Review – Kristen Arnett’s With Teeth

Reviewed by Laura Dzubay

One of the most biting struggles of raising children in Kristen Arnett’s With Teeth comes in very small, human moments of perceived disrespect. If your son kicks the back of your seat while you’re driving, is it because he doesn’t respect you enough to listen when you tell him to stop, or is he just forgetting because he’s a kid? If he doesn’t come when you call, is he actively choosing not to listen, and to create more work for you by not listening, or did he just not hear?

Read more…
Article Thumbnail

Announcing the 2021 1/2 K Prize Winner

We are excited to announce the winner and finalists of the 2021 1/2 K Prize, judged by Taylor Johnson. Thank you to everyone who submitted their work!

2021 1/2 K PRIZE WINNER

“Not forgetting, but choosing to.” by Sanam Sheriff

What Taylor Johnson had to say about this piece:

“One of poetry’s mediums is time— playing with it, being in and out of it, knowing its malleability. This poem I dig because the energy in it is trying to live outside of a marked sense of time, it moves through time sensually, has no borders in that feeling. The lines break in a measured, exacting way but somehow move loose in themselves, in the world the poem has planted in me. I am not convinced of anything by this poem, it doesn’t try to persuade, it offers and I dig that. And what it offers is a creation myth where the deity appears as a voyeur to the scene, coy and fleeting in their looking. I am open to the many variations upon the theme of “field” presented in the last line, as a space of labor, yes, but also its numinous and illumined iterations as a range of study, a desystematized known space.”

FINALISTS

“Aubade After Earth” by Ariana Benson

“The Hearing We Inherit” by Joshua Burton

“When I finally leave New York I am going to burn everything” by Jason B. Crawford

“Self Portrait as Ophelia Floating in the River” by Sadia Hassan

“Blued Moon, Crossing the Fence” by Richard Hamilton

“i can tell you” by Chantel Massey

“jamal dies and then” by Shakirah Peterson

“When mama wept” by Dāshaun Washington

“When people tell me that dancing hula makes you exotic” by Danielle P. Williams

Review – Aimee Nez’s World of Wonders

Reviewed by Alberto Sveum

Aimee Nezhukumatathil’s debut book of essays is an enchanting meeting of a reflective, lyrical study of the Earth, and the author’s personal history and her awe for the natural world.

From conversing with cardinals in the Midwest to laughing along with bonnet macaques in southern India, Nezhukumatathil has found joy in the beings of the world since early childhood. These celebratory moments—looking for birds with her two young sons, watching the fireflies at the Great Smoky Mountains—bring forth so much light. However, such celebration, such wonder, is also met with some of the darker parts of existence and questions of how humans treat this shared habitat and one another. “Where does one start to take care of these living things amid the dire and daily news of climate change?” she asks. “How can one even imagine us getting back to a place where we know the names of the trees we walk by every single day?” Perhaps it is this childlike wonder itself that can show us how to better treat one another and to revere and protect our planet. Even while encountering a nationalist school teacher and seeing the racism her Filipino mother has gone through in her own life and career, the author finds direction in studying the fireflies, the dragon fruits, and the vampire squids surrounding her and the love with which they fill her. It is only right that the enrapturing beauty of the world is brought into focus by Nezhukumatathil’s lyricism and coupled with Fumi Nakamura’s vibrant and beautiful illustrations.

World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments is a triumph of poetic study and a profound display of care.

Milkweed Editions, Sept. 8, 2020, $25.00 hardcover (184p), ISBN: 978-1-57131-365-2.


Alberto Sveum is an MFA graduate from Indiana University Bloomington, where he also served as the Editor-in-Chief of Indiana Review. Lately, he’s been listening to The Pharcyde and Mazzy Star, watching What We Do in the Shadows, and trying to get outside every day.

Interview with 2021 Creative Nonfiction Prize Judge Anna Qu

Indiana Review is accepting submissions for the Creative Nonfiction Prize until October 31st. This year, Anna Qu, author of the memoir Made In China: A Memoir of Love and Labor, will be selecting the winner.

Check out what Anna had to say about sentimentality, the memoir-writing process, and much more in this interview with Creative Nonfiction Editor, Tyler Raso. And then don’t forget to send in your work!

Read more…