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September 15, 2018 is the deadline for the Cosmographia Prize for Spiritual Fiction! But we need your help. We are low on submissions, and we can only fulfill the prize money if we have enough submissions, so please, please, please, spread the word! It’s a niche genre, but SO IMPORTANT to the world, in our humble opinion.

Copy of Copy of Cosmo logo final - 2,500 (2)

Cosmographia announces the inaugural Cosmographia Prize for Spiritual Fiction for an unpublished novella of spiritual fiction. The winning manuscript will be published by Cosmographia Books, and will receive $500. The deadline for all manuscript submissions is September 15, 2018. Winner will be announced by end of year. Entry fee: $25 US.

THE IDEA
Spiritual fiction comes disguised in many genres: speculative (A Wrinkle in Time), historical (Siddhartha), allegory (The Alchemist). But we always recognize it by the way it makes us feel. Spiritual fiction does more than entertain. It does more than instruct. It transcends. It offers energetic healing, spiritual clarity, and a deep level of awakening to those who it is meant for.
Think:

  • The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
  • A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
  • The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield
  • Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach 
  • Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah by Richard Bach
  • Diana, Herself, by Martha Beck
  • Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
  • One by Richard Bach

Here is a full list of popular spiritual fiction:

https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/5019.Best_Spiritual_Fiction

Or check out the definition of visionary fiction on wikipedia.

 

Read the full guidelines at Submittable.

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WINNERPOEM OF THE MONTHCONTESTVisitation

 

I sit with you in silence

in this place of days spent,
car window down so
morning’s dribble freckles my hand
on the wheel.

Were your knuckles growing fatter,

fingers stiffening, at fifty-one?
It’s only their softness, a quietude,
faded smell of dinner’s
chopped onions lingering on skin
I know now.

And although you left to lie

under a stone
etched with my words, your voice
still worries the wind.
I am not orphaned. You have not gone.

-Cynthia Ventresca

——

Cynthia Ventresca is the winner of the NinaAlvarez.net Poem of the Month Contest, July 2018.

Cynthia discovered her vocation at the age of seven, when she penned her first poem about her affection for a stuffed Koala bear. Her passion for poetry persists, with work published in various print and online journals. Cynthia is a lifelong resident of Wilmington, DE, where she still resides with her patient partner of many years, Micheal, and five adoring cats.

——

Many thanks to all those who submitted your beautiful and transcendent work.

The Poem of the Month Contest is closed until further notice. Please follow us on twitter for updates.

And check out our two new recently opened contests:

Cosmographia Prize for Spiritual Fiction

Cosmographia Prize for Spiritual Nonfiction

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WINNERPOEM OF THE MONTHCONTEST

Secret Wedding

 

l.
It had been many years since honor was restored
– honor older than the law, which was older than the world
and the world is no little thing. It is vast, magical, particular
and abiding. You only have to climb the granite mantel,
looming over Odin’s cove, soaring into space, to know

 

II.
There, the wee conifer breaks earth, enters space, keeping sentinel
beside him – who is waiting for her. She who roves
obsessed with the sky, past Andromeda, past the whited sepulcher
for a love that became the ten thousand year flight. Both
kraa-kraaing an eternal echo, rest-less, moody, longing,

 

III.
hovering like a charcoal storm on a carpet of sea mist and wind
she arrives on heaven’s breath. He perches beside her,
his eye fixed on her smooth raven feathers. Restored
the iridescent coupling rise, wing tip to wing tip, taking morning with them
The wee conifer rooted from the rich dark earth, bends towards light
and straightens his emerald gown

 

-Suzanne Gili Post
——

Suzanne Gili Post is the winner of the NinaAlvarez.net Poem of the Month Contest, June 2018.

Suzanne Gili Post is a human, being. She is superb at parallel parking. Her life was changed by a skunk crossing in front of a woodpile under a full moon.

——

Many thanks to all those who submitted your beautiful and transcendent work.

Submissions to the Poem of the Month Contest are always open.

And check out our two new recently opened contests:

Cosmographia Prize for Spiritual Fiction

Cosmographia Prize for Spiritual Nonfiction

Read Full Post »

WINNERPOEM OF THE MONTHCONTEST

It was Jude Nutter who wrote,
“The world is a grave. With all its exits
barred.”* And I wondered
how she knew at such a young age
the vagaries of existence –
the desolation and destruction.

I wondered how she knew the cost
of living a life that seems daily like a death –

our contrite confessions aside, there must be more
that allows us to soar above our mundane
toil than this coiled, curling crypt.

I wondered how anyone ever knew
this and why more of us are not scarred
or scared shitless.

How do we carry on surrounded by this gilded gyre –
its din of clutching beetles and maggots
running rampant in the darkness, spilling
disease and unrest, famine and fear.

This world that takes from, wants from, needs
– siphoning the soul one ounce at a time,
hollowing out until only a shell is left, a single
carapace as reminder of what might have been.

I remember a family gathering
hugging and mugging with cousins and siblings,
reminiscing and celebrating aunties and uncles, yet

amid the laughter feeling so lonely –
                    so very alone –
that I had to hold myself tightly
in check to keep from
stepping out –

I had to stop myself from running
down the highway. I had to focus on
NOT screaming,
“This world is a grave!”
And I understood:

There are no exits.

*First lines of “Epitaph on Interstate 80, Nevada,” The Curator of Silence, by Jude Nutter.

-Annette Gagliardi

——

Annette Gagliardi is the winner of the NinaAlvarez.net Poem of the Month Contest, May 2018.

Annette has been writing poetry since the early 1980s and has been published in various magazines, area newspapers, and anthologies, and has won poetry awards. She visits elementary classrooms and shares poetry lessons, writing, and gives talks about her two children’s books. You can learn more about her at http://www.annettegagliardi.com

——

Many thanks to all those who submitted your beautiful and transcendent work.

Submissions to the Poem of the Month Contest are always open.

And check out our two new recently opened contests:

Cosmographia Prize for Spiritual Fiction

Cosmographia Prize for Spiritual Nonfiction

Read Full Post »

WINNERPOEM OF THE MONTHCONTEST

Of Memories by the Sea

Summers and spangled memory-heat rise up from the pavement;
roads of waste and want, the hurt of war and jellied gasoline
dropped from sky machines,
flying between delusions of freedom
and the security of an exceptional god.

It’s their voices distilled from that din of years;
the rubble-speak repeated now by the same cadre of believers
and their urgent end times, revelations and rapture.

Today, little men, rich in hubris, always ask for money;
feebly market unneeded things and politics;
and the women news readers, with painted faces and
wrinkle-free skin in the latest Prada,
wear shirts that defy you not to imagine them naked.

While the last genocide or child-murder
becomes the lead subject for debate and prurience
between 6 and 10
when full bellies meet certitude in blonde and
blue eyed high-definition.

Is it jaded to see all of this and
not feel outrage?
not withdraw to memory prisons and Santana in shuffle mode?
not look on your woman rummaging in the kitchen
and know thanksgiving?

In the still of this masquerade,
when the jesters and their sexual minions
miss their rhythm and pages of the script are lost,
I pause, content in knowing that time is implacable
and measure by measure, my leeward years will slip
into sunrise collections
of memories by the sea.

-Bob Canuel

——

Bob Canuel is the winner of the NinaAlvarez.net Poem of the Month Contest, April 2018.

Bob Canuel is retired now but has been writing poetry since he was a teenager, a long time ago indeed. Over that time, he has accumulated a large collection of poems inspired by life, the universe and everything, to borrow a phrase from A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. 

Married for over thirty years, and formerly residents of Ontario, he and his wife moved to Calgary, Alberta, in 2016, where they are both active in the writing and craft communities.

Bob has had work published by Wax Poetry and Art, The Prairie Journal, Dying with Dignity Canada and will soon see a short poem published at Right Hand Pointing. He also had two works published in the 1990s in small anthologies now out of print.

——

Many thanks to all those who submitted your beautiful and transcendent work.

Submissions to the Poem of the Month Contest are always open.

And check out our two new recently opened contests:

Cosmographia Prize for Spiritual Fiction

Cosmographia Prize for Spiritual Nonfiction

Read Full Post »

WINNERPOEM OF THE MONTHCONTESTForeigner

In the valleys of Brooklyn, and only
in the early night, you’ll find an
Arab man bending over these black
roads, praying with the rage
of a foreign man who has no
money to return. Watch the way
He pulls at God’s fingers
and plucks the strings holding him
to this world. Watch the letter fall,
and He, with familiar sorrow,
strip the man’s howling organs
of their covers to bare a naked
existence of longing, so long
a journey seeking after that
which can never be sought, but felt
so suddenly when it bites
the lips of those who see but cannot
speak of such things.
Of loss, many poets have cut
and paste prayer from the holy books,
trying to communicate, groping
the deep skins of their throats
for those glorious words
that will make you understand,
let you touch that thing for which
the white composers of this language
never knew needed to be expressed.

-Aiyah Sibay

——

Aiyah Sibay is the winner of the NinaAlvarez.net Poem of the Month Contest, March 2018.

Aiyah Sibay is a poet and artist originally from Syria. She graduated from University of Maryland in the Spring of 2017 and has worked as a photographer, reporter, and columnist for various publications. She has also worked as a contributing writer for the UN and the Middle Eastern publication, Barakabits. She was a Litfest finalist and a winner of the “Writing Migration Literary Competition” at the Forming Black Britain Symposium.

Aiyah has also worked with Syrian, Iraqi, and Palestinian refugees over the years and is currently residing in the West Bank where she teaches English and writes.

——

Many thanks to all those who submitted your beautiful and transcendent work.

Submissions to the Poem of the Month Contest are always open.

Read Full Post »

WINNERPOEM OF THE MONTHCONTESTRoom 19

They still slice brains at the Moscow Brain Institute
with the same hand-cranked deli meat-slicer,
which carves genius into thin memories
and past sins that could flutter to the floor
from careless fingers. Brains marinate
in formaldehyde inside flowered borscht pots
while history’s great minds rest in glass cases.

31,000 slivers of flesh mounted on glass,
stored behind three reinforced, alarmed
doors. 14 green leather-bound volumes,
embossed with five letters: L-E-N-I-N.
What used to be a state secret is no longer.

These books transcribe the territorial map
of Lenin’s brain: 31,000 snapshots
of each decision, good or bad, each strength,
each weakness exposed slice by slice.

Greatness comes with more of everything.
Most brains there get only two or three
thousand chances to prove themselves.
Rocket scientists, writers, secret police,
Lenin’s widow, and Stalin—the architecture
of their brain cells disassembled.

Poor Mayakovsky, your suicide celebrated
by a white labcoat who chopped through
your apartment walls with an ax, raced
away with your unusually large brain
in a washbasin straight to the slicer.

Lenin’s widow answered questions
about her husband’s personality,
to shine more light on science.
But the Bolsheviks changed her answers
to ensure greatness. His tenor voice
became baritone—no lovesick, romantic
lead role for him. Shaky vision
in one eye vanished.

In the end nothing could be discovered
by examining under a microscope
what makes a genius—or a dictator.

-Meg Freer

——

Meg Freer is the winner of the NinaAlvarez.net Poem of the Month Contest, February 2018.

Meg Freer grew up in Montana and now lives with her family in Kingston, Ontario, where she teaches piano and enjoys running and photography. She began writing poetry recently, and her photos and poems have won awards both in North America and overseas and have been published in chapbook anthologies and in both print and online journals. In 2017 she won a fellowship and attended the Summer Literary Seminars in Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia.

——

Many thanks to all those who submitted your beautiful and transcendent work.

Submissions to the Poem of the Month Contest are always open.

Read Full Post »

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