Talking Changes, Updates, Writing & Writers Who Are Rockin’ It…

apple of my eye Copyright 2015, J. A. Spahr-Summers

Behind the Scenes

Okay, admittedly it has been a bit quiet around here, but do not be fooled by the recent silence. There in fact has been a whole lot of talk and movement taking place, and being a believer in full disclosure of the exposing kind – its time to let you in on what we’ve been up to. We’ve got some new plans in the works, a few changes to implement and some achievements to celebrate with you. Overall some really promising things coming down the line for Twig, which is not at all hush-hush either. Well, not all of it anyway. In fact, we’re getting the kind of excited that causes hangovers. Here’s the break-down.

 

What’s Changing?

For starters we have decided to retire the Poem of the Week but not throw it out all together. Basically everyone and their mother in the lit publishing landscape has a similar feature – everyone has a Poem of the Week and while we do enjoy embracing the excellent work of our contributors as well as praising them for the quality and strong reader response their work influences, we think this kind of praise should not be limited to just poetry and its respective poets. Even if we do adore poetry ourselves.

There have been some truly outstanding works across multiple genres worth reading here in Snapping Twig, which have been equally loved by our readers. Thus we’ve decided the opportunity to really be given some serious kudos / literary nods and extra love should be extended to all of our amazing contributors and the many different types of written work we receive. Starting this month we will choose a few writers and an artist whose work really stands out both in context and in the response received by our readers, to cherish, praise, adore, admire and feature throughout the month. We will continue this section monthly as opposed to weekly giving readers a chance to really engage in discussion about these fantastic reads.

This hopefully expands the support we give our contributors and enables more readers who equally appreciate reading them, to support and get to know them right along with us.

At times, especially in April (it being National Poetry Month, after-all) we will continue to share exceptional poetry with you from some of our friends outside and around the Web-O-Sphere including: other respected and worth-reading-literary-magazines; writer / artist blogs, and similar resources. We love supporting the rest of this creative community in their efforts, and we can’t help ourselves when we come across some truly delicious inspirations – such literary efforts make us drool…

 

On the Horizon

We are literally (puns aside) in the swell of the editorial and publishing tide right now as we are hard at work on the Spring Anthology. As I write this we still have a number of submissions to respond to, the cover art to choose, and so much more. It’s true we have been slammed but also incredibly moved, grateful, and anxious to release its radiance as a whole, complete, and ready to devour collection.

 

We want to spread our arms wide in sincere thanks to all those who have submitted their art and writing to us this period. Once again, we have been truly fortunate to receive the work we’ve had the opportunity to publish and appreciate the support by those who continue to send their submissions.

 

The Bucks to Survive

In case you too have been following all the recent buzz circulating around the topic of paying artists and writers for their work… We are also of the opinion that writers and artists deserve to be paid for their creative work and have been pouring a lot of time into research, non-profit business models, and finally making some use of that once awash business degree I acquired during the worst period of writers block to ever plague a writer, etc. This, just in an effort to explore the success and probability of the goal we share to eventually be able to pay contributors we publish.

In the meantime we continue to work on expanding what we can do and offer writers and artists now, which will further our purpose. We want everyone to know how much we appreciate the efforts made by writers and artists to support the existence and livelihood of literary magazines, including those which are self-sustaining, non-profit publications that cannot do much more than offer the opportunities that their self-less efforts give to those who are seeking a home for their work. We’re very aware of what the writers and artists are giving to us with their contribution, and are very grateful for your willingness to help us succeed in our purpose by submitting / reading – even while having a vast range of other publications to choose from. We absolutely encourage you when you submit your work elsewhere because we also support those other publications and celebrate their success. If you’re looking for other great literary gems to submit your work to, you might just find the perfect stomping ground in the list of Literary Magazines – we love via our Resources page.

 

The Line-Up for this Week

because we love to do it…

  • We’ll be sharing a few shout-outs this week to tell you about a couple of other lit pubs you should be reading and / or submitting to.

 

  • We’ll also be telling you about a brand new project we are in the planning stages of, which will be all about celebrating the achievements of our contributors. We will be reviewing their published books, sharing and celebrating their new releases,  doing some in-depth interviews, and offering reviewers and readers opportunities as well. We are looking forward to really getting our hands dirty to help support their work and encourage more readers.

 

  • A very special bonus issue is also in the planning stages right now and we will be slowly disclosing more info about that as well (this one you will want to be on watch for) It will be different, it will be unlike any other you’ve been audience to before. We can’t wait to kick this off, so stay tuned…

 

  • As for the Spring Anthology, we are still anticipating its release before the end of this month. While we have been publishing accepted work since late February, this anthology will be unique from the last as  several carefully selected works featured in this anthology will not be seen until the official release date.

 

  • For those of you who have submitted and not heard back from us yet, we are experiencing a heavy volume of submissions at this time, so we apologize for any delay in our response time. It is very important to us that each submission be given thorough review and that every submission receives a response. We will be responding to every submission awaiting our follow-up and we appreciate your patience.

 

And…

 

Of course we’ll be continuing to post great writing and art this week which will offer some brand new writers as well as a few works by a couple of reader favorites. Please enjoy, share and leave feedback.

 

Come Work With Us…

We are currently seeking readers for the Summer Anthology, which we will begin reading for on the 1st of May. We are already receiving work to be considered this Summer, so if you are looking to contribute some time and have a passion to support Small Press, we would love to have your perspective.

We also need Reviewers and Bloggers from time-to-time. If interested and have an extra few hours a week to contribute to our publication, please send your inquiry to editor(at)snappingtwig(dot)com. Please include: “Staff” in the subject line when contacting us about the opportunity to work with us. We look forward to working together in our efforts to support art and the written word.


We want to congratulate the following contributors for their recent achievements

 

To Charles Bane Jr. on the acceptance of your forthcoming book of poetry, which will be published by Urban Farmhouse Press.

To Robin Wyatt Dunn whose recent chapbook, Be Closer for My Burn, was released in late January by Crisis Chronicle Press.

 

All the best and much more success, love, and gratitude is extended to these two literary-rock-star-geniuses whose work we have so enjoyed absorbing and continue to admire.


Get Connected

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[Featured] Digital Art Image Credit: apple of my eye by J. A. Spahr-Summers. Copyright 2015, Jeffrey A. Spahr-Summers

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Once Upon A Time, We Were Tumblr Fumblers…

In an effort to spread the amazingness of our phenomenal writers and artists, as well as inform people about us – we try to get around, which is why we’ve had a spot on Tumblr but we rarely used it. We were so lost over there and well, it was pretty obvious. We spent some time getting more familiar recently and so just revamped our Tumblr blog from lost-and-confused to well, we have not mastered the art of tumblr-geekery but it’s better anyway.

And of course you’re invited to check it out

 


P.S. A lot of new work going up on Snapping Twig this week
do stay tuned for some good ink.

 
 

Now Reading “Humbled by the River”

“Humbled by the River”

 

Dearest Readers,

It is with sincere gratitude that I introduce to you our winter anthology, “Humbled by the River,” and invite you to check out the collection of work if you have not done so already. Though these diverse and incredible works have been available for your reading pleasure, since we began publishing the contents in November, we’d love for you to take a look at the completed body of work and hopefully enjoy the exceptional Poetry, vivid Fiction, provocative Flash, and unique Art / Photography – some of which you may have missed. This and future anthologies will also be available on ISSUU once our ISSN is approved and we will post it on Snapping Twig when the time commences. For now, we wanted to let you know how much we appreciate your readership, continued support and say thank you for encouraging us and our contributors by continuing to value art and the written word.

 

What’s in A Name?

The title of our winter anthology, “Humbled by the River,” has a special sentiment attached to it and we’d like to share that with you. To begin, I’d like to extend a warm thank you to our art director, Jeffrey Spahr-Summers, who we would not have been able to publish this anthology without, since he graciously donated a majority of his very interesting digital art, which was featured with the written submissions published throughout this collection. The title of the winter anthology came from one of his works and was also the feature art for the Flash piece titled, “Industry,” by Mitchell Grabois.

winter anthology cover art
art therapy for those who are bewildered like me: humbled by the river. ©2015, J Spahr-Summers

 

This piece of digital art titled, “Humbled by the River,” is from a series of several works by Spahr-Summers called, Art Therapy for Those Who are Bewildered Like Me.

When it was decided that this piece would be the cover of the winter anthology I knew right away that it was indeed a perfect choice and that it was especially fitting due to the individual work’s title, which is why I immediately asked Mr. Spahr-Summers if we could please use the title of the piece as the title of this anthology. Though he chose this title for reasons unknown to me at the time the art was produced, it was my own interpretation of it that fit so well with this collection.

Digital Art by J. Spahr-Summers
my checkered past ©2015, J Spahr-Summers (the feature art for the poem “trailer rain” by Mark Jackley)

Throughout the process of receiving and selecting the work that would embody this anthology, I was incredibly overwhelmed by the support of others – specifically from those who submitted work to us and contributed to this collection. A number of well-loved authors presented work, which both encouraged and humbled me while working on this anthology; including several which I have long before admired as a writer and respected as members of the literary arts community and who unbeknownst to them actually reside on my own list of literary heroes I’ve personally looked up to in the past.

You can probably imagine then the thrill and private little dance I did for every submission I received from one of these writers.

Likewise, it was an incredibly moving experience for me to publish some of the lesser known writers whose work I was equally impressed with and who I felt a kinship with as another creative heart just trying to achieve something remarkable with their words. I hope they trust that for me, they did

 

A River Flowing

Needless to say I felt the work we received was like a river of beautiful and diverse expression whose momentum was enabled by the flowing support of those contributors, which I feel so grateful and humbled by – the opportunity to publish their work and to be, past and presently, in awe of their incredible voices.

the tree farm revisited ©2015, J Spahr-Summers (the feature art for the poem “God’s House” by Corey Mesler

There is a universal space for us all as creatives striving for the best expression of ourselves and because we know too well the struggle as well as exalted passion we all feel moved with as writers and artists. At best someone will read something we’ve written and feel something that forces them to value that work, but it isn’t easy and much of what we contribute as writers doesn’t pay us what we need to survive if anything at all –  we simply do it because it’s what we love, it’s in our bones and we appreciate it when someone does read it. Certainly I hope one day to be able to give something back to those who contribute their work to us, but for now all I can offer is the continued support and encouragement their work has given me, and my sincerest gratitude as well as admiration of them. That is exactly what we would like to encourage our readers to do as well and we hope you’ll share their work with others who can also appreciate the gift it is, both within and outside of  Snapping Twig.

As you take a minute to read the collection in this anthology, please join me in appreciation for art and words and those who dig deep to those secret parts of themselves that enable them to bring us their incredible work  –

 

In other words, please allow yourself to be Humbled by the River.

 

We want to especially Thank and Dedicate this collection of work to its Contributors:

 

Charles Bane Jr.

Valentina Cano

Seth David Jani

Joseph Farley

Charles F. Thielman

Bekah Steimel

Robin Wyatt Dunn

Kyle Hemmings

Corey Mesler

Harry Calhoun

Erin Emily Ann Vance

Steve Brightman

Howie Good

L. Ward Abel

Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois

Jeffrey Zable

Ted Morrissey

Scott Archer Jones

William Quincy Belle

Alan Swyer

Richard King Perkins II

Rick Hartwell

Kenneth P. Gurney

Mark Jackley 

C.C. Russell

Colin Dardis

John Grey

Mathew H. Emma

 

and to

Danielle Turiano

– the artist who inspired this project –

Table of Contents

Gallery of Art from Humbled by the River

 

Final Note: Don’t forget our submissions are open year-round. We are currently selecting work for the Spring Anthology  SUBMIT!

cropped-art-thereapy-for-those-who-are-bewildered-like-me-humbled-by-the-river13.jpg
Winter Anthology

mana4

gate to the rust colored road
Submissions

 
 
 
 

Literary Peeps, Rockstars & Art Lovers!

Dear Friends,
 
Twig is now on Facebook and we’d sure feel the LOVE if we saw you there too. Published work will update to our new page so come on over and say, hello 

We’ll be there supporting our contributors, sharing some words, some art, and everything in between! Hope to see you there…

 
 
 
 

Introducing: The Artist Debra Bretton Robinson

A Whole New World

There is something so striking about an artist’s relationship with color. I’ve mentioned it before with other artists we’ve featured because art enables us this amazing ability to see the world through someone else’s eyes, and with that we receive the gift of even seeing things for the first time, things we hadn’t ever noticed before. At times a whole new world potentially opens up for those who can appreciate what art that enables this possibility creates for us, and it is such an inspiration – one that we may take for granted from time to time.

I imagine though that the work of artist, Debra Bretton Robinson, a fine artist and contemporary landscape painter, has a special reputation for gifting such a remarkable invitation – to see the world that while lived in from day-to-day may become common to those living inside it, offers those a chance to see that space in an entirely new and brilliant way. One that is thriving with color and soft echoes; one that speaks both lively and with a subtle gentleness of all the things that go unseen. Rather poetic if I do say so myself.

The Depth of Art

This artist’s work has both the innocent lines and prominent color of something fresh and young. At the same time there is something quite sentimental, even deeply emotional about the lines and colors used in her work. Certainly while observing this special relationship Debra Bretton Robinson entertains with the application of these characteristics, makes clear – she is in love with color, blues especially, or I might yet more confidently suggest that blues are in love with her.

Color, sentiment, realism flirting with the playful anecdotes of abstract modernism, her artwork is an original fusion of a very, even intimate love affair obvious in her work as one can easily observe the beautiful skill of this artist and where it meets her own special connection with place. Since much of her work depicts the places and special attributes of both home and where she has visited, there is a beautiful explanation for the sentimental serenity apparent in her work, which I both love and admire.

An Unexpected Gift

We are fortunate to have recently been introduced to Debra Bretton Robinson, and viewed this gifted artist’s collection as well as been given the opportunity to use some of her art with the collection of published work for the Spring issue of Twig. Her generous contribution of work is not only a thrilling opportunity for us given we have a great need and desire to publish and support artwork in addition to the written works we publish, but her support of our publication has already offered so much more…

Having had a chance to peruse the exceptional collection the artist sent to us, we also had the opportunity to see some of the different mediums she uses for her other creative works of art. One art form we fell in love with, her collages, was a special treat for us as we were immediately impressed with the materials used in these pieces, making them original both in form and in context. Debra uses a wide range of original materials to create these whimsical pieces, as opposed to using pre-made art or existing images as the building blocks for the collage, as many collage artists have been known to do. Each piece of her collage art is thus uniquely her own, and offers the art lover a variety of texture, color, and individuality we were not just impressed with, but ultimately we were left wholly inspired by.

(Lucky Us…)

Please take a moment to appreciate the vivid and exceptional work of Debra Bretton Robinson, an artist whose work will present itself as the feature art for several of the written works we’ll be publishing in this next issue.


 

All Art Featured is Property of the Artist ©Copyright 2015, Debra Bretton Robinson

DEBRA BRETTON ROBINSON - [Read Full Bio] is a fine artist and contemporary landscape painter residing in Chelmsford, MA and a participant in the vibrant Lowell, MA art scene. Having grown up in Plaistow, NH she has been inspired by the New England landscapes surrounding her throughout her life. She received her BA in Fine Arts from the Massachusetts College of Art & Design in Boston. Her acrylic paintings on canvas concentrate on places she encounters in her daily life or places she frequents...


POW: Week of Feb. 02, 2015

This week’s POW is for two poems: Origins and Farewell and Forget, by Seth Jani.

POW2015-2
Both poems appeared together in the post titled, “2 to Read & Love & Read Again”.

Given these poems were published together in Snapping Twig, it’s impossible to say if either of the two was more influential to the readers response, but these moving words by Seth Jani, were also greatly admired by the publisher / editor as well, so it certainly did not surprise us that our readers felt the same way.

Thanks to everyone who visited, read, gave feedback, supported, shared, and helped us choose this week’s Poem of the Week.

Continue reading

POEM of the WEEK 2015: Appreciating Poetry

Poem of the Week (via Snapping Twig) kicks off this year, as of today. The selection process this year is based on several factors – you can read more about that here. For now, please take a minute to give the Poem of the Week a look, or a second look, and give the author some admiring literary nods. POW2015-2

The poem selected for the first POW Award of 2015 is, “Death by a Canal” by, Valentina Cano.

Now, lets talk about it… First, everything down to the way the writer formatted this poem conveys its purpose, though it was a little difficult to apply online. If you’ll notice, there is both a visual and audible (when read) balance in the way the lines are structured. How it both literally and visually flows with each word, moving down as if a body of water. The greatest characteristics of this poem, in my opinion, is how uniquely creative it is while remaining simple. A quality very much sought in contemporary poetry today. Continue reading