Category Archives: From the Editors

Editor’s Note, May 27

You might find yourself looking in shock at your screen but yes, that is indeed a short story we’re featuring this week. To all those who have missed the fiction know that we are still doing some staff changes but we’ve definitely decided to continue publishing fiction pieces. We are still a little backlogged so fiction submissions will remain closed for the nonce.

For now, kick back and enjoy Reed Stirling’s delightful romp through Greece with his mysterious Fay Devine, who may not actually be a mythic character but she certainly holds her own in that sphere. The piece is from Mr. Stirling’s larger work, Shades of Persephone. I can’t think of a better way to welcome back fiction to the site than with this lovely story.

Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!

 

Angela Maria Williams

Editor

Fickle Muses

 

Contributer’s Notes: Reed Stirling lives in Cowichan Bay, B.C, and writes when not painting landscapes or traveling or taking coffee at Bo’s, a local café where metaphor and metaphysics clash daily. Recent work has appeared in a variety of publications including The Nashwaak Review, The Valley Voice, Senior Living, Island Writer, Maple Tree Literary Supplement and Out Of The Warm Land II and III, StepAway Magazine and Danforth Review. 

Other published excerpts from Shades of Persephone:

“Inchoate Shapes” The Nashwaak Review @ St Thomas University (Volume 22/23)

“Like Odysseus” from a chapter titled “Hydra-Headed Beauty” in Maple Tree Literary Supplement @ Carleton University (Issue # 6)

“Magalee” from a chapter titled “Grace and Scourge” in Out Of The Warm Land III, an anthology, (November 2011)

“On The Road With Persephone” from a chapter titled “Thigh Friendship” in Paperplates (Vol. 8, No. 1)

“Requiem For A Hero / Tiresias” from the concluding chapter titled “Infallible Messenger” in Hackwriters Magazine (05/02/13)

“Déjà Vu” from a chapter titled “The King Must Die” forthcoming in Green Silk Journal

 

Editors Note, May 19

 

There’s a feral dreaminess to Larissa Nash’s poetry.

And myth is nothing if not feral and dreamy, which is why I’m so very pleased to feature Ms. Nash in this week’s Fickle Muses. She takes us from the ocean rocks and the weariness of a dangerous creature in “The Last of the Lily Maids” to a surreal hospital where a banshee awaits in “The Caw of Crows,” giving readers just enough to draw us down and under, as if we were the prey.

The danger of touching something we should not is inherent in most myths and legends. If you frolic with the elves in the summer land, you may never make it home again. They teach us that when the irresistible reaches out a hand and the warning blows a dust storm in our minds, we must pay heed. That’s what lives in these poems. Take heed, my friends, for you may lose yourself and never find your way back.

Or perhaps that’s the best way to go.

 

Angela Maria Williams

Editor

Fickle Muses

 

Contributer’s Notes: Larissa Nash, an alumna of Loyola University New Orleans, is in pursuit of an M.F.A. in Poetry from Pacific University. Larissa resides in the dusty, neglected outskirts of Austin, Texas, where she attempts to appease the rain god with haiku. She has participated in several of Francesca Lia Block’s online workshops, and her work has appeared in BohemiaDinosaur BeesEunoia ReviewFlutter Poetry JournalFortunatesPoppy Road Review, and Siren. Larissa is the founding editor of Rose Red Review. Please visit her at http://www.underwaterlily.org.

Editor’s Note, May 12

 

We here at Fickle Muses are not as fickle as one might think. The poem need not be a persona of an actual god or a modern reinterpretation of a particular myth to satisfy our craving. I do love a poem where literary figures intertwine with biblical figures. And even mere statues of said gods may appear and thrill me.  And I do tend to go a bit crazy over vivid imagery. Therefore, I’m excited to give you two poems by Joe Eldridge. His work is perhaps a little different from what we normally publish but I believe in throwing a curve ball every now and then. He takes on Faust’s author, as well as Nebuchadnezzar, in a very bold, playful and adventurous way.

It is, in a word, delightful.

Enjoy!

 

Angela Maria Williams

Editor

Fickle Muses

 

Contributer’s Notes: Joe Eldridge earned his MFA in Poetry at Columbia College Chicago where he is currently an adjunct professor teaching in the poetry, literature, & speech departments.  He has published poetry in Court Green, Clementine, Velvet Mafia, The Gay & Lesbian Review, Citizens for Decent Literature, Moonshot, St. Sebastian Review, Up the Staircase, Zygote in my Coffee, Vine Leaves, The Apocalypse, Columbia Poetry Review, & OVS Magazine.  Eldridge has also been a flight attendant for a major airline for the past 27 years working trips mainly to Europe & Asia.  A black belt in Seido Karate, Senpai Joe trains at Thousand Waves Martial Arts & Self-Defense Center, NFP.

Editor’s Note, May 5

May 5, 2013

Oh, poetry editors. We have too many fears.

There are days when even we forget all that connects us. The essential us. Humanity in all its fierce and fragile ways. How we can reach back in our collective consciousness and touch our shared history with firm fingers. It is not an elusive thing, either. It’s mythology. Each culture and civilization has one and yes, the Western mythologies tend to take up more intellectual space but that does not make them trite or overused. Poetry is where many of these myths live.

When I open up a submission to discover a treasure of poems delving into the most essential questions of our mortality via Greek mythology, I am delighted. A non-poet friend asked me the other night what makes a good poem. I started to explain things like “imagery” and “the music of the line,” but realized how we get mired down in the details of our craft. Many people can’t connect to poetry when we do this. So I stopped myself and said that what I think makes a good poem is one that I wish I had written.

Melissa Dickson writes poems I wish I had written. They encompass the human experience via the lens of the inhuman because sometimes we need it. Sometimes we need a Jack Gilbert to give us the simple, everyday actions to show us the beauty of life. But sometimes we need our gods to show us that very thing, as well. That is what makes poetry so resonating, so enduring, so important.

I say bring on the Greek poems. Give me your own Medusa and Dionysus. There is a reason we still read Homer, Euripides, Ovid. It’s so we can have poets such as Anne Carson, Tina Chang, D. Nurkse, Traci Brimhall, Sari Krosinsky and Melissa Dickson. Swallow these poems whole and maybe you’ll give birth to a new species all your own.

 

Angela Maria Williams

Editor

Fickle Muses

 

Contributor’s Notes: Melissa Dickson is a poet, poet’s advocate and mother of four. Her first collection, Cameo, was released in 2011 and her collection of Medusa-themed poems, Sweet Aegis, is forthcoming in 2013 from Negative Capability. Her work has also appeared in North American Review, Southern Humanities Review, Birmingham Arts Journal and is forthcoming in Shenandoah.

 

 

Editor’s Note, April 28

 

Ah, the end of April. So little of spring left and I’m recovering from a vicious allergy attack from the crazy winds of New Mexico. But this week’s edition of Fickle Muses more than makes up for nature’s little foibles.

Sometimes I crave a poem deliciously sinuous in language. Angie Harrison’s set, “Leto,” “Bloodsister” and “Eve” delivers that and more. I just want to eat her words slowly with a spoon, like honey. Her take on mothers in myth and religion is decadent despite its brevity. And in that, she also overcomes the risk of a subject too known and too written about. I say, savor the small triumphs.

Enjoy and we’ll see you next week!

 

Angela Maria Williams

Editor

Fickle Muses

 

 

Contributor’s Notes: Angie Harrison works as a scholarship administrator in Baltimore when she’s not writing. She graduated from Washington College, where her poetry and prose were awarded the Sophie Kerr Prize. Her recent work has appeared in Big River Poetry Review, Curio, and Brevity Poetry Review. “”Eve,” appeared in the Washington College Review, volume XII, under Harrison’s maiden name. Underdeveloped though it may be at the moment, she’s working to make angesterdam.wordpress.com her online home.

Editor’s Note, April 21

We are so honored to feature Juan J. Morales this week!

Juan has been a great friend and past Fickle Muses contributor since the beginning. He’s also a poet after my own heart in that he does not waste words or space on the page, giving us stark, yet vivid, imagery. His glimpse into the psyche of a pivotal Incan conqueror in “Wayna Capac Questions the Sun” holds a quiet, yet disturbing, strength. In “Thoughts on the Lost Fountain in Cuzco,” Morales offers a thoughtful elegy on what we must learn from what is lost within the memory of an empire.

So please enjoy these poems and may they stay with you for a long time to come.

 

Angela Maria Williams

Editor

Fickle Muses

 

Contributer’s Notes: Juan Morales is the author of Friday and the Year that Followed. His poems have appeared in Iron Horse Literary Review, PALABRA, Poet Lore, Washington Square, Zone 3, and other journals. He is a CantoMundo Fellow and an Associate Professor of English at Colorado State University-Pueblo, where he curates the SoCo Reading Series and directs the Creative Writing Program.

Editor’s Note, April 14

 

Happy Sunday, all!

Welcome to a new issue of Fickle Muses. This week’s feature poet is Iris Gribble-Neal and I’m delighted to showcase her three poems, all modern interpretations of Greek myth. She does a wonderful job taking on Agamemnon, Nestor and Clytemestra. Her imagery is rich and imaginative. I also admire her layered narrative through form. She gives the reader just enough, not an overabundance.

Agamemnon and Clytemnestra, in particular, make compelling poetic subjects. As opposed to last week’s stepmother, it’s a direct conflict between husband and wife, with quite the bloody end. Clytemnestra is often painted as much the villain as Agamemnon due to her affair with Aegisthus but she is also a mother driven to mad vengeance. After all, Agamemnon broke the parent contract by sacrificing their daughter. Still, Clytemnestra suffers from her own “evil stepmother” type of image. Is she truly a sympathetic character? Gribble-Neal definitely gives us a wonderful peek into her psyche.

Enjoy!

 

Angela Maria Williams

Editor

Fickle Muses

Contributer Notes: Iris Gribble-Neal is co-publisher and editor of Gribble Press, a small literary press. Now retired, she was an English instructor in higher education at several of the institutions in Spokane, WA. She has most recently been published by Blood Lotus, Glass and Stickman.

Editor’s Note, April 7

Another week, another great new poem. This one, by Lisa Litrenta, is a powerful take on the “evil stepmother” element of fairy tales. In a way, the stepmother serves as a catalyst for men who lose wives but have daughters. How that woman must be replaced almost immediately or, even worse, the daughter takes on the role of the mother and wife. Woman pitted against woman via the man, who always seems to come off as “absent.” If only he were. If he were truly absent, there would be no need for such female competition.

This is, of course, an ugly business that happens still today. The modern interpretation of myths and fairy tales is important and a matter of fascination. I often find myself incorporating these elements into my own poems in an attempt to overcome the oppressiveness of the elements of patriarchy. A very “we shall overcome” type of thing. So I thrill to see other poets take on this subject and do it so well.

Enjoy and we’ll see you next week!

 

Angela Maria Williams

Editor

Fickle Muses

 

Contributer’s Notes: Lisa M. Litrenta is a 23-year-old New Englander attempting to lead a compassionate life.  A recent college graduate, Litrenta studied literary theory, literature and creative writing.  She was also the editor of Southern Connecticut State University’s undergraduate literary magazine, Folio.  She currently acts as blog intern for The Fiddleback. Her work was published in The Phantom Kangaroo. Visit her here.

 

Editor’s Note, March 31

Let’s call this edition of Fickle Muses a teaser of what’s to come.

Once again, thank you all for your patience as we continue to make changes at Fickle Muses. You might have noticed that we’ve closed off the fiction submissions. We will continue to publish fiction pieces intermittently for the next few months but there is a possibility we will return to a poetry and art publication. But it’s still (and should always be) a work in progress.

So this week we offer you a poem from Christie Ricardo. “Achilles’s Sister” is a lovely feminist take on one the more enduring of Greek myths. Lines such as “cramping neck to whisper-whisper knifey somethings” are unexpected and somehow musical. It’s a treat to read.

So, enjoy, and we’ll see you next week!

Angela Maria Williams

Editor

Fickle Muses

 

Contributor notes: Christie Ricardo blogs at Spinning Straw into Gold and her short story, “The Debt,” won an honorable mention in the 2012 Tuscany Prize for Catholic Fiction: Selected Short Stories. She is fascinated with folklore, fairy tales, and the mythic tradition, particularly the role of Thetis in the Illiad, and what it means to be an artist and a woman, or if it’s perhaps the same thing.

 

Quick Update

Thank you all for your patience as we work through some editorial and staff changes. We’re pleased to announce that we will begin publishing again on March 31.

We have suspended fiction submissions for the foreseeable future to deal with a backlog but are still accepting poetry and art. We look forward to hearing from you!

All the best,

Angela Maria Williams
Editor
Fickle Muses

Coming Sunday Sunday SUNDAY!

Thanks to the guest editors who’ve kept things running behind the scenes while I’ve been in project overload, Fickle Muses is back tomorrow! Particularly, thank you to Art Editor Dianne Schlies and Guest Editors Jason McCall, Terence Kuch, Sucheta Dasgupta, Katie Manning, Robin Kish, and others TBA.

And thank you to our readers and contributors, whose patience I know has been tried. The wait is over tomorrow, when we find out what “Penelope Decides What to Wear to Her Funeral.”

-Sari

Fickle Muses Returns April 2012

UPDATE, 4/3/12 Clearly, we haven’t launched yet, but the relaunch is coming soon–before the month is out. -Sari

The long hiatus will finally come to an end April 1, when Fickle Muses resumes publishing weekly poetry and fiction features. If you desperately need a shot of mythology before then, I recommend Louise Glück’s “Vita Nova” (poetry), Marge Piercy’s “He, She and It” (novel), Neil Gaiman’s “The Sandman” (graphic novels) and, of course, previous features on Fickle Muses.

Several guest editors are continuing to read submissions in the interim. You can sign up to receive emails when Fickle Muses is updated by using the subscription form on the right. A store (or two) where you can shop for books and more by poets, writers and artists featured on Fickle Muses is in the works, and an anthology of selected works from the first five years of Fickle Muses is in the planning stages.

Questions and comments are welcome here or by email.

Thank you for reading and contributing to Fickle Muses!

-Sari