mike Maher. – SG Editor – Featured at Poetic Bloomings

mike Maher., one of the editors at Sea Giraffe and all around super human and great guy (and writer of this post), is featured as a Beautiful Bloom over at Poetic Bloomings, a great website run by people who love poetry and support the continuous creation of new poetry.

The poem is entitled “But I still hear your ghost in these old Punk Rock Clubs.” For those of you who recognize the line, it is taken from the song “Hammers and Strings” by Jack’s Mannequin. And for those of you saying “you thief!” – the poem was written in response to a prompt  which called for a poem inspired by music. More specifically, it called for the writer to take a line from one of his/her favorite songs and make it the title of a poem. So, uhh, that’s why the poem is titled “But I still hear your ghost in these old Punk Rock Clubs.”

Please, go over and visit Poetic Bloomings, not just to appreciate my fantastic poem, but to see the great movement they are nurturing over there. And if you are a writer, consider returning to their site and writing poetry of your own in response to their prompts.

For the internet-challenged (congratulations on finding your way to this blog, by the way), every time I have written Poetic Bloomings, it has been linked to the location of the poem their website.

And now, back to reading submissions. Thanks for stopping by.



3rd Wave Submissions Period Closes Aug. 11

Our submissions period for our 3rd Wave ends tomorrow, August 11. If you LIKE Sea Giraffe on Facebook, (or if you follow us on Twitter and followed the link to our Facebook) you already know this. We decided to make the announcement on Facebook earlier than everywhere else to reward those of you who have decided to follow us over there. We have over 1,700 followers on Twitter and only 130 or so personal LIKES on Facebook, so we gave those lucky 130 the exclusive early notice.

We toyed with the idea of extending the deadline, but we have decided against it for a number of reasons. For starters, Submishmash, the submissions manager we use, is launching a new 2.0 version on Saturday, August 12. We don’t anticipate any technical difficulties, but just to be safe we are closing submissions down before the change takes effect. The other reason is that we are excited to get our 3rd Wave published. We have received some great work already, and we want to get it out there. Our 3rd Wave is looking like it will be our largest Wave yet.

So, you have a little over 24 hours to get your work submitted for consideration. We will not be closing down submissions until tomorrow evening. No submissions will be accepted after the fact, but no final decisions will be made until all submissions are read, re-read, and reviewed.



Submissions Now Open for Sea Giraffe’s 3rd Wave

As foreshadowed (can you still call it foreshadowing if you just come out and say it?) in our previous blog post, submissions are now officially open for the 3rd Wave of Sea Giraffe. The first two issues were pretty sweet, so you are going to have to pump up your high tops in order to reach the level that they have raised the bar to.

Further details are available on the Sea Giraffe website on the Submissions page.

Spread the word.

That is all.



Submissions to Reopen July 1st

Hello, all Sea Giraffe readers, writers, and people accidentally stumbling upon this site (I think they have a website for that now) completely by accident. We have good news and bad news. The good news is that we will be opening back up for Submissions on July 1st. The bad news is that you already know that because it was included in the headline for this blog post.

As always (you know, since we have been around for such a long time), we will be accepting poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. We’re also always open to your pitches for reviews and interviews, as well. Actually, we will consider pretty much anything creative, so feel free to pitch us whatever you have. Our ears are always open, and they always will be, unless we discover a way to close them.

Anyway, July 1st is the day we begin accepting submissions for our 3rd Wave. Sea Giraffe‘s first two waves were spectacular, and we expect nothing less of our third wave. There will be no submission fee. The date that submissions will close has yet to be determined, but expect it to be August 1st at the absolute earliest.

Feel free to spread the word.

Until next time, comrades.



Martius Contest Winners, 2nd Wave Now Published

If we could justify only posting a headline without an actual post to go along with it, that is the headline we would use. The winners of the first annual Martius Contest have now been posted as our second wave of works. For those who are now confused – the Martius Contest winners and the second wave are the same thing. We decided to publish it under the 2nd Wave name as well in an effort to keep things linear and more organized (plus, we just really enjoy using that whole waves vs. issue theme to go along with the name of our magazine).

Here again are the winners:

1st Place ($100 prize) – Barney Drabek – “Talent Scout” (fiction)

2nd Place – ($20 prize) – William Henderson – “Which Dreamed It” (nonfiction)

3rd Place – ($10 prize) – Aaron Harme – “Litmus Test” (poetry)

Honorable mentions also selected for publication – Hannah Andersen – “Murmur” (poetry) and Sandy Day – “Summarizing” (poetry)

All five pieces are great, and Sandy is already making her second appearance on the pages of Sea Giraffe.  The feature piece for this issue (ahem, wave) is Barney Drabek’s short story “Talent Scout.” We recommend reading it a few times; it is a simple narrative which becomes less and less simple with multiple reads.



And The Martius Contest Winners Are…

After more than a month of reading, reviewing, evaluating, meditating, salivating, regurgitating, re-reading, reevaluating, eating, sleeping, driving, and (okay, you get the idea) dreaming, we have finally chosen the winners of our first annual Martius Contest. Without further adieu or any more words ending in -ing, here are the results.

1st Place ($100 prize) – Barney Drabek – “Talent Scout” (fiction)

2nd Place – ($20 prize) – William Henderson – “Which Dreamed It” (nonfiction)

3rd Place – ($10 prize) – Aaron Harme – “Litmus Test” (poetry)

Honorable mentions also selected for publication – Hannah Andersen – “Murmur” (poetry) and Sandy Day – “Summarizing” (poetry)

Thank you to everyone who submitted work for this contest. We received over 150 submissions for our first ever contest, and it was an extremely difficult pleasure to narrow down the submissions and choose winners. The five pieces listed above are all wonderful, and we hope you will take the time to check them out once we publish them.

Last Day for Martius Contest Submissions

To all humans and monkeys capable of using keyboards, today is the last day to submit your poetry, short fiction, and creative nonfiction for the first annual Martius Contest. We have received some great submissions so far, but we will not be choosing a winner until all submissions are in, read, judged, and put through a series of matrices and march madness brackets.

In order to give all submitters a fair chance at winning the contest, the winners will not be announced immediately. We will read and re-read every piece, giving them time to marinate and soak into our various lobes. Obviously, this means that no winners have been chosen already and that no one has been eliminated yet.

For additional details on the Martius Contest or to send in a submission, visit the Sea Giraffe Submissions Manager. We wish everyone the best of luck, and we are very much looking forward to reading every piece and selecting the winners.

Peace be the journey.



Sea Giraffe Poetry Invades The Ofi Press Magazine


It’s safe to say that Jack Little, the editor of The Ofi Press Magazine, and the editors of Sea Giraffe have similar tastes. In fact, take that to the bank.

The poetry section of the April 2011 Issue of The Ofi Press Magazine features three poems, two by Sandy Day, featured in the 1st Wave of Sea Giraffe, and one by mike Maher., the editor and fuhrer of Sea Giraffe.

Maher’s poem, “A Conversation With The Self,” appears first, and it is followed by Day’s “Catching Apples” and “15 going on 16.” We would tell you how much we enjoyed all three poems, but it is no surprise that we love them. Besides, it’s better to check out the poems and experience them for yourself.

Feel free to let us know how you feel about them. The link above is, as you may have guessed, a link to where you can find the poems. Gosh, we’re so damn clever.


Self-Destruction or Self-Creation? A Review of Self-Inflicted by Drake A. Lightle

by mike Maher., Editor of Sea Giraffe

Immediately displaying an incredible, almost intimidating sense of emotional honesty, Self-Inflicted will grasp many readers from the very beginning because of its ability to relate. Drake A. Lightle uses a spirited grasp of the english language to drift between topics such as addiction, loss, self pity, self destruction, and longing, to name the most jarring from a lengthy list.

Coming from Gold Fish Press, Self-Inflicted is simultaneously brilliant, gripping and perhaps just a bit amateurish. Beautiful language and heartbreaking images and situations are tripped up by a clumsy stylistic choice to avoid the use of punctuation almost completely or by the occasional cliche that sneaks its way into a poem (see excerpts: “monkey see monkey do” or “i want to splash into your oceans”).

It is difficult, if not impossible, to completely dislike Mr. Lightle’s work, though, especially when he reels off a poem like “skull.” This poem begins with a vivid depiction of the insanity of addiction:

“Self-indulgence, self-medication-
self-destruction? or self-creation

Ah, to live one’s life
through the voices echoing
within the safety and isolation
of the calcified bubble that is the skull
fills life with a greater sense
of satisfaction and significance
than reality ever could.”

Addiction is portrayed in this work as a coping mechanism, a way for the narrator of these poems to self medicate and avoid dwelling on lost relationships. However, there is an almost overbearing presence of “she” throughout which clouds the entire work with melancholy. Some of the poems even appear to be love letters gone wrong (see: “the freeway between us,” “Her Hallowed Heart”), while others are so varied and overly personal that they are bound to strike into the hearts of even the most removed readers (see: “bugs under the skin,” “skull”).

Lightle’s opening piece, “the freeway between us,” addresses the strained relationship with the author’s wife and her relocation. It closes with, “I don’t want to remember you as walking away from me/ down a road which both separates and connects us,/ this freeway that stretches and measure all that’s between us.”
This is a telling, even if accidental, ending to Self-Inflicted‘s opening piece, as it alludes to the path ahead of the reader which both “separates and connects” to Lightle’s innermost “excruciating psychological pain.”

There is much to like within the pages of Self-Inflicted, and only a very small amount to dislike. This work is personal without becoming whiny or bemoaning one’s entire existence, making it already a contemporary work which succeeds where many others continue to fall onto a monotonous compost heap. Lightle shares personal turmoil with the intimacy of a close friend and the openness of a patient sharing with his doctor, and for that he should be applauded.


The Martius Contest is Winding Down

We sit here today at March 23, meaning there are now just a measly nine days left for submissions to our first annual Martius Contest. The time has flown by, and we are torn between wanting to keep the contest going forever and wanting to select and notify the winners.

For those who don’t know, we are selecting three winners, one for each category of poetry, short fiction, and creative nonfiction. We have received some great submissions so far, but that should not deter you from submitting. We will not be selecting our winners until the first week of April, when we will sit down and share our top picks and make their respective cases. Who knows, perhaps we will create an entire March Madness super bracket of submissions to select our winners.

What we are really trying to say is that your chances of winning are still pretty (cue Larry David: pretty, pretty good) good. One of the three categories (creative nonfiction, if you can keep a secret), is running considerably short on submissions. So, if you have some of those true stories you made up, send them on over.

Rather than post entire obnoxious list of contest details here, we’ll provide you with the best places to find those obnoxious details, including the prizes for victory. You can head over to the Sea Giraffe Submissions Manager for the contest and submission details. This is a particularly good place to check, since it doubles as the place where you actually submit to the contest. You know what, it actually doesn’t make much sense to provide any other links. The Submissions Manager has all the details you need. Providing any other links would be a waste of everyone’s time.

For the overly ambitious, you can check out the Sea Giraffe Mothership. While there, you can check out the great work we have already published and get an idea of what we don’t hate.