Sunspot Lit’s 2021 ‘Inception’ contest
For Sunspot Lit’s 2021 Inception contest, send your best opening.There are no restrictions on theme, category, or the length of the piece or collection from which the beginning is excerpted.
- Open: July 1, 2021
- Submit here: https://sunspotlit.submittable.com/submit/198721/inception-2021-500-for-prose-poetry-or-art-opening
- Close: September 30, 2021
- Entry fee: $10
- Prize: $500 cash, publication
Marlanda Dekine wins 2021 New Southern Voices Poetry Prize
SCAC earns publication, cash prize
Hub City Press just announced that Marlanda Dekine is the winner of the fifth New Southern Voices Poetry Prize.Marlanda Dekine (she/they) is a poet obsessed with ancestry, memory, and the process of staying within one's own body. Their work manifest as books, audio projects, and workshops, leaving spells and incantations for others to follow for themselves. The prize for Dekine's unpublished manuscript, Thresh & Hold, is $1,000 and publication by Hub City Press in spring 2022. Their manuscript was selected as the winner of the prize by award-winning poet Gabrielle Calvocoressi. Dekine's work has been published or is forthcoming in Southern Humanities Review, POETRY Magazine, Emergence Magazine, Juke Joint Magazine, OROBORO, Screen Door Review, Root Work Journal, and elsewhere. They are the founder and former executive director of Speaking Down Barriers, Spoken Word Spartanburg, and other organizations that make space for all beings. Currently, she serves as a Healing Justice Fellow with Gender Benders and the 2021/2022 creative-in-residence with Castle of our Skins. Dekine is the recipient of many awards, including a Tin House Own Path Scholarship (2021), an SC Humanities Award for Fresh Voices in Humanities (2019), Emrys' Keller Cushing Freeman Fellowship (2019), and grants from the S.C. Arts Commission, Alternate Roots, The Map Fund, and other organizations. She holds a bachelor's degree from Furman University, University of South Carolina, and is a third-year master of fine arts candidate (Poetry) at Converse College. Of the collection, Calvocoressi wrote,
"I cannot and will not put Marlanda Dekine’s, Thresh & Hold down. The world it builds, celebrates, and reclaims is a reckoning and a symphony. From the brutality of the rice plantations of South Carolina to the specific privacy found inside one’s Saturn Vue, the breadth of human experience that unfold in these poems cover histories that, we too often forget, are all intimate stories. Dekine reminds us that every moment we read about is a moment some body has fought or celebrated or been unable to live through. The effect of this is that we are brought into the vast music of a world that is endlessly unfolding, It’s fairly common to read poems that speak about community but there are only a handful of poets alive; Nikky Finney, Destiny Hemphill, CA Conrad come to mind, whose poems truly make community as the work blooms before us. This is a poet of that order and ability. I am so blown away by the gift and the challenge of this book. A book that not for one moment looks away from the brutality and beauty of this world. A book that says, 'I am listening to Spirit. I am not dying today.'"Calvocoressi is the author of the poetry collections Rocket Fantastic; Apocalyptic Swing, which was a finalist for the 2009 Los Angeles Times Book Prize; and The Last Time I Saw Amelia Earhart, which was shortlisted for the Northern California Book Award and winner of the Connecticut Book Award in Poetry. They are the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including a Stegner Fellowship and Jones Lectureship from Stanford University, a Rona Jaffe Woman Writer's Award, a Lannan Foundation residency in Marfa, Texas, the Bernard F. Conners Prize from The Paris Review, and a residency from the Civitella Ranieri Foundation. Calvocoressi teaches at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and lives in Carrboro, North Carolina. The other finalists are Reyes Ramirez for Answers Without Questions and Andy Young for Museum of the Soon Departed. The biennial New Southern Voices Prize is sponsored by Hub City Press of Spartanburg. It is open to all poets who have either never published a full-length collection of poetry, or who have only published one full-length collection, and who currently reside in and have had residency in one or more of the following states for a minimum of 24 consecutive months: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia. The previous winner of this prize was Megan Denton Ray for her collection, Mustard, Milk and Gin which was released by Hub City Press in March 2020.
Rock Hill teen named youth poet laureate
It's a South Carolina first
Rock Hill was recently the host city for the “One Word Poetry Festival,” a creation of Rock Hill Poet Laureate Angelo Geter.This three-day festival attracted a large crowd for a first-time event. Many of the events were free, open to the public and well attended. One of the major events was the selection of a youth poet laureate. Thirteen young poets submitted their work and 17-year-old Alexandra Aradas was named the winner. Not only is this distinction an honor for her personally, but also for Rock Hill and South Carolina; she is the city's and state's first youth poet laureate. Aradas is a rising senior at the S.C. Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities in Greenville. While her concentration is creative writing, she hopes to have a career in politics. The Rock Hill Youth Poet Laureate Program celebrates and honors teen poets who exhibit a commitment to not just artistic excellence, but also civic engagement, youth leadership and social justice. The position has a one-year term. Aradas will be celebrated Thursday, July 29 at 7 p.m. at the Center for the Arts/Arts Council of York County (121 East Main St., Rock Hill).
S.C. Arts Awards: Marjory Wentworth
2021 Recipient Feature SeriesAs the day nears for the 2021 South Carolina Arts Awards, The Hub is focusing on this year's recipients: seven receiving the South Carolina Governor's Awards for the Arts and two receiving the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award, which are managed jointly by the South Carolina Arts Commission and McKissick Museum at the University of South Carolina.
Special Award | Governor's Awards for the ArtsMarjory Wentworth, erstwhile poet laureate of the state of South Carolina, is the New York Times bestselling author of Out of Wonder, Poems Celebrating Poets (with Kwame Alexander and Chris Colderley). She is the co-writer of We Are Charleston, Tragedy and Triumph at Mother Emanuel, with Herb Frazier and Dr. Bernard Powers and Taking a Stand, The Evolution of Human Rights, with Juan E. Mendez. She is co-editor, with Kwame Dawes, of Seeking, Poetry and Prose inspired by the Art of Jonathan Green, and the author of the prizewinning children’s story Shackles. Her books of poetry include Noticing Eden, Despite Gravity, The Endless Repetition of an Ordinary Miracle and New and Selected Poems. Her poems have been nominated for The Pushcart Prize six times. Wentworth serves on the board of advisors at The Global Social Justice Practice Academy, and she is a 2020 National Coalition Against Censorship Free Speech is for Me Advocate. She teaches courses in writing, social justice and banned books at the College of Charleston and formerly taught courses at The Citadel and Art Institute of Charleston in addition to instructing courses through Roper Hospital and the Medical University of South Carolina. Her career in education began with teaching creative writing at the Charleston County School of the Arts. Since 2012 she serves as an artist in residence with Engaging Creative Minds.
Quotable...Marjory has been an indefatigable champion for the arts across the state. The office was not ceremonial for her: it was a calling. For 17 years she has followed that calling all over the state, from library to library and school to school, tirelessly (and usually without compensation) promoting the arts, literacy, and creativity to thousands of students, elementary school to college, and teaching us all how writing can help us to understand our world...
Dr. Ed Madden Professor of English University of South Carolina Columbia
The South Carolina Arts Awards stream live Monday, May 24, 2021. The festivities begin at 6 p.m. on SouthCarolinaArts.com. There is no in-person event in 2021. The virtual ceremony will be available on demand from the S.C. Arts Commission YouTube Channel after the livestream presentation.
Meet the RecipientsUse these links to read the long-form bios of the other 2021 South Carolina Arts Awards recipients.
S.C. public arts high school welcomes poet Danez Smith
On April 12, creative writing students at the Fine Arts Center in Greenville had the opportunity to participate in a class presented by Danez Smith, a national award-winning author and writer, through the Momentum Series, a program headed by the students of the program.The Momentum Series is a project produced and managed by the Fine Arts Center Creative Writing Program, in which members of the class work together to bring an innovative writer of national reputation to Greenville to do a community reading and teach a class to the creative writing program at FAC. Through this, the students are able to learn from professional and accomplished writers who are active in the field while also promoting the arts within the Greenville community and strengthening the bonds between the city’s diverse cultural communities and the school district. The Momentum Series is curated, organized, implemented and publicized by students in the Fine Arts Center’s Careers In Publishing class. While usually available to the public, this year the Momentum Series will take place as a closed, virtual event for the FAC creative writing class due to COVID-19 restrictions; however, next spring we hope to be live again in the community! For this year’s installment, the organizers of the program have worked together to bring in poet Danez Smith. Danez Smith is a Black, Queer, Poz writer & performer from St. Paul, Minnesota. Danez is the author of "Don’t Call Us Dead" (Graywolf Press, 2017), winner of the Forward Prize for Best Collection, the Midwest Booksellers Choice Award, and a finalist for the National Book Award, and "[insert] boy" (YesYes Books, 2014), winner of the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry. Danez is a member of the Dark Noise Collective and is the co-host of VS with Franny Choi, a podcast sponsored by the Poetry Foundation and Postloudness. Danez’s third collection, “Homie”, was published by Graywolf in January 2020. - Elizabeth Scott, Fine Arts Center creative writing student
$500 for tiny art: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and visual art
Authors & artists eligible for GemingaSUBMISSION DEADLINE: Wednesday, March 31, 2021
Geminga is a neutron star so small it was difficult to detect. It was named, in part, for a transcription of gh’è minga, meaning “it’s not there.”For 2021, Sunspot Lit is launching Geminga: $500 for tiny fiction, nonfiction, poetry, or visual art to honor the power of the small. No restrictions on theme or category.
- Word limit is 100 for fiction and nonfiction.
- Micropoetry is limited to 140 characters. Characters include spaces, punctuation, numbers, and letters of the alphabet.
- Titles are not included in the word count.
- Compound words separated by hyphens, numbers, and letters of the alphabet are counted as a single word.
Artist restrictionsVisual art entries should be paintings, drawings, or sketches no larger than 25 inches square. Sculptural forms should be no larger than 25 inches in any dimension (length, height, or width).
- Open: January 1, 2021
- Close: March 31, 2021
- Entry fee: $6
- Prize: $500 cash, publication for the winner, publication offered to runners-up and finalists.
Submit entries to: https://sunspotlit.submittable.com/submit
SCAC commitments to DEI, rural aided by grant from Coastal Community Foundation of S.C.
$14,339 grant expands agency work in Lowcountry
For Immediate Release
COLUMBIA, S.C. – A grant awarded to the South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) by Coastal Community Foundation of South Carolina (CCF) supported commitments to expanding diversity, equity, and inclusion and reaching rural communities.That perfectly complements the SCAC’s new strategic plan, released in late 2020, which calls for it to “promote equitable access to the arts” through a renewed focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion. Additionally, the agency has a commitment to expanding arts opportunities in rural communities through such initiatives as its nationally recognized program The Art of Community: Rural SC. Extenuating circumstances in FY19 led to $500 from that year’s Expansion Arts Fund award being held over to FY20, bringing that year’s funding to $14,839. This is how the funds were distributed by the SCAC:
- Aldwyth, an individual artist in Beaufort County, was granted $2,500 to support the creation of works for Pictures of Nothing or Mr. Varnedoe, Why Abstraction?, a multi-disciplinary exhibition focused on Kirk Varnedoe’s book, Pictures of Nothing: Abstract Art Since Pollock. Pandemic restrictions continue to postpone the public display of the works created by Aldwyth and an assistant.
- Fletcher Williams, an individual artist in Charleston County, was granted $2,500. He worked with a local fabricator and a team of assistants to create the mobile walls for his Picket Fence – Promiseland Consisting of sculpture and large-scale paper art, the installation encouraged visitors to imagine and observe the Aiken-Rhett House as possibly seen through different eyes, times, and sets of experiences. Though delayed, the project opened and was used as a tool to address current events, serving both artistic and social-awareness goals while engaging new patrons who may have previously been unaware of or disinterested in the arts.
- Marlanda Dekine, an individual artist in Georgetown County, received $2,500 for research related to the experiences of the artist as a Gullah-Geechee descendant living in South Carolina “with a rootedness in Africana & Caribbean being and creolization.” Written and recorded interviews, community engagement, and tours of local museums and plantations assisted in the completion of written-word poetry. The culmination of this work is to be a serial poem offered through spoken word as a site-specific soundscape, or aural architecture, as well as in live performances for the community, with discourse and audience interaction as part of the final product. In this context, Dekine acts as a conduit and witness of present, past, and future.
- Community arts organization Colleton Museum, Farmers Market and Commercial Kitchen in Colleton County received $7,339 from the Expansion Arts Fund to support the development of WHAM!, Walterboro History, Art, & Music, a new public festival. They’ve used an indefinite delay to reexamine how they implement content for the rural community they serve. By reconceptualizing the initial project, they’ve seen increased interest from artists representing a broader segment of the community and now have a more flexible framework that can be used and reused at any time.
About the South Carolina Arts CommissionThe mission of the South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) is to promote equitable access to the arts and support the cultivation of creativity in South Carolina. We envision a South Carolina where the arts are valued and all people benefit from a variety of creative experiences. A state agency created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1967, the SCAC works to increase public participation in the arts by providing grants, direct programs, staff assistance and partnerships in three key areas: arts education, community arts development, and artist development. Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., the SCAC is funded by the state of South Carolina, by the federal government through the National Endowment for the Arts, and other sources. Visit SouthCarolinaArts.com or call 803.734.8696, and follow @scartscomm on social media.
Poetry Society of S.C. turns 100
Join us for our centennial year
The Poetry Society of South Carolina turns 100 years old this coming January.Since 1921 the Society has sponsored readings, lectures, and other events featuring the likes of Robert Frost, Carl Sandburg, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Amy Lowell, Harriet Monroe, Archibald Rutledge, and legions of other renowned and emerging poets. If you write poetry or enjoy it as a reader or hearing it in recitation, we invite you to become a member and join us this spring as we launch our centennial year. Beginning in January, we have monthly readings and writing workshops scheduled for broadcast over Zoom and hopefully in-person, should pandemic protocols allow. All readings are open to the public and free. In addition to a Poetry Showcase, our January reading at 7 p.m. on Jan. 8 will feature a brief history by President Jim Lundy, who has written a book, due out soon, about the society’s first 100 years. We’re also pleased to announce that thanks to generous support from South Carolina Humanities, writing workshops—which are normally for a fee—will be free this spring as well. Registration through our website is required to receive the Zoom link for each event. You can become a Poetry Society member at our website (www.poetrysocietysc.org) or by sending a check to The Poetry Society of SC, P.O. Box 1090, Charleston, SC 29402. An individual membership is $30 ($15/student). Benefits include:
- monthly newsletters with member news along with dates, times, and locations for each month’s readings and writing workshops;
- online access to readings and writing workshops;
- eligibility for spring and fall poetry contests with cash prizes and winners published online and in the Yearbook.
SCAC announces four 2021 fellowship recipients
Individual excellence in writing, dance honored
for immediate release
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Hard work and exceptional abilities are earning four South Carolina artists practicing in the dance and writing disciplines fellowships from the South Carolina Arts Commission for fiscal year 2021.The South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) Board of Directors approved four $5,000 fellowships among several other FY21 grant awards to be announced at a later date. The SCAC’s four fellows are:
- Sarah Blackman of Greenville County in prose,
- John Pursley III of Greenville County for poetry,
- Erin Bailey of Richland County for dance choreography,
- and Tanya Wideman-Davis of Richland County for dance performance.
About the FY21 Individual Artist Fellowship RecipientsSarah Blackman | Prose | Greenville County Sarah Blackman is the director of creative writing at the Fine Arts Center, an arts-centered public high school in Greenville, South Carolina. Her poetry and prose have been published in a number of journals, magazines, and anthologies and she has been featured on the Poetry Daily website. Blackman is the co-fiction editor of Diagram, the online journal of experimental prose, poetry and schematics; and the founding editor of Crashtest, an online magazine for high school age writers she edits alongside her Fine Arts Center students. Her story collection Mother Box, published by FC2 in 2013, was the winner of the 2012 Ronald Sukenick/American Book Review Innovative Fiction Prize. Her novel, Hex, was published by FC2 in April 2016 and in 2018 she joined its board. John Pursley III | Poetry | Greenville County John Pursley III teaches contemporary literature and poetry at Clemson University, where he also directs the annual Clemson Literary Festival. He is the author of the poetry collection, If You Have Ghosts (Zone 3 Press), as well as the chapbooks, A Story without Poverty (South Carolina Poetry Initiative) and A Conventional Weather (New Michigan Press), among others. In addition, he works as the poetry editor of Burnside Review and is an assistant editor for the South Carolina Review. His poems and reviews have appeared in Poetry, AGNI, Colorado Review, Kenyon Review, and elsewhere. Erin Bailey | Dance: Choreography | Richland County Erin Bailey is a South Carolina native who discovered her passion for dance at the Fine Arts Center in Greenville. She has degrees from Columbia College (BFA) and Texas Women’s University (MFA) and has her certification and licensure in massage. She is an adjunct dance professor at Columbia and Coker colleges and the University of South Carolina. Bailey has worked and performed with Columbia area dance companies since 2004 and has performed nationally and internationally at festivals like Piccolo Spoleto in Charleston. In 2018 she founded and remains artistic director of Moving Body Dance Company. She has twice received awards for her choreography work. Photo by Jesse Scroggins. Tanya Wideman-Davis | Dance: Performance | Richland County Tanya Wideman-Davis is the co-director of Wideman Davis Dance and is on faculty as associate professor at the University of South Carolina in the Department of Theatre and Dance and African American Studies. With an extensive career as a dancer, choreographer, and teacher, she completed her Master of Fine Arts from Hollins University/ADF (2012). Tanya has danced with many world-renowned companies, including Dance Theatre of Harlem, Joffrey Ballet, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Alonzo King Lines Ballet, Spectrum Dance Theater, Ballet NY, and as guest artist with Ballet Memphis, Cleveland San Jose Ballet, and Quorum Ballet (Portugal). She received international acclaim as “Best Female Dancer of 2001-2002” from Dance Europe magazine. Photo by Sammy Lopez.
About the South Carolina Arts CommissionWith a commitment to excellence across the spectrum of our state’s cultures and forms of expression, the South Carolina Arts Commission pursues its public charge to develop a thriving arts environment, which is essential to quality of life, education, and economic vitality for all South Carolinians. Created by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1967, the Arts Commission works to increase public participation in the arts by providing grants, direct programs, staff assistance and partnerships in three key areas:
- arts education,
- community arts development,
- and artist development.