Summer Break-ing Away

Still from the film Breaking Away

It’s summer in Bloomington! While not *all* IR editorial meetings take place at the quarries (see above), this season comes with a to-do list more rigorous than Dennis Quaid’s late-’70s ab workouts (again, see above). What does that mean for you?

Regular submissions will be CLOSED, starting May 31. Submissions will re-open August 1, 2012. Any electronic or hard-copy submissions received between May 31 and July 31 will be returned unread.

But wait!

Do you have your own “Little 500” — a story of 500 words or fewer — looking for a venue? Submit to our “1/2 K” Prize, judged by Michael Martone! Postmark deadline is June 1, 2012. Submission guidelines can be found here.

Stay tuned to the blog for updates on more goings-on at Indiana Review. Ciao!

Announcing Our 2012 Poetry Prize Winner & Runners-Up!

2012 Indiana Review Poetry Prize Winner

“The Sublime”

Joshua Gottlieb-Miller

Houston, TX

Runners-Up

“Mulberries”

Missy-Marie Montgomery

Springfield, MA

“Visiting Seattle”

Hannah Oberman-Breindel

Madison, WI

A big congratulations to Joshua Gottlieb-Miller, the winner of IR’s 2012 Poetry Prize, and our runners-up, Missy-Marie Montgomery and Hannah Oberman-Breindel!

“The Sublime” will appear in Indiana Review issue 34.2, due out this winter. Of the winning poem, Dean Young, our final judge, writes, “A beguiling and ambitious poem, ‘The Sublime’ combines a meditative calm with an imaginative sprawl to give a sharp and poignant sense of the instability and absurdity of this dear life.”

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

Many thanks to all who participated. Your support helped make this year’s Indiana Review Poetry Prize a success!

“New writers to shake us and take us out to sea”

I’d like to introduce you to IR‘s dynamite new staff: Jennifer Luebbers takes the helm as Editor, and Katie Moulton is Associate Editor, Joe Hiland is Fiction Editor, Michael Mlekoday is Poetry Editor, Justin Wolfe is Nonfiction Editor, and Doug Paul Case is our first-ever Web Editor. I’m sad to leave my post, but I’m absolutely thrilled about the incoming team. I can’t wait to see what’s next for IR—it’s going to be a phenomenal year.

 

1. Why are literary journals significant?

MM: Tons of reasons! Literary journals are the vanguards of literature—they are where readers and writers first meet up, where our community comes together. Without journals, we’re just a bunch of rugged individualists, carrying only our own poems and stories and essays with us. Then we’re just landlocked, because it takes more than one branch to build a boat. Is that true? I don’t know. The great variety of journals being made and read right now means we can always find new inspiration, new writers to shake us and take us out to sea.

JW: I don’t know.  In historical terms, I can understand their importance, but in terms of right now, I’m really not actually sure?  I know that, in my experience, IR has been an important center to our literary community in Bloomington, but outside of that, I can’t say much else.  I’m sure former and future editors will be able to mount a rousing case for the continued cultural relevance of the literary journal, but I come from a blogging background and have, since I’ve been familiar with them, been resistant to what I perceive as the insularity of little magazines, the walled garden effect.  One of the reasons that I’ve taken this position is to try to break down or at least inform that resistance of mine, to better understand what a magazine like IR really does and what it means to our larger literary culture.  In other words: hopefully I’ll have a better answer this time next year?

DPC: Because they’re the future! It seems like everyone is bemoaning the death of literary journals, but while print might be fading, there are many, many online journals thriving and doing the same things literary magazines have always been doing: showing us the future of literature. Find me an important poet or story writer who wasn’t published first in a literary journal and I will buy you a cookie. If you’re interested in the trajectory of literature, you should be reading journals.

Read more…

“What it is that moves and thrums”

At the IR Editors Showcase, we were presented with some challenging, excellent questions. I asked our outgoing and incoming genre editors to respond, and I’ve corralled their answers for you. Today, we have Fiction Editor Rachel Lyon, Poetry Editor Cate Lycurgus, and Nonfiction Editor Sarah Suksiri!

 

1. Why are literary journals significant?

RL: I think the most meaningful thing to me about lit journals is that they’re a way of forming community without necessarily sharing a space. We can read the work of other writers, and feel close to them, and participate in the dialogues that interest us with people whose work we respect, without being in the same city or state or country. Plus, because they are curated by editors who know something about what’s going on in their field, the quality of work tends to be higher.

CL: Literary publications are a testament to the power of the imagination and the power of language, both of which are undervalued, yet necessary parts of our lives–in order to innovate, to make sense of the nonsensical, to connect with others, to provide wonder or surprise or consolation or astonishment. Literary journals have the potential to find this expression and to share it.

SS: Journals are significant, because they make us keep asking this question. Seriously, what other line of work and craft is there where the participants keep asking themselves, “Is anything that we’re doing relevant?” The fact that we (journals) are so concerned with what it is that moves and thrums in the world is part of what makes us relevant.

Read more…