A few Camera Crew Updates

October 11th, 2010


No one in the Boston area (those of a literary bent, anyway) on October 19th should awaken on the 20th only then to discover that the previous evening, Camera Crew member and all around great guy, Tim Horvath, squared off with Charles Coe, Kelly Link and Elizabeth Searle in the Literary Death Match Boston. Judges: Jennifer Haigh, Steve Almond, and Steve Macon. The Enormous Room, 569 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge. Doors open at 7:00 pm.

Also on the 19th , in Denver, Shane Oshetski will be reading with J.D. Frey, SOBO Reading Series –  7:00 at Vic’s Espresso 4770 Table Mesa Drive Boulder, CO.

Judging is underway on the winter photography contest. Results should be announced by the end of the month.

Happy reading.


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September 23rd, 2010


Since the cover of our first issue has made a striking impression, I would like to further congratulate Catlin Harrison for recently taking first prize in the self portrait category of the Julia Margaret Cameron awards hosted by the WPGA. Her winning photograph, “Self-Image(green)”, the photograph that won the non-professional editors’ choice award of Camera Obscura’s inaugural contest and graced our first cover, will be included in an upcoming awards exhibition in Buenos Aires in 2011. Another image in the series has been included in an exhibition at the Lana Santorelli Gallery in New York.

We have also recently added stories for our next issue from Thisbe Nissen, Mark Budman, and Sunshine LeMontree. It remains a humbling endeavor to consider all the intelligent and imaginative stories and photographs we still have to choose from for the Winter 2010 issue.


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August 30th, 2010


Camera Obscura’s most recent addition to the Winter table of contents, “Uruguay”, by Henriette Lazaridis Power, warrants a second read immediately after the first, if for no other reason than to enjoy the carefully wrought language again, or to discover one of the many details hidden within the folds. The story begins:

“In the time it took to curl his toes over the edge, his reasons not to jump became the reasons he should do it. And that was what his friend—a man he hardly knew before this trip—shouted to him now. “Do it!” Two simple words, echoing, taunting, allowing. Against those syllables, the rest of it had no chance. Children. Family. Career. It was all extra. Extravagant, even. What mattered was this pure moment above a blue bay. What mattered was that he should jump.”

Henriette Lazaridis Power is a Greek/American writer whose work has appeared in a variety of publications, including Salamander, the New England Review, The New York Times online, The Millions, and the blog Beyond the Margins where she is a regular contributor. A Rhodes Scholar and a Ph.D., she taught English literature at Harvard for ten years. Power is the founding editor of The Drum Literary Magazine, an online literary magazine publishing short fiction and essays exclusively in audio form. Power is currently finishing a novel set in remote Northern Greece.

We also added a haunting short-short by Amanda Yskamp called BTU that begins:

“The crackling of flames translated to the arc of a Tesla coil in my dream – a line of blue barbed with sparks, the sound of voltage showing its fractures , until the siren shook me loose.”

Amanda Yskamp’s work has appeared in such magazines as Threepenny Review, Hunger Mountain, Caketrain, Redivider, and The Georgia Review. She lives with poet Doug Larsen and their two children on the 10-year flood plain of the Russian River.

In the process of reading some great stories. Much more to come. We’re hoping to get the Winter Issue out the door on Dec. 1 (Hmm, sounds like a great holiday present)


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Energy of Change

August 18th, 2010


Given its philosophical underpinnings and esoteric nature, almost to the point of mysticism for the uninitiated, mathematics can be a great tool around which to build a story. However, despite my personal mathematical leanings, I would be leery of any suggestion to begin a story with an actual mathematical equation. Slated to appear in the Winter 2010 issue of the Camera Obscura Journal, “The Wolf’s Choice” by Peter Tieryas Liu, excerpted below, is an exception that I will gladly make. 

v= Hd was the equation for the rate at which galaxies sped away from one another, the H standing for Hubble’s Constant, the v, for the vapid volume of velocity. The third variable was d, representing distance, the diametrical disposition of difference. And somehow, these three digits summarized the universe into a trinity of letters, simplicity exemplified. It struck me, when I first learned the variables, how it would have taken a thousand times more energy to resist change than to accept it.

 I’d spent eight months wandering through the honeycomb of Asia, shifty Bangkok, grand Beijing, contemporary Shanghai, futuristic Tokyo, all convicted in the nexus of modernization and unshackled faith. I was adrift, tugged and pulled by the gravity of solitude, a festering hunger driving me like a relentless martinet.”

Peter Tieryas Liu has recently had short stories accepted for publication in the Binnacle, Gargoyle, Prism Review, Quiddity International Literary Journal, and ZYZZYVA. He’s worked as a technical writer for Lucasfilm and is a character technical director for Sony Pictures where he’s worked on features like Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland and I Am Legend. This story is dedicated to Leza.

 Much more to comes as the issue unfolds – MEP

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Another glimpse of Winter 2010

July 22nd, 2010


The topic of the US-Mexican border is hard to escape in recent headlines, and border towns themselves often tell a visible story of the disparity of life on either side of the imaginary line, emphasizing the difference between those who have and those who don’t.   Camera Obscura Journal is lucky to be able to include in its next issue, the beautifully rendered story, Rosebud Ben-Oni’s “A Way out of the Colonia” excerpted from her novel in progress entitled The Strange and Sad Disappearance of Oni Montoya.

Excerpts from the story:

“The child could no longer sit in her mother’s lap without causing the woman pain, and had already forgotten the warmth she’d once felt there. Now she looked bewildered and frightened as the woman declared that the sky had decided to leave Matamoros.”
. . .
“Year after year, the trunk of the sapodilla tree had thickened around the middle, its color blanched by the sun to a dull brownish-grey. As if it was an old man who’d spent his life in the fields and found his soul in the very work that thickened his skin. Such men are rare, he told Oni as he shaved off the deep groves of the branch. There are very few people who reap the beauty of life from survival alone, and can wear it so visibly.”

Rosebud Ben-Oni is a writer for New Perspectives Theater, which is producing her play Quimera on the Pedernales, and has been the recipient of a Horace Goldsmith Grant, given so she could complete her first novel, which deals with her experiences as a Jew of mixed race. She has had recent work in Slice Magazine, J Journal, Wreckage of Reason: An Anthology of Contemporary XXperimental Prose by Women Writers, Arts & Letters, Identity Envy— Wanting to be Who We Are Not, and The Texas Poetry Review. Recently produced plays include Owless of Santa Clara (Snorks and Pins, Roy Arias Studios, July 2010), Nikita (Shotgun Theater Festival, the Gene Frankel Theatre, Jan 2009 and Thespian Productions, Producer’s Club, May 2009); Nary a Bodega (Leah Ryan Benefit, Producer’s Club, November 2009); The Amaranthine Thread (Leah Ryan Benefit, Producer’s Club, November 2009 and Where Eagles Dare, February 2010). She is currently finishing her first novel, which is entitled The Imitation of Crying.

Many thanks again to everyone who has supported the journal in one fashion or another!
-M.E. Parker

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Volume II on the Horizon

June 15th, 2010

On the same day that the journal received a review on New Pages for the first issue, the future began to take shape for the next one. Congratulations to all the great photographers and writers who appeared in this first issue.

Hints of Camera Obscura Journal Volume II emerge from the primordial literary selection process with K.R. Sand’s short story “Half Life.” Sands unfolds this intricate story from the prospective of Marie Curie, guiding with precision a serendipitous encounter of science with art, ultimately to their unexpected collision.

The story begins:

“Oh, how she hated celebrity! All this traveling and eating and smiling and thanking and demurring–so tiresome! Such a waste of precious time! She was no longer young, and there was still so much work to do. Six weeks for this American tour, all the while accumulating heavy wooden plaques, childish gold and silver medals, useless doctoral robes, framed certificates, and other detritus that she’d have to carry in her luggage or pay to have shipped home to Paris. But this was the price she had to pay for the radium, the precious gram she needed to keep the work going. Although Americans were generous with their vast wealth, they certainly claimed their pound of flesh in hand-shaking.”

K.R. Sands is a university English professor, somehat new to fiction, whose scholarly work includes several articles and two books on the history of demon possession and exorcism (http://www.amazon.com/Kathleen-R.-Sands/e/B001HOOYSM/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1).

8-minute interview of K.R. Sands by the director of the Mütter Museum:
The College of Physicians of Philadelphia and Mütter Museum

More updates as the issue unfurls.
And many thanks to all the supporters of the journal. Your subscriptions are much appreciated!
M.E. Parker, Editor

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New Website and Distributors

May 6th, 2010


With the first issue out the door, Camera Obscura has received a tweak or two and a nip tuck to the website (with much more on the way). The site is best viewed with all current browsers Firefox, Safari, IE 7 & 8 and Chrome. IE 6 and lower may have some issues (very sorry, but it’s time to update).

Also, for anyone wishing to carry Camera Obscura: Literature & Photography, I now have two distributors you may contact :Ingram Peridodicals and Ubiquity distributors.

More interviews to come. Thanks so much to everyone who has subscribed.

M.E. Parker, Editor

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Camera Obscura Volume I Is Here

April 1st, 2010


And she is a beaut. The printer did a fantastic job. Pushed us to the limit on timing, but it was well worth it. For everyone who pre-ordered a copy (we thank you immensely), these will ship by mid-April at the latest. I am working on distribution right now.

Forthcoming on Aperture, interviews with some of the writers and photographers we published in this first issue.

Also, I hope any writers attending AWP will stop by our table and say hello. I would love to meet you.

M.E. Parker, Editor
Camera Obscura Journal

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Amateur Photography Winner

March 2nd, 2010


We were excited by the overall quality of the submissions in the amateur category. One of these images even made the cover. Thanks again for all who entered. Check the guidelines for the next competition already underway.

Outstanding Amateur Photography Award
Jan Luit for Free Floating

Editor’s Choice Award for Amateur Photography
Catlin Harrison for Self-Image (green)

Amateur Competition Finalists
Mary Brown for Embrace
Mark Harary for Grand Central Terminal
Hugh Jones for Reunion
Carrie Wendt for Hidden Frog
Shannon West for Transformation

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Professional Photography Winner

March 1st, 2010


We are happy to announce the winner of the first Camera Obscura Photography Award.  We received some great entries and narrowing down the finalists was a tough call. The winner’s photograph as well as those of some of the finalists will appear in the journal in April. Many thanks to all who entered.

Winner: (Selected by our Judges)
William Horton for I’m Here

Editors’ Choice 
Tom Chambers for The Goatherd

Jennifer Adams for Hero’s Son
Holly Bown for A Farmer’s Peace
Sandy Edelstein for Keppela Kiss
Mindy Harris for Kissable
Chieko Tanemura for Knitting
Hao Tran for My Best Friend
Chuck Uebele for Father Daughter
Caron Van Orman for Double Dimple
Maria-Mihaela Vass for Bond
Rachael Waller for Mustang 42

Featured Photographers
Robert Alvarado
Cheri MacCallum

Non-professional announcement coming soon…

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