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.

 

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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!

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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 BookfairWe’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.

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AWPBOOKFAIR

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

“Boomerang”

Summer Wood

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.

Runner-Up

“Wolves”

Caitlin O’Neil

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.

Finalists

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”

 

christmas bub You have a writer on your gift list and you are at a complete loss about what to get them. Creative people can to be the hardest people to buy for because we artists are just way too particular about what we like and absolutely do not. You want to get something that says “I love you” and “I am interested in your passions.” But WAIT! Here’s a guide to avoiding the pitfalls of buying for a scribe this season.

DON’T:

The Journal. Ever since your writer shared that first sentence to a friend or family member, every one has been incredibly supportive by buying them the most generic gift—the writer’s journal. Although it might be tempting to pick something from that tall wall of journals lining the bookstore, this is the wrong gift for so many reasons.   Writers like to select what they will write on.  We’re picky about our writing environments, and that extends to the page itself. Conditions must be just right. Does your writer prefer a red hardback Moleskine with unlined pages, a $1 college-rule Composition notebook, or the nearest cocktail napkin? Does your writer even write longhand? Chances are, that bejeweled, boxed, and embroidered journal you found on your way out of the checkout of TJ Maxx will just end up re-gifted to a teenage cousin.

The “Special” Pen. Just like their word choice, writers are choosey with their writing gear. Ball-Point vs Gel. Foray vs BIC. Blue vs Green. Plastic vs Metal. Some of us won’t even look at mechanical pencils; others relish in untwisting the body of their fountain pens. Don’t spend hours in Staples only to see that engraved pen with embossed rubber gripping thrown in the corner of your writer’s bedroom in a week. Read the “Do’s” after the jump!

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interns!Each semester, Indiana Review is lucky enough to take advantage of 3-4 plucky, wide-eyed undergraduate interns who help us with nearly every step of putting together an issue of the journal. From corresponding with contributors and subscribers, performing research, fixing web and technology problems we didn’t even know existed, and being all-around good sports–we simply couldn’t do this without them.

We want to say thanks by introducing you to the team of interns who’s helped shepherd our Winter 2013 issue, starting with the wonderful people who served as Summer 2013 interns: Brittany Brewer, Belle Kim, and Olivia Miller.

Read more after the jump!

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PushcartPrize_2014coverWe are excited and proud to announce our nominations for this year’s Pushcart Prizes:

From Summer 2013 IR 35.1:

“Patrón,” by Oliver Bendorf (poetry)

Two on a Horse,” by J. Bowers (fiction)

“The Sweeper,” by Jessica Masterton (fiction)

 

Forthcoming in Winter 2013 IR 35.2:

“Eduardo,” by David J. Daniels (poetry)

“Cartesian Anxiety in a Bleeding I,” by Camellia Freeman (nonfiction)

“Cheek Teeth,” by Annie Hartnett (fiction)

 

Our fingers are crossed for these exceptional works!

 

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AlphaTangoBravo/Adam Baker

Call for Indiana Review’s Special Themed Folio: MIDDLE SPACE

Bending the rules of craft is not a new thing. Bold steps and subtle transformations are how we move forward in literature, in society, and in ourselves. For a special folio in our Summer 2014 issue, we’re seeking work—in both form and content—that blurs genres and breaks down preconceptions, narratives of transgression that make us question our boundaries of what a literary work is and can do.

Keywords to consider and inspire: boundaries, borders, limits, edges, duality, on the verge, transformation, transgression, travel, movement, bodies, collapse, collage, correspondence, collaboration, middle space.

Click through for guidelines and deadlines!

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deardiary

I love the careful refinement and precision of a good manuscript. But sometimes, when I’m not attending to submissions or screening essays for publication, I just want to lie back, relax, and read someone else’s diary.

“Why do we read a writer’s journal?” Susan Sontag asks in her 1962 essay, “The Artist as Exemplary Sufferer.” Is it, she continues, “because it illuminates his books? Often it does not.”

More likely, Sontag says, we read a writer’s journal “simply because of the rawness of the journal form, even when it is written with an eye to future publication. Here we read the writer in the first person; we encounter the ego behind the masks of ego in an author’s works. No degree of intimacy in a novel can supply this.”

In a recent review of Sontag’s published journals, Rachel Luban suggests that Sontag always expected the eventual publication of her own notebooks and wrote in anticipation of being read. Luban says, “Given [Sontag’s] ambitions, she must have hoped they might one day reach a wider audience. Reading them, we are always looking at Sontag looking at us looking at her.”

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