Friday, July 8, 2022

Bacopa Literary Review 2022 Award Winners


AWARD: "An Act of Kindness" by Murzban F. Shroff

Murzban F. Shroff is a Mumbai-based writer. His fiction has appeared in 75 literary journals. He is the winner of the John Gilgun Fiction Award and has seven Pushcart Prize nominations. His short story collection, Breathless in Bombay, was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and rated by the Guardian as among the ten best Mumbai books. His collection, Third Eye Rising, was featured on the Esquire list of Best Books of 2021. His novel, Waiting for Jonathan Koshy, was a finalist for the Horatio Nelson Fiction Prize and will be published in the U.S. in Fall 2022.

HONORABLE MENTION: "Benny & Bjorn" by Lilia Snowfield Anderson

Lilia Snowfield Anderson was named after a great-great-uncle she never met. Bartending shifts consume her nights and her debut novel draft consumes her days. She lives in a small, Minnesota lake town. Her fiction can be found in The Marrs Field Journal, The Agapanthus Collective, Blood & Bourbon, and more.


AWARD: "Girl Sunplit" by Neethu Krishnan

Neethu Krishnan is a writer from Mumbai, India. She holds postgraduate degrees in English and Microbiology and writes between genres at the moment. Her work has appeared in The Spectacle and is forthcoming in Seaside Gothic and the anthology "Dark Cheer: Cryptids Emerging" (Volume Silver) from Improbable Press.

HONORABLE MENTION: "Waiting" by Miki Lentin

Miki Lentin completed an MA in Creative Writing at Birkbeck, was a finalist in the 2020 Irish Novel Fair for Winter Sun, placed highly in competitions including Fish Publishing and Leicester Writers, and published in Litro, Storgy, Story Radio, and MIR, among others. Miki volunteers with the refugee charity Breaking Barriers and with foodkind in Greece, and dreams of one day running a café again.


AWARD: "How Busy I Was" by Marjorie Drake  

Marjorie Drake, after more than thirty years practicing law in Hartford, Connecticut, recently closed her practice to concentrate on her writing. Her work has appeared in Parhelion Literary Magazine, Grey Sparrow Journal, Five on the Fifth, and elsewhere.

HONORABLE MENTION: "Show and Tell to Remember" by Victoria Lynn Smith  

Victoria Lynn Smith writes short stories, essays, and articles. She has been published on Brevity Blog, Wisconsin Public Radio, Moving Lives Minnesota, Better Than Starbucks, 8142 Review, Red Cedar Review, Spring Thaw, Hive Literary Journal, Persimmon Tree, and Jenny. Read more at 


AWARD: "Amelia's Freckle Cream" by Shauna Osborn

Shauna Osborn is Executive Director of Puha Hubiya (an Indigenous arts nonprofit). Their poetry collection Arachnid Verve was a finalist for an Oklahoma Book Award. Other honors include a New Poets of Native Nations Scholarship, a Crescendo Poetry Fellowship, and a National Poetry Award from the New York Public Library

HONORABLE MENTION: "All love poems are horror poems when you are the creature" by R. Thursday

R. Thursday (they/them) is a writer, historian, educator, and all-around nerd. When not subverting middle school social studies curriculum, they can be found reading, playing video games, or writing about space, vampires, comic books, queerness, and on good days, all of the above.


AWARD: "Listen to Gala's mutterings" by Sylvia Anne Telfer

Sylvia Anne Telfer is an international award-winning Scottish poet/short story writer frequently published in anthologies and magazines, a qualified English teacher, and one of her jobs was In-House Publications Manager at the University of Hong Kong. She is a campaigner to halt climate change, a feminist, and an equal rights activist.

HONORABLE MENTION: "In the Name of the Name" by Sunyoung Kay

Sunyoung Kay is a poet located near St. Louis, Missouri who is just beginning the journey of revealing the stories held within.


AWARD: "A Change in Mood II" by Karla Van Vliet

Karla Van Vliet’s newest books are She Speaks in Tongues (Anhinga Press,) poems and asemic writings, and Fluency: A Collection of Asemic Writings (Shanti Arts.) She is a Forward Prize, three-time Pushcart Prize, and Best of the Net nominee. Van Vliet is a co-founder and editor of deLuge Journal.


J. Nishida is a Gainesville poet, writer, editor, tutor, sometimes teacher, and mom. She is one of the hosts of the Thursday Night Poetry Jam at the CMC. She enjoys travel and theatre; studying literature, linguistics, languages, mythology, and fairy tales; and annoying other poets with her experimental poetry.



Sunday, June 26, 2022

Visual Poetry: A Dynamic Interplay

by Bacopa Literary Review Poetry Co-Editor Oliver Keyhani

Fig. 1. Typescract 63
Dom Sylvester Houedard,
1963, 20x12.5 cm

Visual poetry bends the script, the letter, the consonants, the vowels. It allows for a transition from oral tradition to written text to imagery of the written text. Modern visual poetry is as dynamic and diverse as any art form. It can, but does not have to push a dialogue (dialect?) between visual arts and literature, between representation and abstraction, between constructions and deconstructions. 

Visual poetry spans lettering, typography, handwriting, and collage. From the typestracts of Houedard and other typography (Figs. 1 & 2) to concrete poems and calligrams (Fig. 3) that recapitulate the shapes of objects and things, visual poetry allows for a dynamic interplay that connects the eyes and ears in the experience of poetry (click on images to enlarge).

Visual poetry also has a rich history of rebelliousness, whimsy, social commentary, and even scathing political exposure. As stated by Derek Beaulieu, "The libidinal excess typified in concrete poetry is not tied to a biological author, but rather to the excess and waste caused in the production by business machines of 'correct' and legible documents." (Beaulieu, The Last VISPO Anthology: Visual Poetry 1998-2008, pg. 75).

Fig. 2. Calligram, Guillaume Appolinaire

Many visual poets chafe at "accepted conventions of Poetry," and seek to challenge and push boundaries of subject and object, form and function. The "distortion" of text into a visual aspect that cannot be separated from the text itself can be seen as an echo of the "conceptual structure of reality" espoused by Hegel. 

Fig. 3, Amanda Earl
If things exist for actualizing "a priori pure concepts," vis-ual poetry can provide poten-tially unantici-pated sources of "sense impressions" that seem to hint at but can unnervingly obscure underlying concepts of our social reality.

For additional information concerning visual poetry and examples see "Visual poetry: what it is and examples," "Visual Poetry Today," "The Vispo Bible: John," and "Guillaume Apollinaire." 

Saturday, June 25, 2022


by 2021 Prose Poetry contributor Claire Bateman

My writing tends to arise from several sources, all filtered and transformed through the chaotic creative process known as “combinatory play.”

First, there are my own obsessions. I’ve always been fascinated with the phenomenon of sleep, that altered state we enter collectively on a regular basis though each of us experiences it alone—how mystical, how paradoxical, how completely ordinary! And I’ve always loved gems and jewels; in an archetypal sense, they’re like dreams or dreammessages since they speak to us of the hidden world of caves, the underground, and the sea. Though such stones can be cut and shaped, bought and sold, there’s an irreducible otherness about them, an ineradicable feral quality I find compelling, so it made sense to me to link them with sleep. 

Another writing source is direct input from daily life, like the news item I saw last year about eco-wear featuring fashion boots made from mushrooms instead of leather; I suspect that this story lodged in my brain where it underwent the transformation that sparked the idea of clothing created from geological materials. And would I have written this piece if we weren’t in a pandemic, seeking a treatment/cure? I’m not sure. Certainly, though, from our own unfolding ecological disaster comes the subtly ominous undertone as the narrative touches on the ethically ambiguous extraction process that makes the insomnia treatment possible. 

Though I granted my suffering characters relief, something in me didn’t want to let them off too easily, so their previously innocent, unreflective relationship with sleep has been transformed into something new and indeterminate: “Nor do they talk about their sleep, commenting on its quality or recounting dreams; a new diffidence prevails, like the shyness of lovers reunited after an epic absence, as the one who stayed behind, noticing subtle changes in the other, wonders if this is indeed the longed-for union, or perhaps something else entirely.”  While I did mean the narrative to stand on its own as a speculative piece, I may also have been referencing the fact that we’re being changed by the pandemic in ways we can’t yet even identify. I think it’s good to guess but not be too certain about all the layers of thought in the work of writing.

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Claire Bateman is the author of nine poetry/prose poetry collections. She is also a visual artist. Learn more about her here.