Apr 18, 2014

Spring Updates

Our spring reading period is now CLOSED, and our editors here at Harpur Palate are working hard to get through the mountain of submissions we received. Thank you to everyone who trusted us to read your work. The editors should have an answer to you within the next two weeks.

Spring is a big time for literary events in our area - see below for conferences and readings galore!

Saturday, April 19: Bianca Stone and Ben Pease to read at the Belmar Pub, 7 pm

This event has been arranged by our intern Elizabeth and we look forward to hearing from both Bianca and Ben.

Thursday, April 24: Nicole Santalucia and Abby Murray to read at RiverRead Books, 6:30 pm

Both Nicole and Abby are former poetry editors for Harpur Palate, and we congratulate Nicole on her chapbook Driving Yourself to Jail in July winning the 2013 Ruby Irene Prize with Arcadia Magazine. You can see more information about the reading here, and can keep a lookout for a forthcoming review of Nicole's chapbook on our blog. You can buy Driving Yourself to Jail in July here!

Friday, April 25: Binghamton Poetry Project Final Reading at Binghamton University, 6 pm

Come hear poets from the area share the work they've written in various workshops from the Binghamton Poetry Project this spring. This final reading takes place in Binghamton University's Science I Room 149. You can learn more about what the Poetry Project does here

Saturday, April 26: Shifting Tides, Anxious Borders, a graduate conference on transnational literature at the Downtown Center starting at 10:30 am

This conference is put on by graduate students at Binghamton University and will take place at the Downtown Center in Binghamton. Like STAB on Facebook to see what they're all about.

Saturday, May 3: Spring Writes at Ithaca's Argos Inn, 6 pm

Spring Writes has so many wonderful literacy events happening, and Harpur Palate editors will be at the literary journals reading that Saturday evening, reading our favorite pieces from former contributors. Learn more about the many events of Spring Writes here.

We will continually update with more information. 
Thanks again and stay tuned!
(Submissions reopen Fall 2014)

Apr 11, 2014

Apr 9, 2014

Harpur Palate Presents Bianca Stone and Ben Pease Poetry Reading

Harpur Palate is pleased to present a poetry reading featuring Bianca Stone and Ben Pease. The reading is on April 19th from 7-9pm at the Belmar Pub, located at 95 Main Street. We hope to see you there!

One Week Remains

Less than one week remains to submit original fiction, creative non-fiction, and poetry to Harpur Palate. Here's a handy link to our Submittable for all your submission needs and guidelines.

Apr 1, 2014

Amy Pence Reviews Kate Northrop's Clean

Kate Northrop, 
Persea Books, 2011

 ISBN-13: 978-0892553679

Swept Clean  

          If you’re like me, certain passages in books may draw you back to them.  Why?  Because one moment speaks to you, almost in whispers, of the numinous.  For me, it is the middle passage in To the Lighthouse, when the Ramsays’ summer home is in decline—rolling lights stretch across the house, and as the chapter names it, “time passes.”  The yawning existence of things and the simultaneous and sudden expiration of the human evoke a contrary longing for stasis and the acknowledgement of decay’s supreme beauty.  No contemporary poet can better capture living in that mysterious half-life than Kate Northrop.  Like reading Virginia Woolf, when you enter a Kate Northrop book, you are in an in-between space, where reality and perception only fleetingly co-exist.
                Her third collection, Clean, released by Persea Books (2011), takes us to the wind-swept, spare and evocative American landscapes named in the title “Winter Prairie”:
                …One knows

                A window:  it gives everything away,
                Nothing back.  One knows

                the TV light scattered through,
                Blue, cold, though not as blue, not as cold

                As the prairie, the winter prairie, spare
                And so clean it becomes like this

                A struck note, a shape
                Cut from the world yet held in the world

                like staring hard into a grave.
                I speak to you; clearly someone else speaks.

                Often, the speaker is limning the space of the prairie, alone in a car—driving not just through it, but into it.  The surprise at the end of “Winter Prairie” is not unusual: in Northrop’s world, these slight shifts of perception are mysterious and vibrate with the recognition of the marvelous in the quotidian. “Night Drive,” like many of the poems in this collection, moves slyly, gathering energy and power:
                Each turn appears
                As a figure in a dream
                Sure, demanding:
                Look, fields are rising—
                And they are, the bright
                Snow-stripped fields,

                Like a shroud
                Or a female voice
                You never loved me

                And that’s true…
                Like the wrapped skull in the middle passage of To the Lighthouse, in Clean, it is the human that makes its scant appearance, and then disappears or is swallowed by the persistence of time and space.
                The book shifts with Northrop’s long poem sequence “Detail,” when the human takes precedence.  Here, Northrop recalls the shifting perspectives in Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway.  The speaker, just as complex and often contrary as Mrs. Dalloway, ruminates on the nature of lies, where she might have left her sunglasses, near and distant memories, as well as her unique peccadilloes:
                                Loved:  pulling moss from the seams
                                Between bricks; Jell-O, how when touched
                                With a spoon, it resists

                                Hated:  a too-severe part
                                In someone’s hair, visible scalp;
                                The skin formed on house paint;

                                White condiments

                                (Miracle whip, tartar sauce, mayonnaise)

                A subtle humor permeates the poem, and the collection’s title takes on a meaning beyond barren landscapes, the ideally pristine houses, or the “squeak/ Of a paper towel as you clean/ A streak from the glass.”  The book is about “coming clean”—to look at the self with a brutal honesty even when it comes to writing poetry:

                                You know not everything always has to be life or death

                                                                Still, the poems shouldn’t be precious

                                                                Like posing for yourself in a mirror
                                                                To see if you look alright

                The collection ends with “Delphinium,” a poem that enfolds the inwardness of the flower— “They never will mirror you/ Only absorb you”—with the inwardness of the speaker.  Throughout, Northrop demonstrates that material can spark states of being and how an unsparing vision can recall us to these temporal mysteries.

Reviewer Bio:

Amy Pence (www.amypence.com) is the author of the poetry collections Armor, Amour  (Ninebark Press) and The Decadent Lovely (Main Street Rag).  Her non-fiction (essays, interviews and reviews) have appeared in The Writer’s Chronicle, Poets & WritersColorado Review, and The Rumpus.  She lives in Carrollton, Georgia and teaches in Atlanta.