Music by the Month

On iTunes, my Top 25 Most Played playlist serves as a melodic trip down memory lane. Each song reminds me of a specific place and feeling, and most importantly, a variety of well-loved people.  What better way to preserve these musically-charged memories than to write about them? It can feel daunting to write every day, so let’s make it more manageable.  Music helps to reflect, and I have compiled a list of songs to play before writing each month. I hope that you, too, are inspired to listen, reflect, and write.



“The Swimming Song,” by Loudon Wainwright III

When summer winds down, it often arbitrarily ends other things as well—jobs, romances, tans (except for those of us who only burn)… What will you miss most about summer? Read more…

Submissions are opening soon!

Summer is the saddest of seasons. Iced coffee is more expensive than hot coffee. Sweat is gross. There aren’t really beaches in Indiana. Locusts. And I don’t have anywhere to send my poems!

So we figured if we opened on August 1 instead of the industry-standard September 1, we’d have your submitting attention all to ourselves for a little bit. Which is perfect because we like attention.

Things to know: We’re going to open the submission manager at 12:01 am on Wednesday, August 1. That’s EST, so don’t be sad if you can’t get in before then.

As always, please be sure to familiarize yourself with our submission guidelines before submitting, and remember to include a cover letter. We like getting to know you. They should be addressed to either Joe Hiland (fiction), Michael Mlekoday (poetry), or Justin Wolfe (nonfiction). Feel free to tell a joke. If you’re funny.

And if you have any questions, please direct them to inreview (at) indiana (dot) edu.

My Wife Has a Cow, But Do You?


Indiana appears to be turning slowly into a desert.  Hester Prynne was getting too hot in her Puritan apparel, so we decided to give our lamp friend another wardrobe change.  We evoked an ancient symbol of fertility in the hopes that the weather gods would notice our plea for some more fertile weather.  And in the immortal words of Gertrude Stein, “Nearly all of it to be as a wife has a cow.”   Indeed, what is to become of our fair magazine if no wives have cows, literary or otherwise?  Without cows, where is growth, where are archetype and metaphor?  This could easily become a world in which every intellectual (and physical) plant withers without the nourishing rains of creativity, of literary integrity.  In this period of drought, we must strive to birth our own creative cows, rather than waiting for new ideas to rain down from the heavens.  So, “As preparation prepare, to prepare, as to preparation and to prepare. Out there.” (Stein, “As a Wife Has a Cow, a Love Story”).  Prepare, prepare for that dry world out there.  Remember our cow, and may she guide you to a place of mental fecundity.

A List of Fancy Things Currently Happening in the Office

ONE: Our ever-resourceful intern Miranda is working on redressing the bluelight. Ya’ll are going to be impressed.

TWO: We may or may not be dancing to a Beyoncé song we hadn’t previously heard.

THREE: This dancing may or may not be in celebration of the kind and sweeping review of our new issue we received from The Review Review.

FOUR: We’re in the process of adding sample poems and stories to our issue pages. First up? Our new issue, of course! You can now check out work by Sean Bishop, Eric Burger, Heather June Gibbons, Polly Rosenwaike, and Eleanor Stanford on the Issue 34.1 page. And the links are blue!

FIVE: There’s lightning outside!

Matthew Siegel’s Summer Reading List

Before I fell in love with it, many of my earliest adventures in poetry reading were spurred on (okay, okay, required) by my teachers and professors. It took longer to fall than I’d care to admit, but I can only imagine the process would have been a little quicker had Matthew Siegel been my instructor. This summer he’s busy teaching gifted high school students at Stanford, and this is a look at what he’s assigned.

And how jealous of these kids am I!

If Birds Gather Your Hair for Nesting by Anna Journey: This is a book that continues to impress me each time I read it. Imagistically, these poems soar. They are both confident and vulnerable. Poems that make me want to write poems. Poems that make me want to be a better poet.

Please by Jericho Brown: This is another book I teach from regularly, especially when I am teaching literature to musicians. To say these poems talk about music and love and distance and identity would not be saying nearly enough. I love this book.

We the Animals by Justin Torres: His is a book that will beat you about the face and heart. Justin’s stories have made me weep openly. This book goes straight for gut.

Self Help by Lorrie Moore: A contemporary classic I’m reading for the first time. Lots of second person stories that really work and the ones that aren’t blend right in. Family drama. Love stories. Things of the heart.

Siegel’s poems appear in our Summer 2011 issue.