Illya's Honey Literary Journal

About the Editors

Ann Howells is a longtime member of Dallas Poets Community. She has served on its board since it incorporated, as president from 2009-2012. She has edited their biannual journal, Illya’s Honey, for fourteen years. In 2009, she took 1st place in The Legendary’s Bukowski Contest. She was a finalist in 2008 NavWorks Poetry Competition and in Southern Hum’s 2007 Women of Words. Her chapbook, Black Crow in Flight, was published by Main Street Rag (2007) and a limited edition chapbook, the Rosebud Diaries, by Willett Press (2012). In 2006, she took 1st in Southwest Writers’ Club Poetry Competition. She has been interviewed on J.W. Clark’s television show, Writers Around Annapolis, had her work read on NPR (Atlanta) and been twice nominated for a Pushcart, once for a Best of the Web. Her work appears in many small press and university journals and anthologies, including Borderlands, Calyx, Crannog (Ire.), Free State Review, and RiverSedge.

Melanie Pruitt is the current vice-president of the Dallas Poets Community. She is also the longtime host of the First Friday reading series at Half-Price Books. She graduated summa cum laude from Southern Methodist University in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts in English and a minor in Human Rights Education. She currently teaches Developmental Writing at Richland College and is planning on earning a Master of Library Science degree. Her poetry has appeared in a variety of small journals, such as Amoeba and Night Roses, as well a number of anthologies, including Blood Offerings, Sense of Touch, Above Us Only Sky, and Parallax. She loves William Shakespeare, John Milton, and Marianne Moore. In addition to her work with the DPC, she does a lot of community service work with at-risk teens and has helped facilitate the annual Queer Subtext anthology at Youth First Texas. She also writes the Confessions of a Movie Queen blog.

About Illya's Honey
Illya’s Honey was founded by Stephen Brodie of Coppell, TX early in 1995. By spring of 1998, the journal had grown so large that Stephen turned it over to Dallas Poets Community who has been publishing it ever since, under managing editor Tracey Mahan (1998-99), then under managing editor Ann Howells (2000-present). In 2006, Illya’s Honey doubled the number of pages per issue, changed to perfect bound, and began publishing twice yearly, with target release dates of May 1 and November 1.

Now, once again, Illya’s Honey is evolving. It is going digital in order to simplify the submissions process, make the journal available to a larger audience—particularly those outside the United States, and to take greater advantage of available technology. We hope those who have enjoyed our print issues enjoy our new format and that new readers and contributors who discover us on-line also become fans. The new on-line Illya’s Honey will be released twice a year, May and November, alternating between two co-editors: Ann Howells, who has been managing editor for fourteen years, and Melanie Pruit-Helsem, who has been primary poetry editor for the last seven years.

For those new to Illya’s Honey, we’d like to answer the question we are most frequently asked, how the journal got its name.

Il ya Muromyets was born to poor parents in southern Russia. Due to a strange illness he was sickly and, as an infant, too weak to even cry. He remained so for thirty-three years, his parents tending to his every need. They were wondering what would become of Il ya after their deaths when two traveling minstrels called upon them for food. The old couple responded generously, and the minstrels repaid them by curing their son with a miraculous drink made from wild honey.

Immediately Il ya sprang from his bed and became a great hero of the Russian people, capturing a winged horse and using arrows that would split an oak tree. He led the Russian armies into victorious battles, making Russia safe for Christianity. Then he built the Kiev Cathedral single-handedly and turned himself into stone as a perpetual guardian over the Russian people. Until recently, the stone figure of Il ya Muromyets could still be seen in Kiev Cathedral.

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