Posts By: Kelsey Adams

Indiana Review Editors Showcase

Indiana Review is sponsoring another reading: this time featuring the work of our lovely editors! Join us Monday, April 23rd from 7-8:30 P.M. in the Great Room at the Honors College (when you enter the building, take a right and then another right immediately and you’re there). Deborah Kim, Jennifer Luebbers, Rachel Lyon, Cate Lycurgus, and Sarah Suksiri will read selected works featuring a mix of fiction and poetry.

Deborah Kim is the Editor of Indiana Review, and she writes about magical creatures, food, and home. She would like a DeLorean one day.


Jennifer Luebbers serves as Associate Editor, and her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Best New Poets 2011, Cream City Review, The Journal, Massachusetts Review, and Washington Square Review, among others. Most recently, Marie Howe selected her poem, “Barn Elegy,” as the recipient of Washington Square’s 2012 Poetry Award.

Rachel Lyon is the Fiction Editor. Her fiction and creative nonfiction has appeared in Toad, Hobart, The Saint Ann’s Review, and Arts & Letters. She was this year’s recipient of the Ledig House International Writers’ Colony Fellowship. She also volunteers with the Bloomington Writing Project, a free community resource for help with writing, and does art features for the NPR station WFIU.

Cate Lycurgus is the Poetry Editor. Outside of her IR duties, she remains busy spreading her love for literature. Like Rachel, she is also currently working with the Bloomington Writing Project. In addition, she teaches creative writing to second and third graders in The Project School in Bloomington.

Sarah Suksiri, the Nonfiction Editor, gets excited about creative and journalistic nonfiction, but spends her time writing poetry. She has also published several restaurant, art, and book reviews.


Following their readings, we’ll have a Q&A session to discuss publishing and the future of creative work. If you have questions about the publishing industry or the writer’s world (ranging from print vs. digital literature, making it in a world saturated with voices, how to handle rejection), we’re happy to answer them. We hope to have an honest conversation about both the joys and the difficulties of thriving in these communities. Above all, we’d like to celebrate the value of creative work to society and to the individual.

We are also excited that two of IU’s undergraduate literary journals are co-sponsoring the event with us: Crimson Umbrella Review and Labyrinth.

The Crimson Umbrella Review is a self-run and self-directed online literary journal that is published monthly during the academic school year. The review’s goal is to provide every writer or artist with an umbrella to protect and shelter them as they develop their work and writing skills. The Crimson Umbrella Review believes that each writer or artist should have a safe-haven that allows him or her to publish his or her works freely, in a supportive, stress-free zone.

Labyrinth is a literary magazine sponsored through IU’s Hutton Honors College. Labyrinth’s goal is to publish outstanding undergraduate work in poetry, prose, and visual arts. They accept submissions in photography, painting, poetry, and prose (up to 1000 words). They hope that by having a magazine that displays the best of students’ artistic achievements, they encourage others to share what they have to say with the rest of the student body.

So What’s with the “Blue Light”?

Indiana Review will have its Second Annual Blue Light Reading this Friday, March 30th at 8pm at the Bloomington Playwrights Project. Check out Associate Editor Jennifer Luebber’s post “Announcing Indiana Review’s 2nd Annual Blue Light Reading” for more information.

The reading is sure to be intellectually AND emotionally stimulating (and, of course, fun!), but where the heck did the name come from? It turns out that the answer is very simple and has nothing to do with Kmart’s blue light specials: there’s a blue light in the Indiana Review office.


Even if you’re familiar with IR, chances are you may have never visited the actual office. We are located on the 4th floor, which contains two long hallways extending in opposite directions. Our lovely office is located at the very end of one of these very long hallways. Now, to get to the 4th floor, you can choose from three different staircases (the major calf-burning exercise of my day) or you can take the elevator. One staircase puts you right outside our door, while another puts you on the other far end of the floor. The remaining staircase and elevator get you to the exact middle. So imagine that you’ve just made this trek up to the 4th floor and now you need to walk all the way down the hallway. The problem is, because there are several editors and interns coming and going according to individual class schedules, our office hours are not consistent from day to day, let alone from semester to semester. So there’s a chance that you walk all the way down the hall and the office is closed. Disappointment galore!

As a solution, we have a small desk lamp, with a bright blue light that shines down the hall. Think about it as a beacon of hope to help people find us, or a neon “OPEN” sign. Over the years, as a result of literary types working in close quarters with each other, the lamp has become a true member of the magazine. In honor of the Second Annual Blue Light Reading, I delved into the IR archives to bring you the best and the brightest of our blue light’s moments.

“Trick or Treat”






“Young, Blue, and Fabulous”

Digital Literature: A New Genre?

A few weeks ago, our Editor Deborah Kim wrote about the co-existence of digital and print media. This week, I want to explore how digital media changes not only the way we access literature, but also the way we write literature.

In the above TED talk, “Shake up your story,” Raghava KK describes his children’s book for the iPad, Pop It. The most intriguing aspect of this book is what happens when you shake it: the parents change between two fathers, two mothers, and a mother and a father. With this interactive feature, three different perspectives are presented almost simultaneously as they are all only a shake away. With each shake, only the parents change, revealing that the family interaction and the overall story do not depend on the sexuality of the parents. Rather, it is simply another perspective of the same story. Raghava argues that children should learn perspective as soon as possible because perspective is the key to empathy and creativity.

Raghava’s book reminds me of Margaret Atwood’s short story, “Happy Endings.” In this work of meta-fiction, Atwood begins with “John and Mary meet. What happens next? If you want a happy ending, try A.” She then presents multiple successive endings from A to F, separated by headings and line breaks. The multiple endings do not occur simultaneously; rather, the endings occur in the order you choose to read them.

In Raghava’s book, however, all the points of view are equal to each other because they are accessible within the same story. There aren’t three different stories for the three sets of parents. Instead, Pop It suggests that multiple versions of a single story are all valid. This idea might be confusing on the written page, but on the iPad, the timing is fluid and allows multiple perspectives while still providing the reader with an unchanging referential, such as the setting, to orient himself in the world of the story.


Raghava says that he ultimately wants to expand this idea of multiple perspectives to the political realm—for example, he imagines a story in which the Indian, Pakistani, and British perspectives of Indian independence are all represented. I can’t wait to see what kind of work will emerge from this idea, but I’m even more excited to see the new ways writers will use our current technology. While these new developments are great for children’s literature, do they have a place in the literary realm as well? I’ll be the first to admit that integrating technology and literature will result in tacky experiments. (I cringe at the thought of a short story that uses different fonts for each word and includes pop-up YouTube videos of kittens.) However, I also believe that embracing these new resources will allow for new literary growth, as experimentation has always done for literature: the lyrical short story, prose poetry, stream of consciousness. The influx of technology has already changed society; we multitask, we seek instant gratification, we prefer brevity. If people have changed, then it makes sense for literature to explore these changes in themes, settings, or contexts. I hope that we’ll also find a place for tasteful and insightful use of technological tools in not only the content of literature but also its form.

Cover by Andrew Bannecker from

This integrated form of literature has the potential to become a new genre with its own loyal band of followers. For example, check out this experimental venue—bornmagazine. Bornmagazine’s pieces unite literary arts with interactive media; some are videos with poetry voice-over and some require user participation. Personally, I prefer the more interactive ones because so many of them are haunting, bringing you into the story in ways that text alone cannot (I recommend “Shirtless Others” by Jason Ockert and Matthias Dittrich). Interestingly, most of these pieces include links to an iPhone version, suggesting that this type of literature will not be limited to certain devices. So what could we call this new genre? iPad literature or flash media literature does not cover the full range of possibilities. Interactive literature? Multisensory literature? Multimedia literature? Whatever you call it, it has potential.