UnCollected Press and The Raw Art Review lost one of its editors and dear friends John H. Kim to lung cancer this year. John was a remarkable individual. He was kind, generous and non-judgmental. He was a true artist personality – oriented to all of life with an artist’s view on his experiences. He considered things deeply and thoroughly and with equanimity. If you asked John to opine on your idea, you had to be prepared to wait. His usual approach was to lean back, stare up at the ceiling or the blue sky or the cosmos and take a long time to consider before speaking. He was a true wit – funny and insightful and caring with a razor sharp mind for deconstructing an argument. It was a true pleasure to be in a room with John when it was occupied by some demagogue or zealot or fanatic that needed to be sent away spitting and blubbering.

John’s chosen medium of artistic expression was fiction writing. In John’s honor, we are launching the John H. Kim Memorial Prize for Short Fiction. Please see guidelines below.


  1. The winning story will receive a $200 award.
  2. 5 additional stories will receive $25 honorable mention awards.
  3. A shortlist of finalists will be selected and announced on the RAR Website.
  4. The Contest Winner will be presented on the RAR home page as a Featured Writer.
  5. There are no rules of form and content. The sole criteria for selecting a winner is the power of the emotional/psychological/spiritual/physical impact on editors reading the poem.
  6. Stories should be no longer than 5000 words.
  7. There are no particular trade-craft requirements. Single or double space, spare or effusive prose, representational or stream-of-conscious exposition, standard use of punctuation or not, etc.
  8. TYPOS – we understand it is difficult to catch all typos. NOTE: we will presume a typo is volitional, so for the purpose of maintaining your intent for the poem it is in your best interest to review carefully, get help from other readers, etc. WE DO NOT EDIT FOR MISTAKES. We assume everything you submit to us is intentional.
  9. Review of submissions is blind. Please do not put your name or any other identifying information on your pages. WE NEVER READ BIOS BEFORE SELECTION.
  10. Feel free to use the cover letter as you wish. You can include or skip the BIO. (We will ask you for it later when it is time to publish.) You can use the cover letter space provided on the submission form to discuss your poem or skip the cover letter entirely. What you write as a cover letter will have no bearing on selection for the prize. The cover letter will only be read after selections are made. We love reading your cover letters though – please feel free to expound.
  11. Editors are prohibited from rejecting a submission on first read. All submissions get at least 2 reads before a decision is made.
  12. Editors assume you are smarter than we are. We will strive to understand your intention ; stay open-minded and try to avoid imposing our presumptions on your work.
  13. We will never use irresponsible and self-aggrandizing language to describe your work like “purple writing” or “cliche”, or that bit of trade-craft is a “gimmick”.
  14. We will accept submissions to the prize shortlist on an ongoing basis during the submission period and may post them as blog posts on The Raw Art Review’s home page and for inclusion in The Raw Art Review’s next journal volume.
  15. 1 story per entry. Multiple submission entries are fine but the fee applies to each additional submission of 1 story.
  16. We accept Word and PDF formats. We prefer Word Format.
  17. Simultaneous submission is fine. A story can win the prize whether it is published before, during or after the contest period.
  18. Previously published poems are eligible provided the submitter owns the rights to republish. We are happy to recognize the original publisher upon your request.
  19. The fee for contest entry is $15.
  20. We are offering an expedite fee of $5. With an expedite fee, RAR Editors will make a decision on whether to move your submission to the shortlist AND publish your submission in a RAR Journal issue in 1 week or less.
  21. Submission Deadline is October 30, 2019.
  22. You must use Submittable for submissions


BENEDICTION by Bob Kaufman

Pale brown Moses went down to Egypt land
To let somebody’s people go.
Keep him out of Florida, no UN there:
The poor governor is all alone,
With six hundred thousand illiterates.

American, I forgive you…I forgive you
Nailing black Jesus to an imported cross
Every six weeks in Dawson, Georgia.
America, I forgive you…I forgive you
Burning Japanese babies defensively–
I realize how necessary it was.
Your ancestor had beautiful thoughts in his brain.
His descendants are experts in real estate.
Your generals have mushrooming visions.
Every day your people get more and more
Cars, televisions, sickness, death dreams,
You must have been great

Invocation to The Muse

In the 50+ years of reading and writing poetry, this is the most moving invocation to the muse I have found:



The muse seems to be

on vacation and I was

going to write a poem

about my car-wreck of

a life, of the sadness

and beauty I’ve known,

like hearing the very

first cries of my

daughter and drinking

with my father on his

44th birthday and his

dying just hours after

we had parted or

over-coming an addiction

or when my life-long

woman and I first

awoke as friends and

lovers: but the muse

seems to be on vacation,

I’ll dig in, sing songs,

dance, drink, smoke, pray,

hope, whatever it takes

to lure her back from

having a good time



UnCollected Press has published John D. Robinson’s full-length book of poetry, “Hang In There”, this year.  It is likely to leave you trembling, deeply moved and paralyzed, angry but softened.  The range of responses is very broad.  The poems are open and uncompromising, red with brutal reality and red with compassion.  Click below to purchase.

We are also announcing our intention to publish John’s second full length book of poetry in January 2020.

Red Dance, by John D. Robinson (January 2020)


Hang In There

John D. Robinson Full Length Book of Poetry