Posts Categorized: Blue Light Reading Series

The Blue Light Gets a Back-to-School Hairdo

It’s important to have a distinctive hairstyle if you want to be remembered by future generations.  One of literary history’s more memorable hairstyles is that of Mark Twain, whose wisdom and social acumen were most likely contained in those impressively bushy locks.  As Twain grew more successful, his moustache grew accordingly, finally all but eclipsing his mouth in its enthusiastic (but perhaps somewhat misguided) attempt to fill his face.  The archetypical wise old man indeed.  And who better, then, to remind us to flaunt our own individuality?  Though Twain might have found some of the last century’s hairstyles confusing, he was definitely a fan of the moral superiority of the thinking individual, as opposed to the often idiotic and cruel morality of society as a whole.  So, in the words of Huck Finn, “I ain’t a-going to tell, and I ain’t a-going back there, anyways. So, now, le’s know all about it” (The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Chapter 8).  Mark Twain reminds us that if we are ourselves, and if these selves know profoundly what is good, we too can have impressive facial hair when we are old.

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”

Announcing Indiana Review’s 2nd Annual Blue Light Reading!

Image: Snapshots

Will you be in or near Bloomington, Indiana next Friday, March 30th? If your answer is yes, be sure to mark your calendars! IR contributors Vievee Francis, Roxane Gay, and Mary Hamilton will be reading at 8pm at the Bloomington Playwrights Project,and you’re invited! 


Vievee Francis is the author of two books Blue-Tail Fly (Wayne State University, 2006) and Horse in the Dark (winner of the Cave Canem Northwestern University Poetry Prize, forthcoming August 31, 2012). Her work will appear or has appeared in numerous journals, and anthologies, including Best American Poetry 2010Crab Orchard ReviewIndiana Review, and Angles of Ascent: A Norton Anthology of Contemporary African American Poetry, among others.  In 2009 she was the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award. In 2010 she received a Kresge Fellowship. She was the 2009/2010 Poet in Residence for the Alice Lloyd Hall Scholar’s Program at the University of Michigan. A Cave Canem Fellow, she is currently an Associate Editor for Callaloo, the premier journal of African Diaspora Arts & Letters. 

Roxane Gay‘s writing appears or is forthcoming in Best American Short Stories 2012, New Stories From the Midwest 2011 and 2012, Best Sex Writing 2012, Salon, NOON, American Short Fiction, Indiana Review, Cream City Review, Black Warrior Review, Brevity, The Rumpus, and many others. She is the co-editor of PANK, and an HTMLGIANT contributor. 

Mary Hamilton is an optician, writer, teacher, and pedestrian living in Los Angeles. Her work has been published in several journals online and in print. In 2010 she won the fourth annual Rose Metal Press short short fiction chapbook competition. Her chapbook, Kill Me Forever is forthcoming from the Lit Pub in late 2012.