Posts By: Doug Paul Case

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Things I’m Excited About

Every once and a while I think to myself, “Doug, you’re being such a grumpy pants right now.” And then, after some quality grumpy time, I think to myself, “Stop.”

This is one of those times. There was a leak in my apartment this morning, which was unpleasant, so, to keep myself from turning into Mr. Why Isn’t the World as Grumpy as Me, let me present to you a list of things I’m excited about:

1. I just found out that the Bloomington Bagel Company not only has iced coffee, but HAZELNUT ICED COFFEE. This is going to dramatically change my life.

2. The artist Andy Alcala has work on the cover of our latest issue. What we haven’t mentioned yet is that Andy has been painting these masterpieces ON HIS OWN FACE. That is not a model. That is the artist. He even does his own eyelids! Talent.

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Obligatory AWP Post

This is me right now:


I love AWP. The book-fair. The celebrity poets. The parties. The dancing. The panel at 9:00 am you managed to wake up for because your favorite novelist is speaking. All of it. One giant ball of love. AND IT OPENS IN LESS THAN 48 HOURS. Here are some last-minute things you should know:

Indiana Review is at Table i1. That’s right next to the cafe/bar. That may have influenced our purchasing decisions regarding the free swag we’ve got for you.

If you’re an IR contributor, please be sure to stop by our table. That’s Table i1. We’d like to take your picture. Because your words are beautiful and you’re beautiful. Please be sure to wear green and put as much product in your hair as you can*.

If you’ve never been to Boston before, take some time to explore the city. Our friends at Ploughshares have put together a comprehensive series of posts detailing where you should go. We trust them.

We’re not quite sure where our friends at Sycamore Review will be at the book-fair, but we do know they’re going to do a kissing booth**. The password for a smooch is “frogman.”

…more after the jump!

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Live Blog: Poetry Selection Meeting, 2/1/13

Here on the blog we’ve previously discussed how we select pieces for inclusion in Indiana Review, but in the spirit of transparency, I thought it would be fun to give you all a closer look into how we select content—by live-blogging a poetry selection meeting! Meetings typically last at least two hours, so in an effort to make this, you know, approachable, I’ve cut things down a bit; be sure to check the time markers for how long we spend discussing each poem. We give every submission its due, but if a poem makes it this far in the process, we will take all the time it needs for a thorough reading.

Even this guy wouldn't be bored at our poetry meetings!

Even this guy wouldn’t be bored at our poetry meetings!

In the spirit of professionalism, I have relabeled our staff by acronyms: E for our Editor, AE for our Associate Editor, PE for our Poetry Editor, R# for our nine readers, and WE for me. The poems are sorted into packets; P2P1, for example, would be the first poem in the second packet.

This particular meeting occurred last Friday, a few days before the Super Bowl (which we do not have comments on…). Poems needed to receive seven votes for publication. Enjoy!

6:20 p.m.: Settling in. We’ve got Hershey’s kisses and Upland Wheat Ale (the beverage of choice on Parks and Recreation!) and blue tortilla chips and salsa and chocolate chip cookies and wine!

6:21: The coat rack fell over! Because R1 put one too many coats on it. Which knocked over a glass of water! Which got all over the WE’s pants! Commotion ensues!

6:24: WE is finally approaching dry. Small talk. Discussion over the creation of a new editorial position. Tentative title: “Furniture Editor.” Responsibilities will include selecting furniture and who may sit on it.

6:28: PE calls the meeting to order. There are five packets left over from the last meeting, and we’ll start with those. R1 is holding the first packet of poems. Now, eerily quiet by comparison.

6:29: R1 reads P1P1.

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Editors’ Down Time

We don’t have an ‘official’ bar here at Indiana Review, but if we were going to pick one, The Atlas Ballroom would be a strong contender. And not only because of their steampunk taxidermy deer heads. Last week we celebrated the new issue with a couple drinks and some goofy photo booth time.

Clockwise from left: editor Jennifer Luebbers, fiction editor Joe Hiland, web editor Doug Paul Case, poetry editor Michael Mlekoday, and associate editor Katie Moulton. Nonfiction editor, the ever-elusive Justin Wolfe, was off being elusive.

We can’t work ALL the time, right?

Free Inspiration, Part the First

I don’t like writing prompts. I understand that they help get lots of writers going, that they can be fun, that lots of great poems were prompted by someone else telling the poet to write “a poem in ten lines with these four words and this other random restriction,” but I find all that tiresome. I’m more interested in finding inspiration in the wild (or, you know, on Twitter).

There’s a folder on my desktop filled with links and images meant to be such inspiration, but sometimes it just doesn’t work out. I never find the poem hidden within. So in these installments I will offer this inspiration to you. Maybe you can make it work. All I ask is for a shout-out in your Pulitzer acceptance speech.

First, a moose drawing the poet Randall Mann found on a bathroom stall:

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