Literary Hook: ‘Size Matters’ at The Woman Made Gallery

The Woman Made Gallery, 685 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, hosts thematic poetry contests and readings to go along with art shows. This month’s show, “Size Matters,” offered a poetry contest that called for short, unpublished poems.

To participate in the contest, the six winners must be available to read their poems at the Sunday event. I was the juror for the “Size Matters” contest, and selected the six winners, who were Jan Bottliglieri, Kathy Kubik, Nina Corwin, Margaret Mikus, Robert Engler and Phyllis Natenek.

The reading was Sunday, April 23. We read in the gallery, surrounded by interesting and colorful artwork. I was delighted by the diversity of the poets, their content, theme and forms, including several sonnets that fit nicely into the “small size” theme.

Woman Made Gallery is holding another contest, “Her Mark 2007: a Datebook featuring Artwork and Poetry.” The following three jurors will judge the event: Lisa Alvarado, Pamela Miller and Kelly Zen-Yie Tsai. For specific information, rules, fees and entry form, access or e-mail

In addition, Moon Journal, under new editorship (mine) made its debut at Woman Made Gallery.

Moon Journal, a 10-year-old feminist magazine originally from the Chicago area, has changed hands. Former Editor-in-Chief Mary Ber is retiring to Tucson, Ariz. She asked me to take on the journal, and for reasons I still don’t quite understand, I said yes.

The debut journal, with cover art by Barbara Santucci and a New Orleans photo series by Jeff Swanberg, contains many interesting pieces by Rockford writers along with national writers.

Some of the magazine’s writers include Mary Caskey, nominated by Moon Journal for a Pushcart Prize; Carolyn Bailey, Mary Hotlen, Mary Ann Presman, Karen Gines, Dorothy Bock, Tracy Winkler and others. It has been a daunting but rewarding journey.

Moon Journal will celebrate with a reading and reception at Rockford’s Barnes & Noble, at 7 p.m., Friday, May 12. The event is, of course, free and open to the public. Check it out!

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 May 3-9,2006, issue

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