Article Thumbnail

Microreview: Chinelo Okparanta’s Under the Udala Trees

Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015)

Chinelo Okparanta’s novel Under the Udala Trees opens with a vivid depiction of Nigeria’s civil war through the eyes of coming-of-age protagonist Ijeoma. A child at the war’s beginning in 1967, Ijeoma is sent by her mother to live with a grammar-school teacher and his wife under the assumption she will be safer with them. The circumstances of this foster care arrangement are fairly grim, and yet Ijeoma’s relative good fortune is thrown into sharp relief through the images of warfare around her: decapitated bodies flanking streets, starving children with swollen bellies, a still-live boy rising in shock from a pile of corpses.

Read more…

Article Thumbnail


Indiana Review is proud to announce the winner of our 2016 #IRHalfk Twitter Contest! We received many funny and witty spoofs. After careful deliberation we chose one winner who will receive an IR prize pack and free entry to our 2016 1/2 K Prize!

Twitter Winner


Two runner-ups will receive IR prize packs and, as always, renowned Twitter glory.

runner up 2


1st runner up

We’d like to thank everyone who participated: you’ve mastered concision in 140 characters, imagine what you could do with 500 words! Consider entering our 2016 1/2 K Prize which ends on August 15th and will be judged by Aimee Nezhukumatathil. 

Article Thumbnail

Interview with 2015 1/2 K Prize Finalist Felicia Zamora

2015 1/2 K Prize Finalist, Felicia Zamora, answers our much anticipated questions about her poem “Decoy” and her overall experiences as a writer. In this interview, she dives in and elaborates on what inspired this piece and gives advice to writers submitting to our ongoing 2016 1/2 K Prize.


FelicFeliciaZamora7-2-16ia Zamora is the author of the book Of Form & Gather, winner of the 2016 Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize from University of Notre Dame Press. She won the 2015 Tomaž Šalamun Prize from Verse, and authored the chapbooks Imbibe {et alia} here (Dancing Girl Press 2016) and Moby-Dick Made Me Do It (2010). Her published works may be found or forthcoming in Bellevue Literary Review, Columbia Poetry Review, Crazyhorse, Cutbank, Hotel Amerika, Indiana Review, Meridian, North American Review, Phoebe, Pleiades, Poetry Daily, Poetry Northwest, Puerto del Sol, Salt Hill, Tarpaulin Sky Magazine, The Adirondack Review; The Burnside Review, The Cincinnati Review, The Michigan Quarterly, The Normal School, TriQuarterly Review, Verse Daily, Witness Magazine, West Branch, and others. She is an associate poetry editor for the Colorado Review and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Colorado State University. She lives in Colorado with her partner, Chris, and their two dogs, Howser and Lorca.

Read more…

Article Thumbnail


The IR 1/2 K Prize champions the art of concision, as we consider work of any genre of 500 words or less. This Twitter contest highlights the importance of concision by turning the tables. For ages, authors have mastered this art by capturing the essence of their work in a few short words: the title.

For this contest we want you to unspool titles of works of fiction or poetry. Make a pun on the original title, ruin a book for others with too much information: the power is yours. Be sure to hashtag the title of the work you’re spoofing along with #IRHalfK. Entries are due by Monday, August 1, 12 PM EST.

Example Tweets:

  • The wonderful, magnificent, rich man who after an identity crisis and a name change comes to be known as Gatsby #Gatsby #IRHalfK
  • Baby gets attacked by evil wizard but all he has to show for it is a weirdly specific scar and dead parents #HarryPotter #IRHalfK
  • Don’t even bother reading these, everyone is dead #GOT #IRHalfK

One lucky (and clever) winner will receive a free entry into our 2016 1/2K Prize and an IR Prize Pack. Our favorite runner-ups will also receive an IR Prize pack and, most importantly, winners will be glorified forever in our blog posts and on our twitter page.

Happy spoofing to you all and don’t forget to showcase your talents further by entering our 1/2K Prize!

Article Thumbnail

Microreview: Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib’s The Crown Ain’t Worth Much

The Crown Ain’t Worth Much by Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib (Button Poetry, 2016)

I don’t want to imagine how many strangled nights Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib spent thrashing inside the belly of death to give us The Crown Ain’t Worth Much, but I am immensely grateful he survived them with a soul as expansive and rich as found in this debut collection of poetry. This collection carries a fierce duende, a juggernaut unafraid to tie your body “to a truck in east texas” and drag it “through that jagged metal holy land so you can meet god clean”. The Crown Ain’t Worth Much is not so much a book you read, but one you survive—with Willis-Abdurraqib’s compassionate, elegiac lyric gently pushing you forward through heartbreak and violence.

Read more…