Mothers from the stadiums of earth and heaven – from Cynthia Lamanna


To all Mothers, and Grandmothers, waving from the stadiums of Heaven, to those currently on earth, and to those in future realms who will advocate for children everywhere, administering cheer and chicken soup, attending sports events, and showering love upon all-from successful freckled fresh scrubbed future vice presidents to the dismal trouble makers-her arms reach far and wide enough to include all. To daughters who dream, who take the time and self discipline to master subjects and grow in confidence to know what they can do well and how they can contribute to the world-at different places on our journey we recognize those budding scientists and doctors- girls who nurture speckled diseased plants, and bring gifts of healing to the garden of  thriving flowers-blessings to those who connive to adopt the runt of the litter; to those who sweetly follow instruction, and do not turn to the right or the left; may we all know in deeper ways, the sacrifice of a Mothers love; prayers and admiration to the rebels- those who learn the best lessons-(some even later rather than sooner), though in the hardest ways they stick at a certain juncture; for those who march to their own drum, inspire others, turning up the volume of their own music that comes from somewhere deep within-God bless those who have learned that the spirit of Jesus goes against the grain of high minded Society, political correctness, or a “religious spirit.”
Applause and tough love for those bleeding hearts who plead their cause and root for all the underdogs and friends with strange colored hair, and wayward hearts; forgiveness and second chances  to Mothers who did not know a Mothers love and have sacrificed a child for a crack pipe or a sweet talking boy; paralyzed in captivity, and broken in spirit, they spend the rest of their lives trying to fill the void; in lamentation we as Mothers grieve for the plight of the unwanted yet invaluable unborn; not all were conceived in love, but are Gods creation and vision none the less- May those who have found a way to reunite with lost family find warmth and connection in a cold world-may we all remember the alien, be generous with our time and resources to the orphans, Fatherless and cherish the concept of kindness to strangers as God reminded the Israelites, that they were once strangers in a strange land-.we celebrate in spirit with you and remember the
balding dolls retrieved from those “good will” baskets, the very same forsaken for pretty or newer looking dolls. As an act of penance, we redeemed them and washed their dirt smudged vinyl faces. For those who deny or admit they emulate their own Mothers-who have their guilty chocolate pleasures like she or show a  vulnerable side; than there are those who wish they had her patience, or ease around the kitchen-and who can’t hem a dress let alone do cross stitching religiously in the late hours of the night; may you too show interest in people, and keep your lamp burning at night like the proverbial Grandmother, nurturing with warm soup, clean bedding and a cheerful heart, covering over another’s offence or annoying habit that someday after all, you might shrug off or find hilarious with some wisdom and understanding. May you too bring the beauty and final touches to a homemade card for a sick relative.

How many times as a toddler did you watch the ladies of the household and imitate acts of kindness, rocking bedraggled teddy bears to sleep and reciting poems in half sentences-none the less a great comfort to yourself as you rocked yourself to sleep when Mama had already gotten up numerous times in the night with the binky and the hot water bottle?-we learn what to do, or in some case what not to do, from our own Mothers.  To all who yearn to love and be loved and carry on a legacy for years to come, Happy Mothers Day-bless all of you whoever or wherever you are, who carry a Mothers song though you might not ever harbor a child in your womb. For Mothers who have heard and answered an inner call to adopt a child in his/her infancy, childhood, or beyond and for those who follow that calling, we salute you.

I think of Sandra Bullock– not only an Oscar winner and respectable seasoned actress, but an emerging leader and inspiration among women with her bravery, and eyes to see beyond and separate the ugly part of a cheating spouse from the goodness of his heart-no doubt, she will take and utilize the lessons of the love she saw in his parenting and devotion to her on different levels; not an easy feat for many-couldn’t we more learn from her show of respect, stoicism, faith, and “equality for all” philosophy that she appears to live by as well as pledge allegiance to. She admits she is sad and frightened about her life and what lies ahead, but she is stronger than she thinks as she relies on her faith in God and willingness to start anew focused on the important and precious resources of our world-children. Her love for little Louis is evident from not only the beautiful black and white pages captured in People magazine, but from a inner light-hers is a spirit, which radiates a calming mind, and beauty that cant be hidden from the public or fully captured by the lens of a camera.

Cynthia Lamanna may be reached at and welcomes thoughts and reactions from others.

Kit Fox’s comic strip, Snap, Crackle, Pop!


My name is Kit, and I draw a comic strip about my life, in which I am aided and hindered by a host of demons, dragons, monsters, Buddhist goldfish and tyrannical cacti.  I live in Hawaii where I teach art for toddlers and draw this comic strip.  For more comics and some other interesting hodgepodge, jam on over to and follow my work!

Muse Literary Magazine seeks writing for upcoming themed issues


MUSE Takes on Themes!
Ongoing open call for original and unpublished
fiction, poetry, prose, letters, essays, and images
related to the following themes:

2010 Themes
September: Drama (Submission deadline July 1)
December: The Other (Submission deadline October 1)

2011 Themes
March: Winners of the 2011 MUSE Literary Competition
June: Motels (Submission Deadline April 1)
September: On The Couch (Submission Deadline July 1)
December: In the Mail (Submission Deadline October 1)

MUSE is a celebration of inspiration for literary artists. It is a quarterly publication of The Lit, dedicated to providing Ohio-based writers a platform to showcase superior craftsmanship, to supporting and promoting writers in their craft, to spotlighting news of interest in the literary community, and to elevating the overall literacy of the region.

MUSE seeks to delight, entertain, educate, and inspire its readers. We further aspire to elevate local, national, and we hope – some day, international awareness of Ohio as a literary arts epicenter.

MUSE publishes all genres of creative writing – including but not limited to poetry, fiction, essay, memoir, humor, lyrics, and drama; political essays; satire; profiles; book reviews; anything to stimulate public interest in reading and writing. Preference is given Ohio-based authors.

GENERAL PUBLICATION SUBMISSIONS (excluding annual competition) may be sent electronically to info(at) (replace (at) with @), with MUSE Submission in the subject line. We prefer electronic submissions, but if you prefer hard mail, please include SASE to MUSE, c/o The Lit, 2570 Superior Avenue, Suite 203, Cleveland, OH 44114. We reserve the right to print or not print any and all submissions.

MUSE is now available for purchase at Mac’s Backs Coventry, Joseph Beth Booksellers Legacy Village, and Visible Voice Books Tremont.

Vox Humana Press calls for work about various types of cultural experience

Call for Manuscripts

Vox Humana Press is a small, independent publisher of quality literary fiction and non-fiction.

These are our new imprints: We are particularly interested in literary fiction and critical non-fiction for these imprints.

Vox Humana Latino:
Vox Humana Latino is interested in receiving already published work, which has not yet found electronic publication, documenting the latin-american experience .

Vox Humana Heritage:
Vox Humana Heritage is interested in receiving already published work, which has not yet found electronic publication, documenting the african-american experience.

Vox Humana AsiaEast
Vox Humana AsiaEast is interested in receiving already published, work which has not yet found electronic publication, documenting the asian and far eastern experience.

Kindle Division
We are also seeking works by published authors for our Kindle division
We handle all file conversions and cover design at no cost and there is a 50/50 split between the author and the Press.

Please submit all queries to <publisher(at)> (replace (at) with @). All queries will be answered.

Check out our web-sites:,

Thank you for your attention.

Broken Circles – call for original food-related poetry to benefit food banks

broken circles
Call for Submissions

April 15, 2010-July 15, 2010
<cavemoonpress(at)> (replace (at) with @)
Thanks to the Cave Moon Community, a project to help
hunger will come to press in celebration of five years in 2011.

To that end, Cave Moon Press is requesting 2-5
original poems about food. Translations welcome. The
integrity of the translation and credit to your teammate are the
responsibility of the poet.

It is hoped that each accepted poet will combine readings
around food and music with proceeds going to the local food
of their choice.

In the process, I’ll be checking with past contributors to the
newsletter about reprinting their pieces by
permission. Feel free to contact us with questions.

Please submit poems in one MS Word document.
Place file format in BC_NAME_041510
12 pt Garamond preferred in Latin alphabetic languages

“Our words are our bread”- Silko

Write a poem. Feed a friend.

Cave Moon Press

San Francisco’s First Annual Beauty Expo – Showcasing Makeup Artists, Hairstylists, Designers…and Poets!


Earlier this month, on Saturday, May 8th, four teams of makeup artists and hairstylists competed at San Francisco’s Pigment Lounge over free cocktails, mocktails, and other sundry snacks, giving each of their models a unique look in thirty minutes. This event, designed to spotlight the efforts of people important to the fashion scene, featured Nikol and Sarah Elaine, Michael Patterson and Mike Page, Jen Holiday and Justina Downs, and Jamia and the Pigment Cosmetics artists.


Many attendees enjoyed the idea of a celebration event just for hair and makeup – after all, as some said, no one would go out dressed in high fashion without paying attention to the rest of their appearance. And people wanted to observe how much the styling contributed to someone’s look, and how much artistry someone could put into preparing a model for a show.


The judges, representatives from various local fashion and makeup businesses, including one woman who worked with people suffering from physical trauma and skin diseases, received instructions to select the winner based on skill and originality. Each team developed something distinctive while people sipped drinks and networked, and designed looks ranging from a smooth, cohesive and colorful yellow, purple and orange Mardi Gras-esque style to more dramatic with plenty of lipstick and eyeshadow. Judges, and many others, continually complimented each team as they worked, and every style reflected passion and artistry.


Many entrepreneurs and local designers attended this event, including a representative from sponsor Smart Water, dressed proudly in jeans and encouraging everyone to relax and stay healthy. A general feeling of peace, health, and well-being permeated the showcase, and Smart Energy’s free cocktails could be mixed with a vitamin supplement to help drinkers stay hydrated and nourished.


After a few minutes of deliberation, Holiday and Downs received the top prize, and the audience generally agreed the team carried out excellent work, building off of the natural shape and color of the model’s face.


As an accompaniment to the event, organizers Owen Geronimo and the rest of the San Francisco Fashion and Merchants’ Alliance collected poetry from the general public on the topic of ‘beauty’ and posted them on a blog connected to the show. Currently, a trend seems to have emerged in the city towards integrating fashion into the broader arts and cultural scene, and combining other forms of art with clothing design and style. As Kate Durbin, poet and author of The Ravenous Audience, said at her May 11th reading at City Lights Books, poetry is a form of ‘decorated language,’ words stylized like the fabric of new couture. To her, fashion is public, direct, and a powerful form of immediate self-assertion, which all types of writers and artists should look at and embrace.


The Beauty Expo, now an annual event, offers a step in that direction while highlighting the talents of many important people whose work accompanies that of leading fashion designers.


To get in touch with the people of the Beauty Expo, please contact them through the website or on Facebook.






Wednesday, May 26th, 7-9PM

FACE TO FACE: Using Facebook to Promote Your Art & Events”

– Learn the ins & outs of social networking on Facebook to promote your artwork & exhibitions, learn to find the right “friends”, post photos & create event invitations effectively, detailed explanations & examples from Mike Yochum of SF Art News


Wednesday, June 9th, 7-9PM

“PROMOTION: Marketing Yourself & Your Artwork”

– Creating exhibit opportunities, promoting your exhibits, promoting your web site, networking and promoting on the Internet, with Stephen C. Wagner


Wednesday, June 23rd, 7-9PM

“TAKE YOUR BEST SHOT: Photographing Your Artwork for Documentation”

– Tips from a professional photographer on how to best photograph your own artwork, with photographer Eric Larson




Wednesday, August 11th, 7-9PM

“COMMUNICATION: Writing Your Artist Statement”

– Writing an impressive & effective Artist Statement, with practice exercises & examples, with Stephen C. Wagner


Wednesday, August 25th, 7-9PM

“OPEN FOR BUSINESS: Promoting Your Open Studio Events”

– Preparing your artwork & studio, print & on-line promotion, strategies & selling techniques, with Dimitri Kouroniotis from Hunter’s Point, Trish Tunney from Mission Artists United, and Stephen C. Wagner from SOMA Open Studios


ADMISSION:  $20 at the door


at ARC STUDIOS & GALLERY, 1246 Folsom Street, San Francisco /


The San Francisco Artist Network strives to support the making of quality art in all media,

to provide a nurturing environment for artists’ professional development, to connect artists with potential



Love, life, poetry, and the color wheel: Kate Evans’ Complementary Colors


Kate Evans’ new novel, Complementary Colors, demonstrates how human interactions often prove messier and more complex than anything we might describe through art theory or a color wheel. Narrator Gwen Sullivan and her assortment of family members, lovers, and friends puzzle their way through various combinations of heterosexual, same-sex, and other types of relationships, all of which seem equally fragile and confusing.


Yet, through Gwen’s coworker Lucy’s continuing to work through her differences with her husband, through her childhood friend Kaye’s joy over her impending motherhood and through everyone’s support for Vanessa while her lover Theresa passed away from breast cancer, Evans suggests that real interpersonal connection may still be possible and still worth fighting for. Through the words of Walt Whitman, she encourages people not to fear merging with each other and the rest of the universe.


Evans reflects the best of her craft when describing random, particular moments. These delicate turns of phrase let readers glimpse the aliveness of stars and streetlights during Gwen’s drive home from her first poetry class, smell the ocean’s salt spray when she claims her independence in Santa Cruz, cringe when strange men approach in bars simply to settle foolish macho bets, feel the rough metalwork and view the literal ‘complementary colors’ on display in the local art studio, and giggle knowingly as she and Lucy make faces towards each other at the tutoring center, bonding over shared quests for intimacy from the men they love. Complementary Colors strikes a great balance most of the time among action, dialogue, and internal reflection, although some of the paragraphs dealing with issues such as past political campaigns could be trimmed and the same points expressed more implicitly.


In a way similar to the first Bridget Jones movie, Complementary Colors perceptively captures its characters’ very human awkwardness and insecurities, and encourages readers to think and sympathize. We feel for Gwen as she attempts to find space for herself in her own home, and as she observes her boyfriend Daniel interact with his female lab partner and wonders, even with her degree in literature, if she can ever measure up when it comes to class and intellect. And we cheer as Lucy finally properly disposes of the many opinionated self-help books her therapists insist she buy and read to save her marriage, and gathers the courage to value herself even while staying with her husband. Through her female characters’ self-doubts, Evans points out and critiques how our society often subtly discredits femininity as weak, inadequate, and silly. 


And, through showing Gwen’s interactions with her family members and her married friends, Evans depicts the worries and frustration many young women feel over pressure to live up to society’s conflicting expectations concerning career success, motherhood, tradition, independence and love and family. It isn’t easy to have to make life choices, but the alternative, tackling everything at once, can be difficult too. And Evans’ intriguing minor characters, including first-time mom Kaye and her alpaca farm, and Rose, the lesbian woman minister Jamie loves, but leaves for Gwen, all represent varied attempts at forging a workable destiny.


Love and life are confusing and complex for more than just straight women, and Daniel himself faces familial and professional pressure, as his colleagues land mentions in prestigious science journals before his papers get accepted. Friends, business partners, and former lovers Cat and Jamie must cope with a mixture of mutual support, gratitude and jealousy. Evans deftly links these personal feelings and vignettes in with her broader social observations. Birth control pills, election campaigns, people-watching episodes, even fireplaces and traffic lights, provide segues into social commentary, and we observe how broad societal trends directly play out in people’s lives.


Still, Complementary Colors left me with a feeling of unease. Characters seemed to drift among various casual relationships, living arrangements, careers, and interests, all in the search for self-discovery and personal fulfillment. And, without denying some of their legitimate reasons for discontent, many of their personal journeys seemed still incomplete by the novel’s end. Simply entering a new relationship, or leaving an old one, or even traveling, rarely settles the question of one’s identity by itself – one has to consciously choose that and not wait for it to occur automatically. I was waiting for Gwen and others to find not only true love, but a sense of purpose and security, something worth doing and living for above and beyond themselves. And, even with people’s tentative steps towards this type of discovery, such as Gwen’s decision to celebrate poetry’s transformative power by working in a bookstore, I was not sure they had reached that point, or that their new and future relationships would be satisfying.


Kate Evans’ Complementary Colors was released last year by Vanilla Heart Publishing, She’s also a poet and professor of English and Comparative Literature at San Jose State University – and loves dogs, Emily Dickinson, and Walt Whitman. You may find her blog online at

Poemelon Journal’s call for poetry submissions

Poemeleon: A Journal of Poetry

Call for Submissions: Prime Time Poetry

Prime Time Poetry, like that sweet spot of the television lineup, seeks to connect with its audience, addressing the concerns of ordinary people in the clearest language possible. In some circles this might be called “accessible” poetry, but, to quote Claudia Emerson: “If we care about readers and all (and not just those in the academy), we have to give them a way into the poem.” This is not to say that we are looking for simple poems; in fact, Emerson goes on to say, “[W]e need to remember that clarity does not preclude depth. If our language is precise, our imagery clear, our metaphors original and well crafted, then we can indeed create poems that will reward a listener on being heard for the first time and also replay the astute close reader.”

We want work that is clear but not simple-minded, that is complex but not indecipherable, that sings, that stands up, that rings true. But, it must work equally as well on the page as on the stage; that is to say, we want the best work out there that represents the various poetries that make up what we are referring to as Prime Time Poetry. Like the proposed anthology by the same name (to see The Plumbline School blogpost about Prime Time Poetry google “modest book proposal norton anthology“) we are not looking for one type of poetry, but rather poetry drawn from any number of different poetry communities that have in common a desire to connect with, rather than shut out, potential audiences. Some examples: Charles Harper Webb’s Stand Up Poetry; David Kirby & Barbara Hamby’s Ultra-Talk; R.S. Gwynn’s & Kevin Walzer’s Expansive Poetry; The Poets Laureate, who “serve as the nation’s official lightning rod for the poetic impulse of Americans”; Performance & Slam Poetry; and Cowboy Poetry.

If the kind of work that you are doing might fit roughly into one of the above categories, send it on.

And if you have mp3s and/or videos of you performing your work, include those, too, please.

All submissions must come through our online submissions system. Please visit the website for complete details & instructions.

For general questions send a note to editor(at)poemeleon(dot)org.

Shaking Like a Mountain (music journal) seeks all types of submissions

shaking like a mountain (, THE journal of
literature about music continues to seek poetry, fiction, nonfiction and
critical analysis for our weekly journal and blog. To facilitate that process,
we’ve paired with a great gang of writers, editors, and software designers at
Submishmash, who’ve created a submission manager for journals like ours. Just
click on the submit link on the shaking homepage and sail through the rest. As
always we look forward to seeing what you got.

Nashville Review (Vanderbilt University)’s call for submissions – fiction, nonfiction, poetry

Vanderbilt University’s national literary magazine, Nashville Review, will be accepting submissions of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction until June 1 for its Summer 2010 issue. Fiction and nonfiction contributors are offered a flat fee of $100; poetry contributors are offered $25 per poem.

For submission guidelines, please visit

San Jose’s WORKS gallery benefit auction next weekend, Hayward and Castro Valley open studios this weekend! Come support our featured contributors!

San Jose’s community-based, artist-owned First Street gallery, WORKS, hosts its benefit auction next weekend, with work available to view now and bidding starting next Saturday evening, the 22nd.

I’ve served as a gallery sitter and will be back Thursday the 20th, 2-4 for another shift…and the artwork is diverse and lovely! Several people who’ve been featured in Synchronized Chaos over the years have pieces up for auction, including Reuben Rutledge, Kimy Martinez, Wayne Jiang, and many others.

Announcement from the gallery:

 Over 100 Bay Area artists have donated their work to support Works/San Jose, located on 451 South First Street, near parking garages and in a reasonably safe neighborhood, and the community art and performance center of the South Bay! Pieces range in size and form, media and subject, creating a diverse array of artwork that represents the broad artistic spirit of artists in and around San Jose. The art will be auctioned on Saturday May 22nd to support the ongoing activities of Works. Gala reception and final preview at 5 p.m., bidding for live and silent auction begins at 7 p.m. Please join us for an exciting evening! Wonderful folks will be there, lots of lovely positive energy so come on out!

Also, THIS weekend, the 14th-16th, is Open Studio weekend in Hayward and Castro Valley. Plenty of other wonderful work available for view and purchase…come support another emerging art scene, and plenty of folks in the Synchronized Chaos family and whom we’ve featured will show work here, also.