Weeding Out the Good Reads

Weeding Out the Good Reads

Contributing writer Savanah Burns wrote this post offering advice and starting points to writers hoping to submit work to contests and literary journals.

My friend has a habit of reading the last page of a book, before ever looking at the first page.

Another friend doesn’t judge a book by its cover, rather they glance at its spine.

Yet another friend does this thing where they looks at a book’s sleeve, reads the author’s biography and pretends to talk to the author by wondering, how did you get from point A to point B? How can I get published? Read more

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Insights into True Crime: An Interview with Tannie Shannon

Insights into True Crime

Contributing writer Laura Brackin recently had the opportunity to ask SHSU instructor and author of Seed of Villainy Tannie Shannon about his book and get some insight into his experience writing a nonfiction work about a true crime case so close to home.

On the evening of September 12, 1995, twelve-year-old McKay Everett was kidnapped from his Montgomery County home in Texas and driven to Louisiana where he was shot and left in a swamp. Ex-Sheriff Captain Hilton Crawford was not an investigator on this case, rather he was the perpetrator of a ransom situation gone wrong.

Tannie Shannon’s book, Seed of Villainy, goes into detail about Crawford’s life, allowing the reader to get into his head and see how decisions he made led him, and young McKay, to this fateful night.  Read more

Part II: Taking a Look at Ephemera with Evana Bodiker

Taking a Look at Ephemera with Evana Bodiker

Contributing writer Savanah Burns recently interviewed the 2017 Robert Phillips Poetry Chapbook Prize winner and author of Ephemera, Evana Bodiker. 

Q: Why did you title your book Ephemera? What statement are you hoping to make?

A: When titling the book, I was initially torn between “Fibrosis” and “Ephemera,” which are both titles of poems from the collection. Ephemera seemed far more applicable to more than one specific theme and more representative of the poems in the book. I also was just drawn to the sound of the word. In a way, I think those same sounds are used and repeated throughout my poems. It also is just a beautiful word. Of course, the word itself embodies a feeling of melancholy; ephemera are things only enjoyed for a short period of time. A lot of my poems can be described as elegiac and melancholic. Read more

We Are the Bus

We Are the Bus by James McKean

This post was written by contributing writer Savanah Burns.

In the winter of 2011, James McKean’s We Are the Bus debuted onto the literary scene with the Texas Review Press. McKean’s hard work won TRP’s X. J. Kennedy Poetry Prize, an annual contest accepting submissions from poets from all over. McKean’s rich background in nonfiction and poetry, along with a hoard of life experience, shows through in his writing. He is an esteemed professor who teaches for the MFA program at Queens University Low Residency, located in North Carolina.

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