Vitrine

Vitrine by Aaron Lelito

It’s like walking through a dusty museum,
the marble floor holding its ground beneath,
the gaps making an oeuvre of echoes
only an arbitrary foot could summon.

The diamond sharp seconds of lucidity.

Thoughts: the marginalia that cleave…

The palate sharpened as language secedes.

Anchoritic Leisure by Aaron Lelito

Shake hands,
talk of this and that,
look up squinting,
drift a bit,
consider the factors of the loss of concentration,
absolve them,

corner the market of feasible sleep,

allow unprecedented obsessions,

counter casual matters.

Pay enough attention to cause trouble.
No one will pay for evasion,
hide the fine-print, or implicate the larger motives of halo-making.

To have perfect focus on something is reason enough.

Close the door and don’t answer the phone.

<strong>Aaron Lelito</strong>
Aaron Lelito

Aaron Lelito is a visual artist and writer from Buffalo, NY. In his written work, he is primarily drawn to explorations in consciousness that take the form of short stories, micro-fictions, and poems; at times, he pairs his words with digital photography to create a visual piece.
 
Although natural imagery and environmental themes have become a primary subject matter of his visual work, the source of his interest in any topic invariably stems from a questioning of the world around us and the creative process that is born out of the impulse to express one’s unique vision.   
 
His work has appeared in publications that include High Shelf PressThe ScriblerusAbout Place Journal45th Parallel, and Alluvian. In addition, he is editor-in-chief of the online publication Wild Roof Journal, which contains an eclectic mixture of visual and literary arts.
 
Instagram @runic_ruminations

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How to Stick Souls

How to Stick Souls by Indie Rey

lay on me
press palms
lips
hips
and toes
let your weight
sink
into my bones

take my breath
hold it there
give me yours
till it becomes
ours
hours
like this
sharing skin
waiting
for sprits
to cling

after
we smile
bodies sprawled
on the ground
limbs
disentangle
but souls
forever
bound

<strong>Indie Rey</strong>
Indie Rey

Indie Rey is an Australian writer who lives at the tip of the Italian heel.

She prefers life when barefoot and summery, with salt on her skin and wildflowers in her hair.

A deviant PhD history graduate, she flirts with fiction and poetry, convinced that Truth lies not in facts but in feelings.

Her poems have been featured in Prohze, and you can find her snippets on Instagram @indie_rey_

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I Am

I am

I Am by Carlota Guzmán

I am that enviable figure,
the one that walks through the shadows,
covering its own face.

I am that ghost that haunts you,
bad herb dove,
that wants from you your soul.

I am that undesirable punishment,
that takes your kind heart,
to save you from the horrors.

I am that juicy pleasure;
almost like a doubtful pain,
you walk through the smoky path.

I am that damn prohibition,
the one from the infinite delivery,
that with her love removes.

I am that wanted kiss,
that with your lips I soften,
my acid fire.

I am that mellow vice,
where love lost its flow,
and I pick my sorrows.

I am that killer name,
that never bores me,
but that makes you fever sick.

I am that constant neglect,
that has a disruptive preoccupation,
to get that emotion.

I am that penetrating night,
with the crushing moon,
I want you to be my partner.

I am that fantasy dream,
the one that has been present more than a year,
I am not a trick.

I am the one that makes you sin,
that dies to love,
that stops talking to scream.

I am that long winding road,
waiting for the mill,
to produce some wine.

I am that special option,
with an ideal vibe,
I have my arsenal ready.

I am that bright coliseum,
European style,
waiting for my Romeo.

I am that marvelous temptation,
from this clay life,
that has me so proud.

I am the love of loves,
the destiny and randomness,
inside those bright eyes,
with holes like needles.


<strong>Carlota Guzmán</strong>
Carlota Guzmán

I am 20 years old; I study Communication at Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City. In 2018, I participated in 2 research colloquiums in my university. In 2019, I collaborated on an entertainment website called Cultura Colectiva where I wrote 7 articles. In 2020, I was featured on the Unperson Project. My passions are cinema, photography and poetry.

Instagram: carlota__guzman

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Writers Conferences

Writers Conferences

Writers Conferences: 5 Reasons Why

Writers Conferences occur all over the world. In this article, I will share my first-hand experience and reasons all writers should attend them.

This year, I attended my second writers’ conference hosted by Willamette Writers. After each, I left the conference more confident in my writing, more prepared for the current publishing climate, and better connected to industry professionals who can make a difference in my writing career. Bonus: I also made new friends.

If you’re embarking on your dream to be a writer, I encourage you to read through this article. Comment with questions, then verify with your own research.

#1: Valuable Workshops

Willamette Writers may be unique in that there was literally something for every type of writer. Some writers’ conferences focus on specific genres. Some examples of this: Sleuthfest, for mystery, suspense and thriller writers, RWA Conference, for romance writers, and The Writer’s Hotel Poetry Weekend.

If your writing focus is singular, genre-specific conferences are a great option. If you’re like me, and write a variety of things, I recommend attending a general writing conference.

Here are examples of the courses offered at this year’s WWC:

  • Conversation: Travel Writing
  • Current Themes in Science Fiction and Fantasy
  • Dastardly Deeds: Writing Mystery (I attended this one taught by Dana Haynes, Hallie Ephron, Phillip Margolin, and Leslie Hall.)
  • Developing and Pitching an Idea for a TV Series
  • Diving into Social Media Analytics
  • Personal as Political
  • How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon
  • Understanding and Negotiating Publishing Agreements
  • Suspense Five Ways
  • Structuring the Romance Novel for Success
  • The Work: Poetry Writing

The above is just a sampling of the variety of courses that help writers dive deep.

#2: Education by High-Caliber Industry Professionals

This one is hand in hand with Reason #1, but deserves its own spot. The authors and educators selected for conferences have proven track records of success. You get to learn from them in an intimate environment with opportunities to ask questions and glean knowledge that you can apply to your work or writing journey immediately.

These are best-selling authors, literary agents, editors, professors, etc. The face-to-face opportunities with these individuals, alone, make attending writers’ conferences worth every penny.

#3: Pitches

Many writers’ conferences provide the opportunity to pitch literary agents who actively seek new authors/poets with new material.

Literary agents are inundated with queries daily. One way to push your manuscript to the forefront and avoid the slush pile is to attend a writers’ conference and sign up to pitch agents. Not all conferences offer this option. If you wish to pitch, verify the conference you attend offers them.

Pitching agents is an additional cost to the conference fee, but 100% worth it if you dream of traditional publishing. But if you’re interested in indie publishers’, they accept pitches too! And pitching indie publishers pushes you to the top of their inbox and guarantees your work gets read by the right person.

Bottom line: if you want your work published (regardless of “how”), pitch agents at a conference!

Here are articles I found helpful to prepare for my pitches:

How to Pitch Agents at a Writers Conference by Jane Friedman. **A MUST-read before you pitch.

How to Pitch a Literary Agent in 5 Easy Steps by Tomi Adeyemi.

5 Literary Agents Reveal the 9 Pitching Mistakes Authors Make by Bushra Rahmani. This article touches on querying agents via email. This is a “what not to do”.

#4: Keynote Speakers

One of my favorite experiences at conferences are the keynote speakers. These are individuals who are living the dream. They’ve found a level of success in writing that we all aspire to. They inspire, encourage, and share first-hand knowledge writers can apply to their journey.

At an in-person conference, they speak on stage, then follow their speech with a book signing. The virtual experience (courtesy of COVID-19) takes the book signing element away, but I found a different and positive intimacy by attending the keynote via Zoom, and still left the keynote inspired, encouraged, and with new knowledge.

Here are some keynotes from Willamette Writers 2020. They are examples of the caliber of keynotes you may experience at your first conference.

Alex Dang

Cheryl Strayed

Zoraida Cordova

Mitchell S. Jackson

Good keynotes aspire writers to see their future selves. I’ve not attended a keynote that didn’t do this for me.

#5: Connections

The most valuable take-aways from writers’ conferences are connections. Writers make lifelong friends, receive valuable resource recommendations (for editors, indie publishers, etc.), and exchange contact information with industry professionals that can change their lives.

There is no other experience like it. At both conferences, (both live and virtual) I’ve made new friends. Who else can understand your journey better than another aspiring writer?

When you attend your first conference, I encourage you to make friends too. Be open to conversations with people you don’t know. It may feel scary or uncomfortable, but I promise you it’s worth it, and you’ll quickly feel the fear melt away.

Upcoming conferences as of 8/2020:

Please do your own research when vetting a writers’ conference to attend. Find the right fit for you.

Final Tip: Local Writing Associations

I highly recommend you research your local region for literary associations. These usually require a minimal fee and offer discounts on, and free, workshops, clubs, and networking opportunities. In Portland, Oregon, we have Willamette Writers and Literary Arts.

Often these associations will host the regional writers’ conference and offer discounts to its members, and volunteer options to attend the conference for free.

If you’re ready to get serious about your writing I implore you to PLUG IN to your local writing groups and organizations.

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Vulnerable

Vulnerable by Tricia-Marie Ward

It’s that part of the day
where life does not stir,
and neither do I.
A certain stillness
in the spaces between,
that fills the noise.
A comfortable weight in the air,
that ceases me away.


<strong>Tricia-Marie Ward</strong>
Tricia-Marie Ward

Tricia-Marie is the name; I am 26 years young but an older soul at heart! A little about me, scenic cliff sides are my favorite places to get stimulated in the arts, it’s a silent place away from the noise of everyday life. My heart has belonged to writing since I was a little tater tot that could hold a pencil. My writing favors all that is ambiguous and romanticized in the world. Writing makes me feel my soul is rejuvenated and at peace again, like I’ve reconnected with myself. I love to spill my soul into poems or haikus that make the reader think, “Wow, she sees me.” 

In this world, all we want is to be seen and heard. I want to do that for people. Thank you for taking the time to read all that my soul carries in my works! 

Instagram: @finchwithapencil

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Funeral

Funeral by Artemis

Lifeless limbs caress the forlorn floor,
A lingering scent of melancholic misery
Kisses air as stagnant as a heart
That has ceased to be a muscle
To be molded into the container for a love
As broken as itself.
Fluttering fingers wander over cracked skin
That used to be silk and sin
Interwoven by a steady hand.
I can’t even touch myself anymore
Because with all this loneliness
Creeping through my voracious veins
It feels too much like yours


<strong>Artemis</strong>
Artemis

My name is Artemis, though I go by Krissi offline, which sounds considerably less mysterious and substantially more practical. Writing has always been a passion of mine – as has been alliteration-heavy poetry like my alias suggests.

I started writing novels at the age of 13, though inventing and writing stories has been an integral part of my existence ever since I can remember. Poetry has accompanied me for many years now—which makes me sound a lot older than the 20 years I am—it’s my way of exploring my innermost feelings and the world around me.

For me, writing has always felt as if words and images were simply invading my mind and pouring out of my fingertips onto the paper – which usually translates to fanatical typing on my phone. It appears I’m merely the medium for my thoughts and feelings, allowing them to enter physical existence. 

Thank you for taking the time to get to know me a little better. If you enjoy my work and are interested in catching a glimpse of my mind, I welcome you to visit me on Instagram under @alliterative_artemis

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Breathe Underwater

Breathe Underwater by J. Rylee D. 

The waves of you, they pull me under
Memories of who we used to be
Like an anchor, they drag me deeper
And I’m finding it hard to breathe

There’s a storm that’s surging through
I swim against the current of you and me
I should’ve run after you
When you turned around, but I watched you leave

Slowly, the pain subsides
But every now and again, those tides will rise
And I won’t lie, I’ve cried
So I let go, and dream that you’re still by my side

Because with you, I can breathe underwater

I just want to say, “I’m sorry, love”
I wish I could be everything you need
I know “sorry” won’t be enough
No words can fix the wounds that cut too deep

Baby, I hope you don’t feel like me
Barely breaking the surface
Waiting for the hurt to roll back out to sea

Sure, it gets hard sometimes
And yeah, I know the tides will rise
No, I won’t lie, I cry
I let go, and dream you’re by my side

Because with you, I can breathe underwater


<strong>J. Rylee D.</strong>
J. Rylee D.

I’m just a 26-year-old girl who spends her life daydreaming. I have always been an avid reader and writer, but recently published my poetry and a book on a public platform.

I like to portray honest and raw vulnerability in my work because life isn’t always pretty. I want to inspire people to fight for their happiness and to tell their truths, because they deserve to be heard and know that they are believed, and that they matter!

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The Dark & The Heavy

The Dark & The Heavy by Radana J Keenan

Dust
it’s everywhere,
it’s covering all the dreams
my naïve head framed.

Echos
in this empty room
are filling my ears
that are aching for a sound.

Darkness
as an obscure cloud,
hovering over me,
weighing me down.

Void
destroying my heart,
destroying my soul,
making a mere shell of a human out of me.


<strong>Radana J Keenan</strong>
Radana J Keenan

Radana J Keenan is a 20-year-old Slovakian dreamer. From very early on, she’s always had her fingers stuck in something creative, whether it was making jewelry, writing stories and poems or drawing.

She’s trying to find her place in this big bad world and decided she might as well try to pursue a career in creative writing since she loves it almost as much as breathing. Books, movies and TV shows were always perceived as the best way to escape the hard reality, but Radana always felt like there was something missing. That something was her voice in a sea of buzz.

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Of the Snow

Of the Snow by Preston Chan

The glistening snow on my back
Halts the frozen death around me.
Looking down, four delicate fluffs of snow
Oh wait, that’s only me.

I look around, nothing beyond yonder except
An endless dark mahogany array of lifeless trees.

Nothing in sight, so shall I ask
What am I doing here?

Daringly sickening like a silver bullet,
At the nook of black eyes,
A grieving leaf falls angelically
To meet its fate as a hidden gem in the white.

Quiet, although failing to silence melancholy.
White, yet lies ominous black that is ever so present.

The seeming balance is outraged
As she weeps in her Siberian fit.
But alas, the ache for something more.
Letting that brass-white light whisk me far, far away.

I guess I was not to be.
Perhaps destined — to be a gem of the free.


<strong>Preston Chan</strong>
Preston Chan

Preston is an aspiring writer new to the scene of professional writing. He especially enjoys writing poems late at night, where his thoughts are most clear.

Besides poetry, Preston likes to dabble in satirical form or horror based fiction. In his free time, he practices his tuba skills, also hoping to become a freelance writer or musician in the future. 

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A Letter to my Best Friend

A Letter to my Best Friend

A Letter to my Best Friend by Mo Unwin

When I was in darkness
You lit up a bridge
Across the river.
We crossed it and walked
All over the city.
We got drunk,
We soared from bar to bar,
Birds free to float about
Knowing no one would hurt us.
You’d never let them.
Then we went home
Wankered.
I told you that
You’ll always mean the world to me.

<strong>Mo Unwin</strong>
Mo Unwin

Mo is a 20-year-old aspiring poet in Bristol. 

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