Interview with 1/2K Prize Winner: Diane Seuss

DianeHeadshotThere’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.

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Announcing the 2014 Poetry Prize Winner

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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

“2006”

Cecilia Woloch

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.

Runners-Up

“Passport”

Emily Wilson

“To the Falcon Next to Me on Qatar Airways Flight 835″

Emily Mohn-Slate

 

Congratulations to our winner and runners-up and thank you to everyone who submitted. We truly appreciate your thoughtful and excellent work.

Finalists

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”

Blue Light 2014

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.

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(Poster design by Jack Pochop)

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Editors cheesin’ with Kathleen and Kiese

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!) Read more…

An Interview with Alissa Nutting

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)? Read more…