Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Holiday Wishes from everyone at CALYX!

We hope you all have a happy season, filled with creativity and with peace!

Also, we would like to invite all the friends of CALYX to tell us what you think of our blog -- you can use the Comment function, or you can send email to info(at)calyxpress(dot)org. What would you like to see here? Are there questions about a literary press that you would like answered? Are you curious about our herstory? We'd love to hear from you.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

December 5, 2009 Poetry workshops by Frances Payne Adler and Willa Schneberg, Corvallis, Oregon

The CALYX Workshops and readings on Saturday, December 5th were well attended and enjoyed by the participants. Eleven attendees for “Fire & Ink” heard Fran Adler describe several inspiring activist projects that either sprung from or resulted in poetry and image. She then challenged us to create a poem from a deep-seated concern. The shared poems ranged from hunger to abuse issues, to healthcare issues. Too quickly, the workshop itself was over, and attendees had the chance to buy Fran’s newest anthology “Fire & Ink” – it quickly sold out.

Frances Payne Adler giving "Fire & Ink" workshop

That afternoon, 13 attendees for Willa Schneberg’s “Dreaming the Poem” learned about how the unconscious can bring up images in dreams, how poets have used dream in various ways in their poetry, and how a poet can even use someone else’s dream to create an interesting poem. The attendees tried their hand at poems from selected anonymous dreams brought by Willa – the results were surprising. Several poets had the same dream, but created very different poems. Willa’s books were also available and popular with the attendees.

The evening reading showcased Willa and Fran’s poetry, in “Poems of Resistance and Resilience” – despite frigid weather, the audience proved that poetry is a draw in Corvallis. CALYX is very grateful to Willa and Fran for coming down from Portland to give these workshops and reading, and to Friends of the Corvallis Benton County Library, The Corvallis Arts Center, and the Benton County Cultural Coalition for sponsoring this event.

Sarah Lantz Finalists Chosen and Sent to Final Judge.

All the contributors to the Sarah Lantz Oregon Women's Memorial Poetry Book Prize have been read blind by the CALYX editors (they were accepted from 9/1/09 to 11/20/09). The finalists were sent on to the Final Judge, Colleen McElroy, on 12/14/09. We plan to announce the winner in late January, 2010.

Rainy Tuesday Morning with Two New Interns

Mollie, Jan, and Shayna in the office

I'm Mollie and today's my first day as an intern at CALYX! After graduating from the University of Oregon in June with a Bachelor of Arts in English, I contacted CALYX asking for an internship so that I might be able to learn more about jobs relating to literature. I'm really excited to be a part of such a great place and I look forward to all kinds of new knowledge and experiences. Maybe I'll even figure out for sure how to pronounce our name! --Mollie

My name is Jan, and today is my second day as an intern with CALYX. As Mollie, I am an English major from the U of O. My love is literature--reading and writing. I look forward to seeing just how a small press works, and being surrounded by women who have dedicated their time to literature, and hope to learn as much as possible from them. --Jan

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

My last day at CALYX

I was asked to write a blog regarding my time at CALYX, which as a writer I had thought would come to me easily. However, I find myself stuck as to where to begin. I remember my first day in late-September, curious and nervous about my new surroundings. Little did I know the beautiful experience I was to come across, along with the warm friendships and kindness throughout the office.

Fall of 2009 has been a busy one, filled with the 33rd annual Glitterati, Sarah Lantz Poetry Prize submissions, filing the many manuscripts received each day, and of course watching 25:3 come to life. A few of my favorite memories are rocking the donor letters with Shayna (though she may think differently, she got a paper cut or two), going out to lunch with the staff to Evergreen, and reading the various works of women across the world.

A few interns start next week, and I wanted to think of a couple of things that would help them for their new journey in CALYX. Create a system with the other intern(s) that ensures speedy mailing, don’t be afraid to ask questions, and if in doubt: use the “RECEIVED” stamp. Margarita tells the best stories, Beverly has the greatest laugh, Cathy has the best smelling food, and Becky is a fantastic listener. CALYX is filled with wonderful, unique women, so enjoy the experience you are set to begin.

Thank you,

Bonanza Jellybean proofs the journal

The other day as the editorial team finished up proofing,
my cat Bonanza Jellybean decided to help.
Obviously, it was very productive.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

CALYX Intern Day Is Here!

12/8/09 Today is fall intern celebration day. Kelly and Shayna are joining the staff at Evergreen Restaurant for their thank you for all the hard work at CALYX this term. And all of us who worked with Kelly and Shayna will miss their great energy after they finish their term at CALYX next week. It has been a pleasure to have their help with the October CALYX Glitterati, the receipt of the Sarah Lantz Poetry Book Prize manuscripts, the production of the Winter CALYX Journal (which went to press yesterday), and their handling of the hundreds of manuscripts when CALYX Journal opened October 1st. They also were great about the bulk mailings, never complaining and even learning the rudimentaries of bulk sorting mail for our non-profit bulk mail permit. Shayna and Kelly deserve a great thank you from all of us at CALYX as well as our readers and contributors. We could not maintain this small press and publish so many women’s voices without the generous support of the student interns who provide their devotion and generous time to the work of CALYX. THANK YOU KELLY AND SHAYNA! -- Margarita

From the Director

Margarita Donnelly

12/3/09 I just returned from a vacation to the Philadelphia area for Thanksgiving. Flying into Portland airport after a 12-hour travel day was delightful. As the plane banked over the silvery Columbia River Mt. Hood, the Three Sisters, Mt. St. Helens, and even Mt. Rainier were visible under an ascending full moon. A beautiful welcome home. Back at CALYX I returned to the new issue, Volume 25:3 (Winter 2010), which is going to press on Monday the 7th. We did all the last minute checks and corrections of another incredible issue of women’s poetry, prose, reviews, and art. Look for it in your mailboxes early in January if you are a subscriber. If you’re not a subscriber, become one by the end of the year to ensure your receipt by mail of another incredible Journal of women’s words and art.

I continue reading (with another CALYX editor) the first reads of poetry manuscripts for the Oregon Women Poets Sarah Lantz Memorial Poetry Book Prize. It is not an easy task selecting from the many fine manuscripts we have received. The meeting to select finalists to send on to the final judge Colleen McElroy is Friday, December 11th. We plan to announce the first prize winner of the Book Prize in early February. At the same time CALYX Journal also opened for the annual open submission period (October 1 to December 31) and our editors are immersed in reading those first reads. The manuscripts are coming in heavily at this point.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Calyx reading at Rebound Bookstore, San Rafael, CA

On November 14, 2009, Calyx authors Nancy Cherry, Connie Post, Dian Duchin Reed and Theresa Whitehill, all poets published in Calyx Journal 25:2, met at a reading hosted by Rebound Bookstore.
Theresa Whitehill commented:
I thought Rebound did a great job producing the reading. Joel introduced the event with a little summary of Calyx and its importance in publishing. I thought it set a nice tone for the evening. It was an honor to be there reading our work and we decided that the four of us are now officially "Calyx Sisters" Connie, of course, was an immense help in getting the word out and making sure we gathered beforehand at Confucius Restaurant for a little sustenance and to chat, which I think helped the unity of the reading we gave. Thank you for your help in organizing.

Theresa Whitehill reading at Rebound

Dian Duchin Reed also commented on the evening:
The reading at Rebound Bookstore was simply wonderful. The venue was cozy and welcoming (and what a selection of books!), the audience appreciative, and my fellow readers a delight to meet. Thank you to each and every one of you for making this event possible, successful, and memorable! I enjoyed every minute of it. Thank you, Shayna and Calyx, for getting the ball rolling.

Dian Duchin Reed presents her poetry

Nancy Cherry reads at Rebound

Connie Post at Rebound

Calyx reading at Bluestockings, New York

On October 30, 2009, two Calyx authors met at Bluestockings, New York for a reading: Cass Dalglish author of Humming the Blues and Tess Taylor, whose poem "Ohio Engagement" appeared in issue 25:2 of Calyx Journal. This is Tess's account of the evening.

On a dark, stormy Friday before Halloween, Cass Dalglish and I met and read at Bluestockings bookstore in New York City-- a wonderful enclave of feminist and radical books tucked on Manhattan's Lower East Side. October in New York is busy season, and the Friday before Halloween is even busier. We started with a small but devoted crowd, which included dear friends from across our lives and the world-- one literally in from Singapore that morning! All Souls spirit was in the air. The subways were already full of goblins, Cleopatras, pirates. The city had begun to morph, allowing in the carnival of Halloween.

While witches roved outside the windows, I read poems about daylight savings, ghosts, and ghosting. I read poems about shards that hold the past, objects that exert their claim on us, that tell cunning mysterious half stories. They are hauntingly partial windows, little glimpses, the odd stuff of which myths are made. My work was tracing family and American history, trying to understand the ambivalence of inheritance both within my own life and within this broken, sometimes painful America. On the surface it seemed to have little to do with Cass's work, which translates and interprets an ancient Sumerian text. Then again, what could be a more hauntingly partial fragment than a bit of poetry by a woman in ancient Sumer? My current work has, in its very daily way, epic aspirations. It wants to speak through fragments of selves to cast the bigger project of a nation. But Cass was actually reintroducing our audience to history's first poet, the first person ever to sign a name to an epic poem. That poet, it turns out, was a woman.

Lo and behold, Cass had studied and resurrected old clay tablets from Sumer, where the first writer signed a name, to claim authorship of a poem. It turns out that first writer was a she, Edhuanna, a poet, prince, and Sumerian leader. In Sumerian the word poet and prince were one in the same, and the word itself had no gender. Hooray, epic, I thought! I always knew you weren't limited to men. Hooray, woman long ago who signed her name and claimed her writing! Thank you for existing and living on now. Thank you for being there to see. I repeat this wonderful fact: The word poet is the same as the word prince and the word itself has no gender.

The joy went on: Cass's wonderful book, Humming the Blues, reintroduces Enheduanna's Song to Inanna, an ancient Sumerian text of a poet following a god into the underworld. The first epic poem, the early epic structure, the familiar prototype for 5000 years of poetry which follow. But in this case the poet and the god had female identity, and female form. I trembled with something called delight. Joseph Campbell had the notion that there was only one heroic story... this work shows that the hero was a female. Cass read beautifully. We sat on the edges of our chairs, meditating about the old reed-shapes in the clay, those patterned forms that came to us from a past-life, that spoke out from 5,000 years ago, as if they were exiting the underworld once more. The rhythms seemed to rise and shimmer in the bookstore light.

We walked out, newly cloaked, into the dark.

Monday, November 16, 2009

An Introduction

My name is Kelly, and I have been interning at CALYX for nearly two months now. I wanted to briefly introduce myself and share some of the wonderful things that I have done so far. After this term I will be graduating in Liberal Studies with a focus in Women Studies at Oregon State University. Having an interest in writing, publishing, and activism, CALYX has been the perfect experience.

My typical day includes sorting mail, filing journal and Sarah Lantz manuscripts, reviewing corrections, emailing, and updating websites. Helping with the 33rd Annual Glitterati was fun, and you can view photos at: Also, seeing the many talented Sarah Lantz poetry submissions has been very fulfilling. Which are still being accepted through November 20th. The greatest part, though, has been watching a journal come to life.


p.s. for the holidays, subscriptions make the perfect gift!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Birth of a Feminist Journal

(CALYX editorial staff Rebecca and Beverly, pictured left)

The CALYX Journal editorial staff is knee-deep in the production of the upcoming Winter 2010 journal. As the associate editor, I work with our senior editor Beverly, to copyedit, organize and arrange the journal's content.

One question that we have struggled with this week is what is the best way to open a feminist journal? The opening piece often sets the tone to how the journal is read, and it is important to have a strong start. Much of our prose and poetry content for this issue focuses around birth and mothers, themes in many previous CALYX Journals, and so we are tempted to open with a piece on birth. As women, we are intimately and deeply connected with the complicated feelings related to birth and raising children. But is that all that women are connected with?

While women's bodies and lives are often uniquely tied to children and child birth, woman's experience is not defined by birth (unless it is, perhaps, the birth of her own identity). The journal will open with "How to Become the Oracle" by Linda Strever, winner of the 2009 Lois Cranston Poetry Prize. Immediately following, will be the lush and moving prose piece by Christine Simokaitis, "Waiting for Elijah," focused around a woman's harrowing experiences with the birth of her son. We hope that our feminist readers recognize that stories and poems related to birth examine only a piece of the many experiences, dreams, curiosities and challenges that women face in their lives. At CALYX, we will do our best to represent all of the many faucets of woman's experiences and imagination; this includes, but is not limited to, birth.

-Rebecca Olson, Associate Editor

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Lois Cranston Poetry Prize Winners on CALYX website!

The hard work of judging the Lois Cranston Memorial Poetry Prize is done. The poems of our winner, Linda Strever of Olympia, WA and of our two Honorable Mentions -- Pat Cason of Vancouver, WA and Kathryn Alison Graves of Keizer, OR -- are on our website at . After that always comes the hard work of thanking all those who submitted, and sending them a copy of CALYX Journal.

Our interns, Shayna and Kelly, did a lot of packing, sealing and sorting -- here's Kelly at work in our mailroom (above).

Almost 700 submissions were received! And yesterday, after at least a week's worth of prep, we got the many packages in the mail!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

New Voices from CALYX Press

Hi –
This is Cathy, the new assistant director at CALYX Press. I’ve just joined as half-time staff member, and we staff – after watching the fun the interns are having on this blog – have decided to jump in with some blogs of our own!

It’s a whirlwind here right now: the next issue is just wrapping up copy-editing, the Lois Cranston Memorial Prize has been chosen, and announcements are going out to the world; we just finished a fun gala – our Glitterati – which was my introduction to the CALYX board and volunteers, a great bunch! As the assistant on the business side, my focus is the website and ad sales and subscriptions and shipping… and quite a bit more I haven’t learned yet. It’s quite an education! I’ve been a writer and artist for years, but being part of the “other side” of the small press equation is quite an eye opener! The sheer amount of work that is involved in getting an issue out to press is amazing. I know that I’m going to have a different attitude toward each of the journals and small press books that come to my house from now on.

I’ll write more later, but now I have to get to stamping about a hundred envelopes!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

New Intern, New Updates!

I'm Shayna, and I just started as an intern here at CALYX last week. I'm having fun so far, and there's lots going on here at CALYX.

First of all, we at CALYX are excited about a few things:
  • Tonight, September 16, at Annie Bloom's Bookstore in Portland there will be a reading by five of our most recently published authors from Oregon! Mary Calvin, Helen Gerhardt, Lois Rosen, Felicity Shoulders, and Leslie What will be there!
  • Leslie has been nominated for the Ken Kesey Award for fiction for "Crazy Love." Congratulations to her!
  • RIGHT NOW!! We are accepting manuscripts for the Sarah Lantz Memorial Poetry Book Prize. The contest is open until September 30th, so get your manuscripts mailed in ASAP, poets! Go to for details!
  • Our annual Glitterati event will be an exciting night of spice--Friday, October 9. Tickets are on sale now at!
  • There's another CALYX reading next month, October 30 at Bluestockings in New York: Rhonda Zangwill, Tess Taylor, and Cass Dalglish will be the stars of the show!

There are a few things I am working on as an intern, too.

  • Because so many authors from California were published in issue 25:2, I am working on setting up a reading for them in the Bay area.
  • Hopefully, I will be able to set up another Oregon reading for some of our recent authors. Salem has been suggested as a possible location!

Remember, we're open for prose and poetry submissions annually starting October 1 through December 31. That's coming up soon!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

My last day at CALYX.

Hi, blogosphere.

Today is my last day at CALYX, and I'm getting all my last minute things in order, handing over my projects to a new intern, and making a checklist of things I have to have done before I go. Today is also my last full day in the state of Oregon. Being here has been a completely new experience for me. I've seen new things, met new people, and had some of the most valuable experiences of my life. I know this isn't the end of my time spent in the publishing world, but it's still very sad for me to leave.

I was very fortunate to intern here in the midst of a lot of change in the organization. I've seen a great number of things happen. At the same time, there are so many things here that I won't get to be a part of! Today we're sending out invites to the Glitterati. Unfortunately, I'll be in Columbus when the Glitterati actually happens. I'm still happy to be a part of the invitation-sending; I just wish I could see the real thing!

I hope to come back to Oregon sometime. I've been very happy here. I'm glad I got to be a part of starting this CALYX blog, and I hope it continues to be a part of the organization in the future. I'll be reading to see what else is going on once I leave!

Thanks for everything, readers, contributors, and everyone else!


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Hi, blogosphere. I wanted to let you know about some of the projects going on around here this month (and ruminate on interconnectedness)!

Even though we're not always open for submissions, it seems like we're always getting ready for something around here. At the moment, I'm involved with a number of different tasks that will culminate in CALYX events. I'm following up on promotion for our poetry manuscript prize, which will lead to Oregon women writers sending us submissions. Eventually, someone who learns about this contest will be published by CALYX Press... and that's definitely important!
We've also been preparing for the CALYX Glitterati, the annual fundraising event we host every year. Seeing how many different people and businesses get involved in such an endeavor is really amazing. And the somewhat abstract work I'm doing on it now will eventually be put to use in an actual, physical event. (I'll be back in the Midwest when that happens, though, unfortunately. That is one of the strange things about being just a summer intern: I'm planning for all these things that I won't be around to see!)
It's really nice to work in an industry where even small things are big things. Suppose we send out an acceptance letter for a poet in the next journal. Sending this letter out takes a couple minutes, at the most. With technology, everything moves even more quickly. This isn't the nexus of a day at CALYX-- but getting an acceptance letter, maybe a first ever acceptance letter, from a respected and established literary institution could quite easily make someone's day.
See? Interconnectedness. I have no authorial ambitions, but it's so wonderful to be a part of a network of authors and writers. It's a good feeling to know that people can be everywhere, doing different, important things, and still be a part of the same collective experience.

By the way, I mentioned before that there would be a job opening at CALYX because of the stimulus money. The time for that statement to come to fruition is now! Go to to see what you would need to do to work for CALYX.

Thanks for listening, e-world!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

From the desk of Elise Filka, intern extraordinaire

Oh, the joys of being a CALYX intern! This is my last day (actually last HOUR) of working here and I have been forced by everyone to write up a little thing for our blog, so I hope this will suffice. I remember my first day, I was fresh off the plane from Michigan, had never been farther west than Minnesota, and I was a little shell-shocked. But Beverly and Margarita were very warm and welcoming, they dealt kindly and patiently with my ignorance of just about everything, and since then have taught me so much about feminism, literary journals, and book publishers. As for my daily tasks and projects, though, I remember thinking that working on things like packing letters and other little tasks was like doing a clerical job but actually enjoying it. There is always this underlying sense in you here that what you are doing actually matters somewhere out there in the world. It also helped when you were addressing letters to famous writers/publications. It will, indeed, be weird when I have to go back to another rewardless job and won’t have things to look forward to like emails from authors and bookstores. I think that if you are any decent mix of literary nerd/ feminist/women’s studies person you will absolutely love to work with the marvelous women here at CALYX.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Inaugural Post

Welcome to the brand new CALYX blog! (Margarita's apologies; she previously said that we weren't doing any blogging. We are doing some now.)
My name is Kathleen, and as part of my internship for CALYX, I’m starting a blog about what’s going on around CALYX this summer. I traveled from Minnesota to be a part of CALYX for twelve weeks. It’s hard to believe that four have already gone by. So much has already happened while I’ve been here.
Here’s one exciting announcement: CALYX got part of the NEA stimulus grant money for this year! That money goes exclusively toward salaries, which means CALYX will be hiring some new people. So if you’re dying for a job with them (and why wouldn’t you be?) make sure to pay attention to the job announcements.
This summer, there are three interns here at CALYX: Elise, Laura, and I (that’s us at the top of the page). Interns do a lot of things. We’re given long and short-term projects. CALYX depends a lot on volunteer support, and interns are essentially volunteers. Some of our duties are more ‘traditional’ intern duties: office work, mail, addressing, and computer work. The upside of working for a small press is that we get more significant projects as well. For instance, you may have noticed that I’m currently writing the only blog in the history of CALYX.
I’ve also been involved in editorial meetings, marketing and PR while I’ve been here. When one of the interns is put in charge of something, we are definitively put in charge of it. Beverly and Margarita don’t deal with the responses we get for our projects. It’s all up to us. I love that I’m trusted with that much responsibility here, and I love being able to speak on behalf of such an awesome forum for women’s literature.
One of the things I’ve been doing is keeping up with social networking and technology on behalf of CALYX. So we’ve been updating our Facebook and MySpace, and I also created a Twitter. Everyone has been especially wary of the Twitter. I’m the only current Twitter user in the office (besides CALYX!), and the charges leveled against Twitter have been numerous. I’ve heard everything from “It seems really pointless” to “I don’t understand what it’s for” to “I don’t see how anyone can update in only 140 characters”.
Well, one thing that social networking is really good for is disseminating information, quickly and to a large audience. This is especially important for organizations. Things are always happening here. And Twitter is nice because it doesn’t require a lot of time or effort. Like it or not, you only have 140 characters. Not only is it unnecessary to write more than two sentences, it’s impossible! I find it a useful exercise in brevity, and a good way to learn what’s going on in the world. So if you have a Twitter—or want one—make sure to follow @calyxpress.
Periodically, I’ll be updating and letting you all know what’s going on in my life as an intern as well as the important things happening at CALYX. Stay tuned!