- The Bluecast
- Don Belton
There’s no question: Writing short can be difficult. And short is what our annual 1/2K Prize is all about. There’s the limited word count (500 words) and the unlimited genre constraints (fiction, nonfiction, poetry, short-shorts, prose poetry–a welcome collapse of genre). We asked Seuss to tell us more about her excellent piece, “Wal-Mart Parking Lot,” which won our 1/2K Prize in 2013 and appears in our Summer 2014 issue. Here she divulges which Wal-Mart inspired her, her approach to writing the piece, and the challenges and triumphs of the compressed form.
We hope this helps all you current and prospective Half-K authors. Submissions for this year’s contest are now open through August 15th. Click here for a full list of guidelines.
Judge Eileen Myles has selected “2006,” by Cecilia Woloch, as the winner of Indiana Review‘s 2014 Poetry Prize! Her poem will appear in the Winter 2014 issue of Indiana Review. We received more than 1000 poems of impressive quality and range, all of which were read anonymously by our editors. We’re happy to also announce the runners-up and finalists.
2014 Indiana Review Poetry Prize Winner
On why she chose Woloch’s poem, Myles writes: It’s “2006″ no question. I like the incantatory structure and it’s full of timely modal shifts to season (Spring) and nature becomes a train. It rhymes with itself to create a somber effect and glints with dark humor just when you want it. And then it slides away with anonymity and beauty. It’s sad like history and nature is sad. It’s a profound and simple poem and very rich and kinetic. I admire it a lot. This is a very smart and talented poet.
“To the Falcon Next to Me on Qatar Airways Flight 835″
Congratulations to our winner and runners-up and thank you to everyone who submitted. We truly appreciate your thoughtful and excellent work.
Caitlin Scarano, “The City that Taught You”
francine j. harris, “canvas”
Joshua Bennett, “Still Life with Best Friend”
Talin Tahajian, “Aviary”
Samiya Bashir, “Universe as an Infant: Fatter than Expected, and Kind of Lumpy”
Danez Smith, “Pitch for a Movie: Dinosaurs in the Hood”
Brandon Rushton, “Portrait of the Body with Bear Trap”
Just uploaded: “Cartesian Anxiety in a Bleeding I” by Camellia Freeman! Listen to the author’s voice by following the link.
Camellia Freeman is an Oregonian living in Columbus, Ohio. She received her MFA from Ohio State, and her nonfiction has appeared in Cream City Review.
Thanks to Mike Notaro and the Bishop Bar, we have provided the recordings of the readings and Super Regal’s set above. The order from top to bottom: Super Regal, Stacey Lynn Brown, Kiese Laymon, and Kathleen Rooney.
Last Saturday, March 29th, Indiana Review hosted the fourth annual Blue Light Reading Series at the Bishop Bar, and we’re still nursing our literary hangovers—this year’s readers delivered some of their most inebriating prose (gotta love extended metaphors), and we feel compelled to gush about the night.
On Friday afternoon we pre-gamed with dynamo author Kathleen Rooney at her “Poems While You Wait” workshop. After weeks of scavenging for as many functional typewriters as possible, we finally acquired enough to set an early twentieth century vibe for the presentation, typewriters poised atop desks with some o’ that fresh new ink. Still, those of us familiar with the concrete box that is Ballantine were not as quick to romanticize the setting as Kathleen was. (But thanks, Kathleen, for the refreshing new perspective!)
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Alissa Nutting, another of our featured readers for this year’s Blue Light Reading (3/29), shared some really interesting opinions and insight on media, women, and fiction research. Check it out:
IR: Was your first story collection, Unclean Jobs for Women and Girls, inspired by an “unclean” job that you had at one point?
AN: More generally it was inspired by being a girl in our society, and then a woman–two very unclean jobs, in my opinion.
IR: What initially got you hooked on writing about a teacher-student relationship (for lack of a better word) in your novel Tampa?
AN: It’s an act that seems to be happening so often currently, really proliferating–once I started paying attention to cases of female teacher/male student relations, I literally had a hard time keeping up with them all. What interested me were the ways the scenario is glamorized and in many ways accepted and championed in the media and society. Given the cultural factors, it doesn’t seem odd to me that it keeps happening.
IR: How did you prepare/research for Tampa? Did you talk with a female predator(s)?
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This Saturday, March 29th, we’re hosting the fourth Blue Light Reading Series! Kathleen Rooney, one of our featured readers answered a few questions for us about her work.
IR: How much of yourself, if any, is reflected in the protagonist of your latest work, a novel, O, Democracy?
KR: The protagonist, Colleen, is pretty close to my sensibility, but in the book she makes some terrible decisions, because bad decisions make good fiction. One of the reasons I chose to tell the story from the omniscient perspective of the dead Founding Fathers and not a close first-person through Colleen is that I wanted to maintain enough distance from the character to see her clearly and not uncritically. So the character of Colleen reflects me, of course, but so too do the characters of the Chief of Staff, the Senator, and the all rest.
IR: In your book of poetry titled Robinson Alone you explore the mysterious life and disappearance of poet Weldon Kees. What sparked your interest in Kees?
KR: Kees is a quintessentially American and a specifically Midwestern poet, but strangely enough, I didn’t learn about him or his writing until I was studying in the UK, where the work of the poet Simon Armitage brought Kees’ existence to my attention. The fact that back then, around 2000-2001, Kees’ work was still relatively tricky to come by just made me want to read it more, and when I finally did get my hands on a copy of his Collected Poems, I was blown away by the humor, darkness, anger, and humanity of his work. The fact that his life was so fascinating, too, and that it was punctuated by a mysterious disappearance–a question mark following his supposed death date–just made me even more intrigued.
The editors are excited to announce the launch of Indiana Review’s promo trailer for Issue 35.2! If you can’t be at AWP this week—where we’ll be debuting this fancy video—that’s okay. We’re making it available to all our followers and subscribers here on our blog. With work by Dorianne Laux, Daniel Hornsby, Jonathan Rovner, Stacey Waite, and many other talented writers, we encourage you to check out our newest issue here. If you like what you see, you can purchase your very own copy here. Thanks for watching!
The editors of Indiana Review are thrilled to be joining the dynamic community of readers, writers, editors, and publishers at AWP in Seattle this year! Stop by to visit us at table S5 in the Bookfair. We’ll have great swag, be happy to see you, and along with a selection of old issues we’ll have copies of our new issue for sale, featuring work by Annie Hartnett, Ryan Werner, G.C. Waldrep, Jamaal May, and other great writers. We hope to see you—contributors, writers, readers—there!
Close out your February with us at our RUN-AWP event, a basketball game and reading we’ll be co-hosting with O, Miami on Friday the 28th from 4:00 until 6:00. Interested in learning more? Of course you are. Check out more event details here.
I’ve never seen Sleepless in Seattle, but I’m going to be living it in a few days, when the Association of Writers and Writing Program’s annual conference takes the city in a fever. I already know the plot: twenty-something writer spends too much money on journals and suffers awful totebag handburn while sprinting between readings—that manic, desperate running typically seen in romantic comedies. Also: not sleeping. If you’ll be at the conference, here are a list of things you should probably check out.
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Judge Claire Messud has selected “Boomerang,” by Summer Wood, as the winner of Indiana Review‘s 2013 Fiction Prize! We received more than 300 short story submissions of impressive quality and range, all of which were read anonymously by our editors. We’re happy to also announce the runner-up and finalists.
Of the finalists, Ms. Messud writes, “The stories I read were so full of talent, so diverse, so lively and so interesting. The authors’ gifts are so distinct, and each so different. Each of these stories is a winner.”
2013 Indiana Review Fiction Prize Winner
On why she chose Wood’s story, Messud writes: The story that I’ve chosen as the winner is BOOMERANG: not only is the prose precise, evocative and at times gorgeous, the author manages to move seamlessly between the narrator’s present voice — as an adult gay man in San Francisco — and his childhood experiences. The complexity of the characters and relationships evoked is impressive, and profoundly moving; and this story manages to imbue the narrative with both subtlety and tenderness, when it could, in less adroit hands, have run the risk of cliché.
Messud: As runner-up, I’ve chosen WOLVES. Again, it is the resonant richness of character that strikes me most. There are no grand dramas, here, but rather a wise and thoughtful attentiveness to the force of the interior life, and a close attention to detail. The story takes place in the course of an afternoon and evening (with a coda the following morning), but its protagonist’s thoughts and memories give us the delicate outline of an individual and of her life. The prose in this piece is beautifully controlled; the authorial voice is strong and effective; the story, in its simplicity, is haunting.
Congratulations to our winner and runner-up, whose work will be published in Indiana Review summer 2014 issue. Thank you to everyone who submitted. We truly appreciate your thoughtful and excellent work.
Lisa Beebe, “Wildflowers”
Michael Campbell, “What Are You Doing? What Are You Doing Now?”
Gwen E. Kirby, “The Disneyland of Mexico”
Mary McMyne, “Camille”
Amy Rossi, “When I Say I Am Fine, What I Mean Is Empty”
Dominic Russ-Combs, “Manglevine”
Newest: Eric Smith reads "Redacted Minutes..."
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