Thursday, April 3, 2014

Scissortail 2014: It's On!

As of 9:30 this morning, the Ninth Annual the Scissortail Creative Writing Festival is under way. If you are attending the Festival and have heard something you like, please leave a comment here so that the authors and everyone else can know what you think. Just click on the comment button below to leave a comment and read the comments left by others. And if you're not attending the Festival, come on over!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Welcome: From the Director – 2014

Ben Myers and Ken Hada (April 3, 2014)
On behalf of so many gracious volunteers, students and staff at ECU, I gladly welcome you to the 9th Annual Scissortail Festival. This year, eleven authors new to the festival join those who have returned. To all of you, and to the many audience members who celebrate creativity with us, I hope the festival is an inspiring experience. We have limitations of facilities and resources, but what we do have, we celebrate – and that is the love of the story, the need to tell and even more, the need to listen. We do it for applause, and we do it to applaud each other. During our longer and colder than usual winter just passed, I enjoyed rereading many of the authors who are on the program this year. I think this is an important exercise – to re-read the books on our shelves, to rendezvous with those who are writing those books, and to affirm the capacity to know and participate in creation.

The last line in B.H. Fairchild’s poem To My Friend captivates me: “the small darknesses we never see.” Something about this phrase sings poetry. It haunts those realities we feel, the fears and failures we sense, the joy we want to believe in. It points to the incalculable value of the creative arts. For us, authors and audience, these three days together may offer us the chance to see something that often eludes us. Together, we can at least look for it – whatever the “it” is for you at this time. Part of “it” for me is the recent loss of my favorite Uncle Max, who was one of the last links to my Hungarian ancestry, raised by my Great Grandparents Gustava and Julia, the family historian, the storyteller who knew well and paid attention to those from the “Old Country.” The last stanza of a tribute poem I wrote about Uncle Max may speak to what Fairchild imagines, and hopefully it includes you and your participation in this wonderful but all-too-short experience we live together:

See the surf – the waves beat
Against the shore but look out, look away
From this harsh moment and see
How the bay settles
Into endless beauty the way prairie grass
Flows forever in the wind
That calls us home
So I invite you to take part in as much as you can, make a friend, offer a ride, listen with good ears, laugh and love, even as we think about loss. To those who feel my use of nature is too sentimental, I leave you with one of my recent rough drafts, after thinking about Fairchild’s line and other matters, peace J

Three Days in April

Like a junkie
I keep coming back
Scissortail – I bet I’ve said or typed that word
A couple thousand times just this year alone –
It is the bird that makes me scratch
I cannot help myself
On my knees before you muttering
Hair messed up, unshaven, sleepless
All this for a fix
All my days, all my nights
Amount to nothing more than running scared
Afraid the last ecstasy will be the last
Worried sick that when I come down
Next time won’t bring me back up

Until it returns – gets me off, I float
In the freedom of language, the overdose
Of image and sound – Word.

For three days in April my itch is salved
Tripping far away and I am high
Where no bird could fly

Ken Hada

April 2014

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Scissortail 2014: The Poster

Winners of the 10th Annual R. Darryl Fisher Creative Writing Contest

Poetry Winners
First Place: Shannon Abbott, "Aurora" Norman North
Second Place: Neena Alavicheh, "Reflections in Leaves" Yukon High School
Third Place: James Bratton, "The Port", Norman North

Honorable Mentions:
Larissa Lynch, "Mac's," Walters High School
Erin Haastrup, "Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister," Union High School (Tulsa)
Makayla Leann Bray, "Seven Plays of a Pawn," Ada High School
Alexis Skrunack, "This is Where I Am," Walters High School
Victoria Quiroga, "The Old Mill," Lawton High School
Dominique Bradley, "Ode to My Father," Lawton High School
Samantha Huckabay, "Dad Never Cooked Much," Norman North
Aubrey Crynes, "By Sophomore Year," Norman North
Sara Ishaq, "Alien," Norman North
Tanner Capehart, "After the Rain Dance," Sallisaw High School

Fiction Winners
First Place: Peter Biles. “The Patriot.” Latta High School. (Teacher: Holly Wood)
Second Place: Katelyn Elrod. “Remembering Audrey.” Chickasha High School. (Teacher: Jo Perryman)
Third Place: Sara Ishaq. “A Portrait of Genevieve Poole.” Norman North High School. (Teacher: Kathy Woods)

Honorable Mention
Whitney Stewart. “Therapy.” Moore High School. (Teacher: Eileen Worthington)
Misty Jeter. “The Singing Bird Flies Low: The Diary Of Harlequin Linchtstrahl.” Dickson High School. (Teacher: Jennifer Moore)
Jenny Corbin. “Screaming.” Bridge Creek High School. (Teacher: Leslie Munhollon)
Justin Wu. “Out of Time.” Norman North High School. (Teacher: Kathy Woods)
Andrew Mather. “Spatty.” Bartlesville High School. (Teacher: Darla Tresner)
Spencer Yue. “Tintoror.” Norman North High School. (Teacher: Kathy Woods)
Aryn Alderman. “Dream World.” Norman High School. (Teacher: Kaysi Sullivent)
Subhieh Matar. “Dark Detective.” Deer Creek High School. (Teacher: Jason Stephenson)
Jamie Lim. “When Lightning Strikes.” Norman North High School. (Teacher: Kathy Woods)
Ella Parsons. “Phantomes du Louvre.” Norman North High School. (Teacher: Kathy Woods)

Friday, January 17, 2014

2014 Scissortail: Author Biographies

Dorothy Alexander is a poet and storyteller from Cheyenne, Oklahoma. She has authored four poetry collections, including Lessons From an Oklahoma Girlhood, an ekphrastic collection of poems and visual art, and two volumes of oral histories. Her poems and non-fiction prose pieces have appeared in Sugar Creek Review, Blood & Thunder, Cooweescoowee, Sugar Mule Review, A&U Magazine, Oklahoma Today, Imaginary Family, Malpais Review, and others. She is a publisher of poetry and she facilitates poetry readings at the annual Woody Guthrie Folk Festival in Okemah, Oklahoma, and the Poetry @ the Paramount readings in Oklahoma City. Dorothy gratefully accepted the 2013 Carlile Distinguished Service Award bestowed by The Oklahoma Center for the Book and Friends of the Libraries in Oklahoma in recognition of her services to the Oklahoma literary community.

Alan Berecka’s poetry recently appeared in the San Antonio Express, and then shortly thereafter at the bottom of countless bird cages. His latest book With Our Baggage was released by Lamar University Press in July 2013. He is not sure he can claim that he works for a living, but he puts in his time as a reference librarian at Del Mar College in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Timothy Bradford is the author of the introduction to Sadhus (Cuerpos Pintados, 2003), a photography book on the ascetics of South Asia, and Nomads with Samsonite (BlazeVOX [books], 2011), a collection of poetry. His poems have recently appeared in Upstairs at Duroc, Interim, and The Fiddleback, and he has been a visiting writer/lecturer at Marist College and in the Red Earth MFA program at Oklahoma City University during the past year. Currently, he is a Visiting Assistant Professor at Oklahoma State University.

James Brubaker is the author of Pilot Season, a collection of flash prose pieces published by Sunnyoutside. His manuscript, a collection of short stories called Liner Notes, won the 2013 Subito Press Book Prize in Prose, and will be published later in 2014. James’s stories have also appeared or are forthcoming in Zoetrope: All Story, Michigan Quarterly Review, Web Conjunctions, Hobart, The Normal School, Hayden’s Ferry Review, and Indiana Review, among others. James is currently teaching as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Oklahoma State University, where he is also the Interim Associate Director of the First Year Writing Program.

Julie A. Chappell is a professor of medieval and early modern literature and creative writing at Tarleton State University. Besides numerous academic books and essays, her poetry has appeared in several anthologies including Revival: Spoken Word from Lollapalooza 94; Agave: A Celebration of Tequila in Story, Song, Poetry, Essay, and Graphic Art; and Elegant Rage: A Poetic Tribute to Woody Guthrie. She also has published flash fiction in Cybersoleil: A Literary Journal. Her first poetry collection, Faultlines: One Woman’s Shifting Boundaries, was published by Village Books Press in October 2013. Her memoir, The Jail/House Rocked, is in progress.

Kevin M. Clay is an Associate Professor at Tarrant County College-SE. He has a BA and MA in English from Tarleton State University, and a PhD in American Literature from the University of North Texas. He won the Hoepfner Prize in 2006 from the Southern Humanities Review for his short story "Cowboys." His fiction and poetry have appeared in the Southern Humanities Review, The Sulfur River Literary Review, the William and Mary Review, and the British journal Staple. He lives in Arlington, Texas with his wife Elizabeth.

2014: Scissortail Schedule of Readings

Scissortail Creative Writing Festival
9th Annual: April 3 – 5, 2014
East Central University – Ada, Oklahoma

Thursday, April 3

I. 9:30 – 10: 45 Estep Auditorium

Ron Wallace – Durant, Oklahoma
Of Horses, Hawks and the World in Between
Maureen DuRant – Medicine Park, Oklahoma
Collect Call Home
Larry Thomas – Alpine, Texas
The Lobsterman's Dream (Poems of the Coast of Maine)

II. 11:00 – 12: 15 Estep Auditorium

J.C. “Catfish” Mahan – Edmond, Oklahoma
The Truth about The Truth
Elizabeth Raby – Santa Fe, New Mexico
Ransomed Voices
Alan Berecka – Del Mar College
With our Baggage

*** Lunch ***

Saturday, January 11, 2014

The 5th Annual Page One Literary Art Gallery--Submission Guidelines

Submissions are now being accepted for the Fifth Annual Page One Literary Art Gallery, which will be open for viewing on one night only: Friday, April 4th, 2014, from 8:00 p.m. to 9:30 p. m. at the Ada Arts and Heritage Center at 400 S. Rennie Street in Ada, Oklahoma. 
· are welcomed from any writers--emerging or emerged--who would like to get in on the Scissortail vibe;
· may be in any creative writing genre (poetry, flash fictiongraphic fiction, excerpt from a longer work, etc.);
· must not be previously published or already accepted for publication elsewhere;
· must be limited to one submission per author;
· must include authors name, school affiliation (if any) and status (student, teacher, etc., if applicable) on a separate sheet;
· may be submitted via e-mail (as a Word attachment), snail mail (see addresses below) or dropped off in the box on office door Horace Mann 316A on the ECU campus;
"Consecration of the Emperor Napoleon I " (1805-2807) by Jacques-Louis David
· must be submitted by 1 p.m. on Friday, March 28th;
· may be displayed at the Ada Arts and Heritage Center and may also be displayed on this website and at ecuenglishtalk;
· must be limited to a single page. Submissions that run longer than a page may be displayed in full on ecus englishtalk website, but when determining awards, judges will only consider the first page of the entry and only the first page of the entry will be displayed at the Ada Arts and Heritage Center.

The authors of outstanding submissions:
· will be identified by our panel of faculty judges;
· will be awarded with gift certificates designated for the purchase of books (authors scheduled to appear in the Scissortail reading program will not be in the running for these awards);
· must be in attendance at the Scissortail Wrap when the awards are distributed, one hour after the conclusion of the reading presented by Scissortail's featured speaker on Friday, April 4th, 2013 at the Ada Arts and Heritage Center;
· send your submissions to: (subject line: Page One Literary Art Gallery) or mail to Steve Benton at Dept. of English and Languages, 1100 E. 14th Street, East Central University, Ada, Oklahoma 74820-6999.

This event enjoys the sponsorship and support of Literati (ECUs English Student Club), Originals (ECUs student-run creative writing journal), ECUs Sigma Tau Delta chapter(International English Honor Society), and the Scissortail Creative Writing Festival. 

Click here to see photos and video from our 2013 Gallery.

We look forward to seeing you soon!