a situation familiar to many who have been called for jury duty, with the central character, Audrey, moving through various stages of the jury selection process. 
       Ray explains that the story was partially inspired by her own experience with jury duty. “One dreary and wet winter, I was selected to be on a jury for an armed robbery trial,” Ray says. ”I was juror number eight. Once I had lived through jury duty I felt that I had arrived at a setting for a story.” 
       Audrey is a character who appears in several of Ray’s stories. The author describes her as “a person overtaken by loneliness, and yet with an almost inexplicably persistent wish for beauty and hope . . . secretly giggling at her own private happiness.”
       The Tampa Review editors who judged this year’s contest were especially impressed by the ways that Ray allowed the courtroom setting to introduce large and universal questions of values and judgment, while maintaining the close psychological focus on Audrey.
       “It was strange to me, while I was sitting on the jury, how such a common—and specifically American—experience was so isolating,” Ray says. “The world of my desk job disintegrated; I was there and nowhere else. Putting Audrey in such a setting, with its absurdity and flatness, brought me pain; giving her a moment of tenderness in that same place brought me joy.”

* * *

       This year the judges also named seven finalists for the Danahy Prize: “Central City" by Leslee Becker of Fort Collins, Colorado; “Garden for Loss” by Jan Bowman of Columbia, Maryland; “Rhino Girl” by Taylor Brown of Wilmington, North Carolina; “Emissary” by Abby Lipscomb of Fincastle, Virginia; “Phosphorous and Other Toxins” by Claire Luchette of Eugene, Oregon; “Accidental Camouflage” by Anthony J. Viola of Huntington, West Virginia; and “White Is for Compliant,” Megan Wildhood of Seattle, Washington.

* * *

       The Danahy Fiction Prize was established by Paul and Georgia Danahy as an annual award for a previously unpublished work of short fiction judged by the editors of Tampa Review, the faculty-edited literary journal of the University of Tampa, published twice yearly in a distinctive hardback format. Subscriptions are $22 annually, and those received before September will include the issue featuring Ray’s prize-winning story.
     The Danahy Fiction Prize is open to both new and widely published writers, with an annual postmark deadline of December 31. The $20 entry fee includes a one-year subscription to Tampa Review, and all entries submitted are considered for publication.

Complete guidelines are available on the Web at or by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope to The Danahy Fiction Prize, University of Tampa Press, 401 West Kennedy Blvd., Tampa, FL 33606.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Patricia Hooper Wins 2015 Anita Claire Scharf Award

  Patricia Hooper, of Gastonia, North Carolina, has been selected as winner of the 2015 Anita Claire Scharf Award by the editors of Tampa Review. Her new poetry manuscript, Separate Flights, will be published in 2016 by the University of Tampa Press and the poet will be invited to read on the University of Tampa campus after the book is published next year. 
The Anita Claire Scharf Award is given to support publication of a book of poetry submitted to the annual Tampa Review Prize competition that speaks to aspects of the journal’s mission to praise and celebrate the beauty and diversity of the natural world; to illuminate the interconnectedness of our global environment; and to affirm the interrelatedness of visual and verbal art. The award is named in honor of Anita Scharf, the founding editorial assistant, and later associate and contributing editor, of Tampa Review who helped define the aesthetic and global values that are part of the journal’s mission. 
“Patricia Hooper’s collection quite literally lifts off,” said Richard Mathews, editor of Tampa Review, who worked with Scharf on the journal for more than seventeen years. “Anita always stressed the importance of enlarging awareness, stretching for a larger vision. This brilliant and lyrical manuscript uses metaphors of flight—including birds and planes and art— to explore and express the larger vision. And as a dedicated bird-watcher, Anita would also have appreciated each species Hooper introduces—and she would have loved the varieties of flight that she includes.” 
Patricia Hooper is the author of three previous books of poetry: Other Lives (Elizabeth Street Prees, 1984), At the Corner of the Eye (Michigan State University Press, 1997), and Aristotle’s Garden (Bluestem Press/Emporia State University, 2004).  She is also the author of a chapbook, The Flowering Trees, (State Street Press, 1995) and four children's books. Her poetry has appeared in many magazines including The Atlantic Monthly, The American Scholar, Poetry, The Hudson Review, Ploughshares, The Southern Review, and The Kenyon Review.
A graduate of the University of Michigan, where she earned BA and MA degrees, Hooper has been the recipient of The Norma Farber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America, The Bluestem Award for Poetry, a Writer’s Community Residency Award from the National Writer’s Voice, and the Laurence Goldstein Award for Poetry from Michigan Quarterly Review.
“This manuscript is musical and powerful in its impact—virtually symphonic in its shape and scope,” Mathews adds.  “From early poems like “Flying to Nantucket” and “The Heron at Wild Oak Bay” to later complex and layered works like “Monet Paints the Willows” and “Telling Time,” this beautifully structured manuscript is one that Anita would have cheered at every turn.  We are looking forward to sharing it with a broad spectrum of readers.” 
The Anita Claire Scharf Award is selected by the editors of Tampa Review from among the manuscripts submitted to the annual prize competition. Submissions for next year’s awards are now being accepted. 
To be eligible, authors are asked to submit a previously unpublished booklength manuscript. Judging is by the editors of Tampa Review, who are members of the faculty at the University of Tampa. There is a contest fee of $25, but each submitter receives a complimentary one-year subscription to Tampa Review. Entries must follow published guidelines and must be postmarked by December 31, 2015. All entries will be considered for both the Tampa Review Prize for Poetry and the Anita Claire Scharf Award.
Complete guidelines are available at or by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope to The Tampa Review Prizes, University of Tampa Press, 401 West Kennedy Blvd., Tampa, FL 33606.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Official Release of Steve Kowit’s Cherish

Today is the Autumn Equinox and the ideal publication day for poet Steve Kowit’s Cherish: New and Selected Poems. Steve celebrated excess and delight, but he particularly praised balance, and this day balanced at the turn from summer to fall, a symbolic day of equal light and dark, would have pleased Steve as the official publication date for a host of complex and inexplicable reasons.  Even after seven books, he had not lost his sense of pleasure at the arrival of a new proofs, a new printed book, or a new season of the year. Though he passed away suddenly in his sleep on April 2 and never held his latest finished book in his hands, he gathered and arranged these new and selected poems with care and attention. We are glad to know that readers can now share the experience described perfectly by Dorianne Laux: “How fine to have in our hands . . . the lucid, voluptuous, exuberant poems of Steve Kowit.”

Cherish: New and Selected Poems

– by Steve Kowit –

Available in both paperback and hardback editions

Friday, August 28, 2015

Michelle Boisseau Wins 14th Annual
Tampa Review Prize for Poetry

Michelle Boisseau
     Michelle Boisseau, of Kansas City, Missouri, has been named winner of the 2015 Tampa Review Prize for Poetry. Boisseau receives the fourteenth annual prize for her new manuscript, Among the Gorgons. In addition to a $2,000 check, the award includes hardback and trade paperback book publication in 2016 by the University of Tampa Press.
     Boisseau’s previous books of poetry include A Sunday in God-Years (University of Arkansas Press, 2009); Trembling Air (University of Arkansas Press, 2003), a PEN USA finalist; Understory, which received the Morse Prize (Northeastern University Press, 1996); and No Private Life (Vanderbilt, 1990). She has also twice been awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship for Poetry.
     Tampa Review judges commented that the poems in Among the Gorgons make “graceful and unexpected leaps from personal to mythic, tender to satiric, and tragic to comic in poems that elude predictability and command attention.”
     “The voice constantly surprises us with strength in unexpected places,” the judges said. “Boisseau shapes irony into an energetic force. Best of all, the poems work individually—they satisfy and stand fully on their own—while at the same time gathering force and resonance as the book moves confidently into a whole that is greater than its parts.”
     Three of the poems from Among the Gorgons have appeared on Poetry Daily. Other new poems have appeared in Poetry, Gettysburg Review, Yale Review, Hudson Review, Shenandoah, Cincinnati Review, Missouri, Southwest Review, Prairie Schooner, Miramar, New Ohio Review, and others.
     Boisseau earned BA and MA degrees from Ohio University and a PhD from the University of Houston. She is Professor of English in the MFA program at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where she is also Senior Editor of BkMk Press and Contributing Editor of New Letters. Her university textbook, Writing Poems (Longman), initiated by the late Robert Wallace, is now in its eighth edition, with her colleague Hadara Bar-Nadav. She lives in Kansas City with her fellow Royals fan, her husband Tom Stroik, an internationally renowned linguist who writes on poetics, syntax, and the evolution of human language.
     Boisseau says that she nearly missed the contest deadline with her manuscript.
     “I believe I sent my manuscript at almost the last minute,” she says. “We had been in California visiting friends and family at Christmas. We got in late on the afternoon of December 31, and before we headed out the door for a New Year’s dinner celebration with friends, I managed to take a few minutes to get Among the Gorgons submitted. I pushed myself to take the chance, and what a fabulous result.”

The judges also announced twelve outstanding finalists this year:

     Ron De Maris of Miami, Florida, for “Spoor”;
     Diane Glancy of Shawnee Mission, Kansas, for “The Collector of Bodies”;
     Julie Hanson of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, for “Charmed in What Regard”;
     Jared Harel of Astoria, New York, for “Punch Card”;
     Berwyn Moore of Erie, Pennsylvania, for “What the Wind Said”;
     Brianna Noll of Chicago, Illinois, for “What Breaks through the Dark”;
     Katherine Riegel of Tampa, Florida, for “Kites Almost Too Strong to Hold”;
     Daniel Saalfeld of Washington, D.C.,  for “Sweet Tooth”;
     Phillip Sterling of Ada, Michigan, for “Some Play of Light”;
     Daneen Wardrop of Kalamazoo, Michigan, for “Stir the Lake”;
     Scott Withiam of Marblehead, Massachusetts, for “Desperate Acts & Deliveries”;  and
     Al Zolynas of Escondido, California, for “Near and Far: Selected and New Poems.”

     The Tampa Review Prize for Poetry is given annually for a previously unpublished booklength manuscript. Judging is by the editors of Tampa Review, who are members of the faculty at the University of Tampa. Submissions are now being accepted for 2016. Entries must follow published guidelines and must be postmarked by December 31, 2015.
     Complete guidelines are available at or by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope to The Tampa Review Prize for Poetry, University of Tampa Press, 401 West Kennedy Blvd., Tampa, FL 33606.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Studies in the Fantastic Resumes Publication

After five years in suspended animation, Studies in the Fantastic, our peer-reviewed academic journal devoted to literary fantasy, science fiction, weird tales, and magic realism, resumes publication this year under the leadership of new co-editors Daniel Dooghan and David Reamer.  They have made a call for submissions and will consider new work for the next issue of the journal through mid September.


In the spirit of new beginnings, the journal invites submissions on the subject of REBOOTS. Now a staple of the entertainment industry, reboots regularly appear on television, in movie theaters, on computer screens, and, of course, in comics. Although hardly unique to the fantastic—appropriation and retelling are historically common throughout the arts—many of the most visible recent examples of the reboot are in fantastic genres such as science fiction and superheroes. This issue of Studies in the Fantastic asks why these genres are so ripe for reboot. Approaches dealing with canon formation, intermedia adaptation, and cultural capital are encouraged. 

Submissions speaking to the “REBOOT” theme are especially welcome.


Essays on other topics will also be considered. 

Send by September 15, 2015, with publication planned for the end of the year.

Studies in the Fantastic is a journal publishing referenced essays, informed by scholarly criticism and theory, on both fantastic texts and their social function. Although grounded in literary studies, we are especially interested in articles examining genres and media that have been underrepresented in humanistic scholarship. Subjects may include, but are not limited to weird fiction, science/speculative fiction, fantasy, video games, architecture, science writing, futurism, and technocracy.

Submitted articles should conform to the following guidelines:

1. 3,000-12,000 words
2. MLA style citations and bibliography
3. A separate title page with author information to facilitate peer review
4. 1” margins, 12 point serif font, page numbers

We look forward to seeing your work!  Please submit to:

Daniel Dooghan and David Reamer, editors

Founding Editor: S. T. Joshi

Editorial Board: Sean Donnelly, Richard Mathews, and Elizabeth Winston

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Peter Meinke Appointed Florida Poet Laureate: Florida Poetry is in Good Shape

One of Peter Meinke’s most popular books from the University of Tampa Press is The Shape of Poetry, his “practical guide to writing and reading poems.”  Now we are delighted to know that poetry in Florida is in great shape and good hands, since Peter has been appointed as Florida’s Poet Laureate.

Peter has been poet laureate for the City of St. Petersburg since 2009. This month Florida Governor Rick Scott named him to a four-year term as official Poet Laureate for the State of Florida. He becomes only the fourth Poet Laureate in the state’s history, stepping into a position officially established by the Florida Legislature in 2014. The state’s previous laureates were Franklin N. Wood, appointed by Gov. John W. Martin in 1929; Vivian Laramore Rader, appointed by Gov. Doyle E. Carlton in 1931; and Edmund Skellings, appointed by Gov. Robert Graham in 1980.

Peter is Professor Emeritus at Eckerd College, where he directed the creative writing program for nearly 30 years.  He has published eighteen books and chapbooks, including eight volumes of poetry in the Pitt Poetry series, and he has three books in print from the University of Tampa Press: Lines from Neuchatel, The Shape of Poetry, and Truth and Affection, all of them with drawings by Jeanne Meinke, his wife. This summer the press is working on its fourth Meinke book, The Elf Poem, another collaboration with drawings by Jeanne. It is an introduction to poetry for young people (and children of all ages), containing, as its subtitle states, “Less Than 10 Not Very Golden Rules for Children Who Like to Write Poetry.”

Congratulations to Peter (and Jeanne)—and watch for The Elf this fall from UT Press!