Palooka is an international nonprofit literary magazine of fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, drama, graphic short stories, graphic essays, comic strips, artwork, photography, and multimedia. We offer print and electronic versions of the magazine and offer samples of the published materials online. We're determined to find those writers and artists who are hungry and relevant, flying under the radar, producing great works that are going unnoticed. We read absolutely everything sent to us, word-for-word, right down to the very last juicy sentence. This is a magazine for everyone, but we're really into publishing the up-and-comer, the underdog in the literary battle royale. Give us your best shot.
We dare you.
PHILIP RAISOR WINS THE PALOOKA PRESS
Congratulations to Philip Raisor whose dazzling chapbook, Hoosiers: The Poems, was selected as the winner of the Palooka Press chapbook contest and will be released in the early summer.
Philip Raisor is a mixed bag. As a child, in Muncie, Indiana, he was one of those good kid athletes and then an acute nephritis knocked him out. He spent a half-year on his back, listening to country music and writing his first poems. He was not a good kid poet. But he went on to play high school sports, and is noted for being on the losing team in the Indiana state championship game that inspired the movie Hoosiers. He was also on the losing team in a championship game against Oscar Robertson and his Indianapolis Attucks. It’s not over yet. He was a freshman on the Wilt Chamberlain-led Kansas University team that lost to North Carolina in triple-overtime in the NCAA national finals. And, finally, after transferring to Louisiana State University, he got some recognition as an all-conference playmaker, but spent a couple of years on losing teams in the Southeastern Conference. But, you know, he recovered.
He is the editor of a book of criticism, the author of a collection of poems, Swimming in the Shallow End, and his memoir, Outside Shooter, covers those early sports days. His work has appeared in Southern Review, Sewanee Review, The Writers Chronicle, Indiana Basketball History Magazine, and elsewhere. With a PhD from Kent State (during the troubles), he went on to teach in a number of universities. He is now a father, a scholar, a golfer, a landlord, and an emeritus professor of English at Old Dominion University, where he initiated the creative writing program, the visiting writers series, and the ODU Literary Festival. He lives in Virginia Beach, with wife, Juanita, who was on the staff of the Virginian-Pilot for twenty-five years.
KELLY "QUEENIE" COCKERHAM
Kelly Cockerham believes strongly that Anakin Skywalker is not a villain; he’s just a misunderstood good bad-boy. She carries drafts of her poems in her pocket and has ever since she was nine. When she was 24, she decided there was no going back and had the Chinese symbol for POET tattooed on her back. Ten years later, Robert Frost wound around her ankle. Currently, she lives in Maryland with her husband and two younglings, adores sparring hummingbirds, and makes a mean blueberry cobbler.
FEATURED WORK (FICTION)
"T-SHIRT SALES FOR THE WORLD TOUR OF DUTY"
BY ROD ROSENQUIST
On my back—with a taut strap across my chest—was a Hammond organ. I don’t know how I got stuck with that piece of machinery, well, besides the fact that I knew how to play a bit. I remember marching for miles thatspring, miles every day, endless feet placed into the mud, pulled back out of the mud, with a little squelch that I wished I could sample on the Ensoniq I left in Nebraska. And every step, that organ was lifted along with me, every breath, it rose and fell. My scalp burned at the crest of my head where my hair was beginning to thin, my feet ached, I breathed hard, but most of all, my back bent under the weight of the keyboard . . . (FULL STORY)