Literary Hook: Out of Line: Good place for writings about peace, justice

Last week presented an overview of the publishing process. This week, we will begin looking at specific literary markets. This week, we will look at an anthology that is published yearly and invites both prose and poetry: Out of Line, which features fiction, poetry, and essays about the theme of peace and justice.

Out of Line, edited by Sam Longmire, is produced by Garden House Press, P.O. Box 321, Trenton, Ohio 45067. On the masthead page, it reads: “Writers are invited to submit personal essays, fiction, and poetry with underlying themes of peace and justice. We welcome writing about serious human conditions such as tolerance, diversity, freedom, nonviolence, healthy relationships, environmental justice, personal growth and spirituality.”

If these words describe some of the issues you write about, you might try sending your work to Out of Line. In addition, I can personally say Sam Longmire is a respectful editor, who responds to submissions within a three-month period.

The anthology comes out annually, is perfect-bound with full-color cover and 230 pages of writings sure to pique your political underpinnings. Consider these lines from “Harvesting the Moon,” a poem by Brad Bennett: “I worry that uniformed men with chain saws/ will scale tall metal ladders and sever the mothy threads/ that hold the moon to the darkness.” Of course, the poem embraces poetic license full force here, even to the point of hyperbole. It ends the same way: “I fear that they will bombard it with atomic particles/ to forge new weapons of mass destruction/ to use in their next war/ against the sun.” (p. 71, 2006 edition).

Remember, poetry isn’t the language of facts; it’s the language of myth. If you find lines such as these compelling, then check out Out of Line.

Last week also previewed “Music to My Eyes,” a collaboration among The Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center, Womanspace, Womansong Chorale, as well as members of the community of Sisters of St. Francis, Second Congregational Church, Rockford College Music Academy, and other illustrious Rockford musicians as well as the Focus Financial Group for sponsorship.

This week, I would like to thank everyone who was involved for what turned out to be a simply wonderful collaboration. Since there are too many people to name without the possibility of slighting someone by accident, let me just say that the evening was everything a collaboration could be. There was a feast for the eyes, featuring large, colorful pieces by several Womanspace artists; a feast for the ears featuring several vocal and instrumental soloists; as well as original poetry, lyrics and a musical score.

The finale, “Non Nobis Solum,” was for me a highlight in my own literary career. To hear the voices, cello, soprano, and chorale perform the score, composed by Donald Fraser, was simply exhilarating.

My gratitude to everyone involved as well as the full house at Second Congregational for embracing the evening’s lush menu with a standing ovation. For creative artists, it rarely gets any better.

Christine Swanberg is a local author and poet who has written several books of poetry and formerly wrote a column called “The Writer’s Garret” for this newspaper.

From the March 15-21, 2006, issue

Enjoy The Rock River Times? Help spread the word!