Thursday, October 27, 2011

Legacy Award Winners Announced Today and Other Updates from @AQUARIUSPRESS

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An Evening with Aaron Dworkin &

Uncommon Rhythm

Tuesday, Dec.  13, 2011

7-8:30 PM

Ann Arbor District Library
Ann Arbor, MI
Details TBA



Aquarius Press/Willow Books founder Heather Buchanan will deliver the keynote address during Fellowship Chapel's 3rd Annual Author's Day Friday, Oct. 28 from 6-9 p.m.
Welcome to our new Editorial Assistant, Keith Wilson. Keith is completing his MFA at Chicago State University.
PO Box 23096

Detroit, Michigan 48223
9:00AM-4:00PM M-TH



Samiya Bashir
Samiya Bashir



Aquarius Press/Willow Books is proud to announce that the 2011 Aquarius Press Legacy Award will be presented to Samiya Bashir and Parneshia Jones as co-winners. Both women received multiple nominations extolling their vast contributions to our field. We were extremely impressed with the caliber of all the nominees, and many thanks go out to those who submitted nominations.

Parneshia Jones
Parneshia Jones

The Legacy Award honors a woman writer of color from the American Midwest actively involved in providing opportunities for other writers. The award recognizes the anniversary of the founding of Aquarius Press and the ongoing mission of its founder, Heather Buchanan. The 2011 prize consists of a tribute section in the 2012 edition of the acclaimed journal Reverie: Midwest African American Literature and a feature at the 2012 Willow Books Celebration during AWP in Chicago, IL.


About Samiya Bashir

Ann Arbor, Michigan native Samiya Bashir's work includes Gospel, Where the Apple Falls, and Role Call: A Generational Anthology of Social & Political Black Literature & Art. Bashir's poetry, stories, articles and editorial work have been featured in numerous publications and she is the recipient of awards, grants, and fellowships from the Virginia Center for Creative Arts, the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley, the University of Michigan, the University of California, Soul Mountain Writers Colony, The Austin Project, Alma de Mujer, the James Dick Foundation for the Performing Arts, the Astraea Foundation, the National Association of Pen Women, and Cave Canem, among others. For over a decade, Bashir worked as a social justice communications professional and was owner and principal consultant of Lead Time Consulting, specializing in communications for non-profits and arts organizations. Currently, she is back home among the Ann Arbor trees, teaching writing at the University of Michigan. To read an earlier feature interview with Samiya by Aquarius Press, visit .


About Parneshia Jones

Parneshia Jones is a member of the Affrilachian Poets. Her awards include the Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Award and the Margaret Walker Short Story Award. She has been published in several anthologies including The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South and America! What's My Name? Her work at the Chicago-based TriQuarterly/NU Press includes securing a home for the Cave Canem Second Book Prize, publishing the new collection of poems by Nikky Finney and helping to ensure that there was a proper celebration of the recent anniversary of Chicago playwright Lorraine Hansberry's Broadway debut of A Raisin in the Sun. Ms. Jones has an MFA from Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky.


Details for the 2012 Willow Books reading in Chicago during AWP (Feb. 29-March 3, 2012) are forthcoming, but plan on a blockbuster event--watch our Willow Books Facebook page for announcements.



a people united artwork
"A People United" by Najee Dorsey



2011 VOL. 5

Theme: "Revisiting Injustice"


Special Section: "Remembering Sean Bell"


A broad range of creative and scholarly works on topics such as:


  • Church burnings in the South in the late 1990s
  • An examination of sisterly bonds in terms of Alice Walker's The Color Purple and Ntozake Shange's Sassafrass, Cypress & Indigo
  • A revealing story on the little-known genocide in Namibia in the early 20th Century
  • An exploration of human relationships under the guns of the Panamanian Army
  • A tribute to Sean Bell by Contributing Editor Metta Sáma

 Buy Now


 $10 pre-order thru November 15, 2011



Aaron Dworkin and Andrew Humphrey
Aaron Dworkin (right) and Local4 Meterologist Andrew Humphrey
Aaron P. Dworkin, a new Aquarius Press author and a White House Champion of Change, launched his inspirational memoir, Uncommon Rhythm: A Black, White, Jewish, Jehovah's Witness, Irish Catholic Adoptee's Journey to Leadership recently in Downtown Detroit. 
Sphinx viola
The book chronicles his journey through social isolation and discrimination in this engaging and stirring autobiography to his rise as founder of the internationally-renowned Sphinx Organization, which focusSphinx piano playeres on youth development and diversity in classical music. Aaron's goal is "inclusion for all" and hopes that this book will inspire all people who have ever felt like outsiders to nurture their own gifts and make valuable contributions to society.
Holiday discount thru 12-15-11Uncommon Rhythm book cover


Our Price: $15

List Price: $19.95


 Buy Now





Best Midwest Writing 2012 

The postmark deadline for our new writing contest has been extended to Tuesday, November 1, 2011. The 2012 Bright Harvest Prize is open to all writers in the Midwest (or with ties to the Midwest). Award consists of cash prizes and publication in an anthology distributed nationally, including to select agents. One grand prize for Poetry ($250) and one grand prize for Prose ($250). Honorable mentions and notables published along with grand prize winners in anthology; all selected entrants will receive one copy of anthology. Anthology publication date in early 2012.


Theme is open, but no erotica or urban.



 Entry requirements: 

·         Cover sheet with name, address, phone, email, category entered and brief bio with statement on entrant's Midwest connection

·         Poetry--up to 3 poems per entry, 40-line limit per poem

·         Prose--up to 3,000 words; excerpts from longer works accepted, but indicate on cover sheet

·         Manuscript double-spaced (single-spaced for poetry is allowed) with single space between punctuation and .3" tabs/indents.

·         Entry fee(s) enclosed with manuscript or paid online


Entry fees are $20 per entry for Poetry, $20 per entry for Prose. Entry fees are nonrefundable. No previously published or simultaneous submissions, no email submissions. No limit on submissions, but each entry must have a cover sheet and fee enclosed (or transmitted online via PayPal or Aquarius Press Storefront). Methods of payment accepted: PayPal (to Aquarius Press), our Storefront, or check/money order payable to Aquarius Press ($25 fee on returned checks). No entries will be returned, so do not send originals. Enclose SASE postcard for confirmation of receipt of manuscript; enclose a #10 SASE for notification of winners.


All judges' decisions are final. Judges reserve the right to not select a winner in either or both categories. Works selected for the anthology must be provided in Word or RTF formats via email before publication. Entrants authorize Aquarius Press to use his/her entry in promotional content as needed and to make light edits as necessary for publication. Entrants may withdraw entries from consideration at any point before the contest end date but request must be made in writing.


Winners will be announced in late November  2011.


Postmark deadline is November 1, 2011. Send four (4) copies of entry, along with $20 fee to:

Aquarius Press

PO Box 23096

Detroit, MI  48223

Attn: Bright Harvest Prize





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About Us


H. Buchanan, Owner & Publisher

Dr. Randall Horton, Poetry Editor-in-Chief

Qiana Towns, Reverie Editor

Sharon Stanford, Fiction Editor


Cathryn Williams, Children's/YA Editor


Keith Wilson, Editorial Assistant














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