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Forest Creature
Forest Creature (collage) by Eva Stoitchkova, 11 (Ontario, Canada), featured on the cover of the March 2018 Issue of Stone Soup

A note from Tayleigh

Ciao for now! We are taking a vacation from our weekly newsletter for the month of August. Don’t worry—we’ll be back in September with a brand new (and better than ever) format. In the meantime, be sure to check out book reviews, writing, and art on the Stone Soup blog. And remember that the deadline for the annual Stone Soup book contest is August 16th. We will select two winning manuscripts—one in fiction and one in poetry—to be published and distributed by Stone Soup in both print and ebook forms, available for sale on Amazon, in the Stone Soup store, via our distributors, and advertised along with the rest of our books. This is a contest you don’t want to miss. So, good luck, and happy writing!

Selfie Contest
Since Stone Soup's last selfie contest in 2017, the selfie has taken on a new form: the masked selfie. That's why we're enlisting you to participate in our 2021 Selfie Contest: With and Without Masks. For more information on how and what to submit, please visit our Submittable form.

Weekend (August) Project
Now, I’d like to draw your attention to Eva’s breathtaking collage, Forest Creature. As collages do, this piece creates an image, in this case a raptor, out of something else. But what distinguishes Eva's piece from the standard collage, and what I admire most about it, is the fact that she has used clippings of a forest, the bird’s habitat, in order to create its form. Moreover, Eva has made the white space work for her, allowing the viewer’s mind to fill in the gaps of the image. In this sense, Eva has managed to enhance the relationship between viewer and art, allowing the two to work together, not unlike the forest and the raptor. All in all, what we have is a work of genius whose primary concept works on multiple levels.

Rainer’s poem, “Rainer’s Mind,” is similar to the collage in content and form. To start, both works feature a forest as the setting, and a bird as subject. And, in both works, a bird is born from the fecund combination of forest and mind. The key difference, however, is that in Rainer’s poem, the mind consumes its creation, a metaphor for its endless capacity to entertain itself. But the brutal action of the poem calls into question this cannibalistic ability. The poem’s speaker appears cognizant of this brutality (“I didn’t even say hello”), yet helpless to change it (“I just walked home”). In short, Rainer’s poem builds off of Eva’s collage, posing questions about the mind’s tendency to create beauty for its own consumption—questions well worth considering.

Taking all of this into account, I would like you to spend the month of August meditating on why it is that you create art. Then, I want you to choose a magazine—maybe an issue of Stone Soup—and either make a collage that utilizes white space to fill in the gaps of its image, or write an erasure poem by blacking out selected chunks of text.

Until next month,

Book Contest 2021

For information on submitting to the Stone Soup Book Contest 2021, please click here.

To submit your manuscript, please visit our submittable site.

Highlights from the past week online

Don't miss the latest content from our Book Reviewers and Young Bloggers at Stonesoup.com!

Young Blogger Mason Li wrote about his experience running a triathlon!

New blogger Anirudh Parthasarathy wrote about why he finds Bobby Kennedy inspiring.

April, 13, reviewed Alexandra Bracken's new novel Lore.

Daniel, 12, reviewed S.E. Hinton's classic novel The Outsiders.

Rainer PascaFrom Stone Soup
June 2021

Rainer's Mind

By Rainer Pasca, 14 (Bay Shore, NY)

I was in a forest with nothing
but my mind. It opened
a little bit—

lifted its mouth like a shark.
Suddenly, a bird.
Snap, said my mind.
Delicious! I didn’t
even say hello.
I just walked home.

...Read more from the June Issue of Stone Soup, including more of Rainer's poems

Stone Soup is published by Children’s Art Foundation-Stone Soup Inc., a 501(c)(3) educational nonprofit organization registered
in the United States of America, EIN: 23-7317498.

Stone Soup's Advisors: Abby Austin, Mike Axelrod, Annabelle Baird, Jem Burch, Evelyn Chen, Juliet Fraser, Zoe Hall, Montanna Harling, Alicia & Joe Havilland, Lara Katz, Rebecca Kilroy, Christine Leishman, Julie Minnis, Jessica Opolko, Tara Prakash, Denise Prata, Logan Roberts, Emily Tarco, Rebecca Ramos Velasquez, Susan Wilky.

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