Rock In the River Literary Series
The Standing Rock Cultural Arts Rock in the River
Literary Series is the literary sector that
launched July 2010 with a mission to promote literary arts
in our general area and to promote local and national poets
Our newest author and winner of the 2011 SRCA Second Open Poetry
Chapbook Competition is Kelly Fordon of Michigan
whose chapbook entitled On the Street Where We Live arrives
February 2012. The series is currently edited by Tina Puckett.
Order below through Paypal
for $9 (shipping included).
Also available for purchase at the North
Water Street Gallery, 257 N Water St, downtown Kent.
**Proceeds benefit arts programming at Standing Rock Cultural
Arts including arts scholarships for families and children in
ABOUT OUR CURRENT TITLE
Meet the Neighbors.
In Kelly Fordon’s haunting,
real-to-life, darkly humorous collection, you will travel through
a local cul-de-sac neighborhood filled with cupcake houses, white
picket fences, and the sudden dead ends, glossy false appearances,
and dark shadows that reside On the Street Where We Live.
You will recognize the neighbor that tells too much, the one
who keeps the secrets that should never be kept, and that one
who has it all perfectly together (as well as the ones who definitely
do not, no matter how they might pretend).
You'll even witness
the children at play—and at risk. Familiar life occurrences
like marriage, lovelessness, birth,
growth, and loss will all
make appearances, but often here, these evolutions occur in startlingly
unexpected and subtly emotional—sometimes darkly punchy—ways.
In one sleek volume, Fordon creates
the neighborhood that you saw and instantly wanted to move into—as
well as the one you fought like mad to escape and survive.
Welcome to the neighborhood...
ABOUT OUR CURRENT WINNING AUTHOR
Kelly Fordon has recently finished work on her first novel.
Prior to writing fiction and poetry, Kelly worked at the NPR
member station in Detroit and for National Geographic magazine.
Her work has appeared in The
Kenyon Review (KRO), Flashquake, The Windsor Review, and various
other journals. She is the recipient of several scholarships
and awards including third place honors in the SF Pen Kathryn
Handley Prose Poem Contest and as a finalist in the 38th Annual
Mississippi Valley Poetry Contest.
Kelly also has ties to Standing Rock’s
home. She completed her B.A. at Kenyon College and her M.S.
in Communications at Ohio University. She is the daughter of
the late Bill Stanton, who
served as congressman for the district encompassing Kent from
She is currently working towards her MFA in fiction writing at
Queens University and lives in Michigan with her husband and
children. Her website is www.kellyfordon.com.
ABOUT OUR MOST RECENT COMPETITION
This winning manuscript was entered
into the Second Annual SRCA Open Poetry Chapbook Competition,
held by Standing Rock Cultural Arts in Kent, Ohio, July 1–September
30, 2011. A number of entries of fine caliber represented an
array of states including Alaska, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky,
Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New
York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon,
South Carolina, and Virginia were received.
The entries were intriguing, honest, funny,
evocative, unique and quite eclectic and this provided much
for our judges to consider. In the end, five very different,
well-crafted entries moved into the semifinals round and then
three finalists underwent grueling debate at the hands of the
judges before Kelly Fordon emerged as this year’s winner.
We seek to offer this annual competition
with various guest judges in order to offer diverse backgrounds
and aesthetics, and we wish to thank all of the talented writers
who shared their work with us and provided the judges
some excellent reading. We hope you’ll try us again in
Congratulations to Kelly! Thank you to everyone else who is
reading this! Your support of this competition and/or chapbook
helped defray the expenses of this publication and helps to support
our literary series. Remaining funds
will benefit our arts scholarships
and arts programming, which includes recurring open poetry readings
with poet and professor Maj Ragain at Last Exit Books in Kent,
ABOUT OUR MOST RECENT VOLUNTEER GUEST JUDGES AND EDITOR
Colleen Clayton (Guest Blind Judge) holds
an MFA from the NEOMFA. In addition to writing contemporary
young adult fiction, she has published short stories and poetry
in Ruminate Magazine, Rubbertop Review, The Road Not Taken,
Gloom Cupboard, and many other literary journals. When she
isn't writing, she is teaching writing at Youngstown State
University. Her first novel, WHAT HAPPENS NEXT, will be published
in October 2012 by Little, Brown and Company.
Gina Tabasso (Guest Blind Judge) holds
a master’s degree in English; has been published in many
international literary journals and anthologies; and has three
chapbooks (From Between My Legs, Disrobing and Front Lines).
She earns her living in marketing communications and as an adjunct
English instructor. She enjoys practicing yoga, watching films,
reading, and spending time with her horse and those she loves.
**We regret that one of our originally
declared (and very dedicated) judges could not be with us
at the time that readings and rankings began due to unforeseen
circumstances beyond anyone’s
control. We look forward to working with her again soon in
Tina Puckett (Editor & Judge*) is
a student of the Northeast Ohio MFA (NEOMFA) program with a concentration
in Poetry. She has appeared in Phoebe (SUNY), epitome, MUSE,
The Listening Eye, The Penguin Review, and Jenny amongst other
publications and currently has a poem exhibited in The Wick Poetry
Center’s Speak Peace Traveling Exhibition. She previously
served as Editor-In-Chief for (then national) literary journal
Canto at Kent State University at Stark. Her website is tinapuckett.wordpress.com.
*Tina tracked entries and was involved at the semifinalist
and finalist stages of our competition in order to keep the
entries as blind and fairly evaluated as possible. Our guest
judges were 100% blind judges and involved at all stages of
the reading and ranking.
CURRENT UPDATES/CALLS FOR SUBMISSIONS
At this time, Standing Rock Cultural Arts will only be publishing
competition-winning poetry chapbooks once annually with competitions
taking place July-September of each year. We look forward to
trying to feature various volunteer guest judges to offer diverse
backgrounds and stylistic tastes for each competition. Calls
for submissions will be posted on our website. No unsolicited
submissions will be reviewed.
HOW ARE ENTRY FEES USED/WHY ARE
THERE ENTRY FEES? & OTHER
The proceeds received from each competition’s entry fees
(currently $8 per submission) defray the expenses of our poetry
chapbook competitions and benefit our arts programming, which
includes recurring poetry readings and our goals for poetry enrichment.
The author of the winning chapbook receives a cash prize and
copies of the chapbook with rights for reprint, as well as author
sales at the author’s desire and expense with no fees or
commission due to SRCA. SRCA also retains rights to reprint and
sell chapbooks with no additional revenue to the author. All
rights to the individual poems revert to the author upon publication.
Thank you for your interest in and support of the Standing Rock
Cultural Arts Rock in the River Literary Series and our Open
Poetry Chapbook Competitions!
ABOUT OUR PREVIOUS TITLES
The Rock in the River Literary Series launched with
the Premiere Standing Rock Open Poetry Chapbook Competition in
July 2010 and our first title, Lake and Other Poems of
Love in a Foreign Land by Jeff Fearnside of
Prescott, Arizona, debuted February 2011.
( includes shipping)
North Water Street Gallery, 257 N Water St, downtown Kent.
ABOUT THIS TITLE
In Lake and Other Poems of Love in a Foreign Land, Jeff Fearnside
uses his delicately detailed, socially relevant, emotionally
moving poems and their rich imagery to lead us through the enlightening—sometimes
harrowing—travels of life in another land, where nearly
nothing is what has been known to the newcomer speaker.
Readers are led into a world where the speaker becomes foreigner,
the foreign becomes familiar, and all that has been familiar
is suddenly foreign when examined intimately through the eyes
of another culture. As Fearnside winds us through the unfamiliar
crumbling, crowded roads and vast empty waterways of his poems,
he introduces the reader to an incredible exploration of the
senses, an intimate knowledge of one country and culture, and
calls subtle attention to both our comforts and, in contrast,
our innermost fears.
In ten well-crafted, introspectively thoughtful, and emotionally
honest poems, we learn that we are all foreign and familiar in
the world and that it’s quite possible that our journey
in this world can result in two "foreigners" that
form one life, one breath, one bridge.
ABOUT AUTHOR JEFF FEARNSIDE
Jeff Fearnside lived and worked in Central Asia for four years, first as a university
instructor through the U.S. Peace Corps and later as manager of the Muskie Graduate
Fellowship Program in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.
His creative work has appeared in more than two dozen national publications in
the U.S., including poetry in Assisi, Blue Earth Review, and The Los Angeles
Review; nonfiction in The Sun, Etude, and the anthology A Life Inspired: Tales
of Peace Corps Service; and fiction in Rosebud, Crab Orchard Review, and as Featured
Winner of the 2005 Flash Fiction Contest in Many Mountains Moving.
A selection from his short-story manuscript, Making Love While Levitating Three
Feet in the Air, was chosen a Grand Prize Winner in the Santa Fe Writers Project
2005 Literary Awards Program, while the entire manuscript was named a finalist
(Top 7) in the New Rivers Press 2009 MVP Competition. In addition, Fearnside’s
fiction has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.
Other awards for his writing have included fellowships at both the Bernheim Arboretum
and Research Forest in Clermont, Kentucky, and the Mary Anderson Center for the
Arts in Mount St. Francis, Indiana. He currently lives with his Kazakhstani wife
and two cats in Prescott, Arizona, where he is at work on a novel set in Central
Following publication, Jeff received
additional publications and a prestigious Pushcart Prize nomination.
Check out his latest literary news, updates, and information
at his website, jeff-fearnside.com.
ABOUT OUR PAST VOLUNTEER GUEST JUDGES
Andrew Rihn (Guest Blind Judge) is the author of several slim volumes of poetry,
including the chapbooks The Rust Belt MRI (Pudding House), America Plops and
Fizzes (sunnyoutside press), and Foreclosure Dogs (Winged City Press). Andrew
was the 2008 First Place Stan and Tom Wick Undergraduate Poetry Competition winner
and runner-up in the 2009 Working Peoples' Poetry Competition. He has run poetry
workshops at both Kent State University at Stark and a domestic violence shelter.
He can be found online at his blog Midwestern Sex Talk.
T.M. Göttl (Guest Blind Judge) is a member of the Buffalo ZEF creative community
and serves as vice president of the Ohio Poetry Association. Her work has appeared
in Pudding Magazine, Verse Wisconsin, Common Threads, The Hessler Street Fair
Poetry Anthology, Opium Press, The Poet’s Haven, Deep Cleveland, The Mill,
Waynessence, and others, as well as on 91.3 fm.