Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Billy Collins to judge the Fish Publishing Poetry Contest 2011/2012

United States Poet Laureate (2001–2003)

Billy Collins is an American phenomenon. No poet since Robert Frost has managed to combine high critical acclaim with such broad popular appeal. His work has appeared in a variety of periodicals including The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and The American Scholar, he is a Guggenheim fellow and a New York Public Library “Literary Lion.” His last three collections of poems have broken sales records for poetry. His readings are usually standing room only, and his audience – enhanced tremendously by his appearances on National Public Radio – includes people of all backgrounds and age groups. The poems themselves best explain this phenomenon. The typical Collins poem opens on a clear and hospitable note but soon takes an unexpected turn; poems that begin in irony may end in a moment of lyric surprise. No wonder Collins sees his poetry as “a form of travel writing” and considers humor “a door into the serious.” It is a door that many thousands of readers have opened with amazement and delight.

Billy Collins has published eight collections of poetry, including Questions About Angels, The Art of Drowning, Picnic, Lightning, Taking Off Emily Dickinson’s Clothes, Sailing Alone Around the Room: New & Selected Poems, Nine Horses, The Trouble With Poetry and Other Poems, and Ballistics, and most recently, Horoscopes for the Dead. A collection of his haiku, titled She Was Just Seventeen, was published by Modern Haiku Press in fall 2006. He also edited two anthologies of contemporary poetry: Poetry 180: A Turning Back to Poetry and 180 More: Extraordinary Poems for Every Day, was the guest editor of The Best American Poetry 2006, and edited Bright Wings: An Illustrated Anthology of Poems about Birds, with paintings by David Allen Sibley (November 2009).

Included among the honors Billy Collins has received are fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Guggenheim Foundation. He has also been awarded the Oscar Blumenthal Prize, the Bess Hokin Prize, the Frederick Bock Prize, and the Levinson Prize — all awarded by Poetry magazine. In October 2004, Collins was selected as the inaugural recipient of the Poetry Foundation’s Mark Twain Prize for Humor in Poetry.

In June 2001, Billy Collins was appointed United States Poet Laureate 2001-2003. In January 2004, he was named New York State Poet Laureate 2004-06. Billy Collins is a Distinguished Professor of English at Lehman College of the City University of New York, as well as a Senior Distinguished Fellow of the Winter Park Institute at Rollins College.

(Excerpt from http://www.barclayagency.com/collins.html#)

Friday, 22 July 2011

David Mitchell to judge the Fish Publishing Short Story Contest

Fish Publishing are very proud to announce that the author David Mitchell will be the judge of the Fish Publishing Short Story Contest that opens on 1st August.

Prizes and awards

1999 Guardian First Book Award (shortlist) Ghostwritten

1999 Mail on Sunday/John Llewellyn Rhys Prize Ghostwritten

2001 James Tait Black Memorial Prize (for fiction) (shortlist) number9dream

2002 Man Booker Prize for Fiction (shortlist) number9dream

2004 Man Booker Prize for Fiction (shortlist) Cloud Atlas

2005 British Book Awards Literary Fiction Award Cloud Atlas

2005 British Book Awards Richard & Judy Best Read of the Year Cloud Atlas

2005 Commonwealth Writers Prize (Eurasia Region, Best Book) (shortlist) Cloud Atlas

2006 Costa Novel Award (shortlist) Black Swan Green

2006 Quill Book Award (USA) (general fiction - shortlist) Black Swan Green

2007 Commonwealth Writers Prize (Eurasia Region Best Book) (shortlist) Black Swan Green

David Mitchell was born in Southport, Merseyside, in England, raised in Malvern, Worcestershire, and educated at the University of Kent, studying for a degree in English and American Literature followed by an M.A. in Comparative Literature. He lived for a year in Sicily, then moved to Hiroshima, Japan, where he taught English to technical students for eight years, before returning to England, where he could live on his earnings as a writer and support his pregnant wife.[1] After another stint in Japan, he currently lives in Clonakilty, Ireland, with his wife Keiko and their two children. In an essay for Random House, Mitchell wrote: "I knew I wanted to be a writer since I was a kid, but until I came to Japan to live in 1994 I was too easily distracted to do much about it. I would probably have become a writer wherever I lived, but would I have become the same writer if I'd spent the last 6 years in London, or Cape Town, or Moose Jaw, on an oil rig or in the circus? This is my answer to myself."

Mitchell's first novel, Ghostwritten (1999), moves around the globe, from Okinawa to Mongolia to pre-Millennial New York City, as nine narrators tell stories that interlock and intersect. The novel won the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize (for best work of British literature written by an author under 35) and was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award. His two subsequent novels, number9dream(2001) and Cloud Atlas (2004), were both shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. In 2003, he was selected as one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists. In 2007, Mitchell was listed amongTime magazine's 100 Most Influential People in The World. Mitchell's American editor at Random House is novelist David Ebershoff.

For more information go to http://www.thousandautumns.com/

Saturday, 16 July 2011

The Fish Publishing Anthology Launch 2011

The winning writers and  the dedicated organizers of the Fish Publishing Anthology Launch 2011

The Fish Poem

Centos are collaged poems made up of fragments of other poems. For the official launch of the FISH Anthology in Bantry, Ireland, Brain Turner composed a Cento from the winning Fish poems — otherwise known as “The FISH Poem” 

With the Sails Unfurled

At the border, I forget who I am—
like a leaf changing into a verb, I toss and turn,
going nowhere. Now,
                                     let us speak of love.
Don’t think I don’t know
the crackle of the fire at night, how
the granite boulders burned
like nascent magma
as we waited there. For you,
               I’ll search until the end of time,
with the wind from the west,
sea spray on my face, ‘til the grass is gone
and the rivers run dry, ‘til the end of time,
wherever that is—now,
and now  
and now.

 Brian Turner reading at The Fish Publishing Anthology 2011 launch

The work of the following poets were included:
Ken Taylor, Jean Tuomey, Stephanie Scott, Diana Adams, Michael McCarthy, Jo Bell, Kita Shantiris, Cecile Callan, Malissa Priebe, Kirsty McCormack 

Monday, 11 July 2011

Poem celebrating the launch of the Fish Anthology by Ken Taylor, winner of the Fish Publishing Poetry Prize 2011

in st brendan's church, bantry

the collar of christ is not mock

incantation but gothic & round

with nimbus behind coming off

as the lid of a shell so he has

the bearing of heroic oyster or

even pearl with steely eyes to

meet the mouth that will take

him in: grim push toward or

rebuttal of transubstantiation.

then it’s an oyster disguise as

he rises from canonical camo,

right hand in nonchalance,

aimed loosely at heaven. is

this my struggle or intention

of the stained-glass maker who

crafted a righteous sword stare

or the happenstance of sand

becoming both lucent, colored

glass & trope of grain of sand

becoming pearl becoming savior.

his stare goes over my head

through parallel stained window,

past wolf tone square as if call

to the halal falafel shop across

the street, with no customers –

the owner’s head bowed to allah.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

New Contemporary Memoir Course

With the success of the Flash Fiction Course, Fish Publishing  is very excited to announce  a new Contemporary Memoir Course.  This is a one-to-one online program that should take no longer than 6 months to complete and students can choose their own pace.

This course is designed to stimulate, organise and craft your writing and develop an ability to write based on personal experience and with literary purpose. The aim of this course is not necessarily to come away with a full-length memoir under your belt but it will point you in the right direction by focusing on elements of the genre including characterisation, plot, dialogue and description that you can build upon. Most importantly it will make space in your life for writing. 

Details of the course can be found at www.fishpublishing.com

Fish celebrates One Year of the Flash Fiction Creative Writing Course

The Fish Publishing Online Flash Fiction Course continues after a successful first year. One of this year’s graduates: Jette-Julie Rosendal,  was a runner up in the Fish One-Page Story Competition with “Cover”.

These are some of the things that former students said about the course:

I enjoyed the course very much and it provided me with more than I expected. It was a tool to motivate me to write on a continuing and regular basis and it also introduced me to the pleasure and challenges of flash fiction work. I thoroughly enjoyed working with Mary Jane. I would say there was the right level of straight forward critique balance with positive prompts and encouraging feedback.

Andrea Wicks

It helped me focus on my writing much more than before, the combo of being able to take my time, still someone waiting for my stories made WRITING a much more “real” thing. My writing has improved greatly, I can see that myself when rereading some of my stuff.
I´m much more aware of making choices rather than just scribbling along, which has made me feel I have a pretty great toolbox now. And it was great fun too! Great variety in exercises, additional stuff to do, and constructive, hands-on advice! One of my stories written on the course made it into the Fish Anthology 2011, which I´m still trying to fathom, but have no doubt is a direct result of the course – and its teacher. The teacher- Mary-Jane Holmes had a feel for what I wanted to say, where I wanted to go with my stories, and guided me with clarity, professionalism and human warmth. She has made me much more aware of making choices rather than just scribbling along, which has made me feel I have a pretty great toolbox now. And she made it great fun too!

Jette-Julie Rosendal

I found the course to be hugely beneficial, challenging and also a lot of fun. For me, it was also a great driver to actually write “stuff” day in-day out for an extended period.
Mary-Jane was very encouraging right from the start and she always found something positive to say about each assignment. Her criticism/analysis was always very clear and accurate (when I read it, I could immediately see the pertinence of it). At one point, I described her criticism of an assignment as “gently incisive” and I think that could be use to sum up just about all her interaction.

Kieron Lyons

Mary Jane is an excellent teacher – prompt, direct, precise, encouraging and clear. This is my first experience of tuition in writing. It’s been enjoyable and stimulating in equal measure.

Nancy Fermanagh

Thank you for a high quality course with prompt, valid feedback from an engaging writing professional.

Fiona Sussman
Details of the course can be found at www.fishpublishing.com