Posts Categorized: Online Feature

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Listen to Raena Shirali read “tristesse”


Raena Shirali’s great poem “tristesse” appears in Indiana Review 38.1, Summer 2016 Ghost theme issue. In this Bluecast, we have chosen to feature the poem both as text and recording; we believe that it is an especially unique opportunity to experience both the sonic and textual qualities of this poem.

Listen to Raena read her poem here.



girl with paisley hands sobs like a cherub. the courthouse has no lashes but we call it a person anyway. what we associate with smeared mascara. to say, “her expression was soft.” quiet girl children. mural on the elementary school wall of a single stick figure. smiling + looking down. looking like the girl you knew / saw on the news: missing: girl with training bra. girl with nude bra—nipples painted on. the question of breasts. her areolae goosebumped at your touch. girl with pot leaf for a mouth. every building shorter than the church steeples. sky fading gray to gray. how many men do not know where the girls have gone. something sticky, viscous on her glitter heels. heels not made to run from / in. tight leather & all that bullshit about straight teeth. take this woman to be especially not his in white, red, tell power how you really feel. tell him what she was wearing when you last saw her. communicate. you’re hysterical in your yellow room—a mind doesn’t just sail away. the sails on the horizon line look like a line of cocaine / you mean ghosts. you mean a line of cartoon girls in triangular dresses, just outlines floating up the coast—




Indian American poet Raena Shirali grew up in Charleston, South Carolina, where she currently lives and teaches English at College of Charleston. Her first bookGILT, is forthcoming in 2016 with YesYes Books, and her work has appeared in Crazyhorse, Four Way Review, Indiana Review, Muzzle Magazine, Ninth Letter, Tupelo Quarterly, Pleiades, and many more. Her other honors include a 2016 Pushcart Prize, the 2016 Cosmonauts Avenue Prize, recognition as a finalist for the 2016 Tupelo Quarterly Poetry Prize, the 2014 Gulf Coast Poetry Prize, recognition as a finalist for the 2014 Ruth Lilly Fellowship, and a “Discovery” / Boston Review Poetry Prize in 2013. She will also be the Spring 2017 Philip Roth Resident at the Stadler Center for Poetry.   

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Online Feature: “Weight” by Franny Choi


“Weight” by Franny Choi

What is (inside each question lies another question–a question of weight. What brings you to the bed of this river? What is it about this planet that keeps you running back? Each mouth, for example, lets loose a river of black paint which leads most, if not all the way down to the feet, or what might otherwise be referred to as the stem, if we wouldn’t insist on staying untethered to the molecular dirt that keeps wishing us home. In other words, the question here is one of history, of a family tree that finally stretches its arms beyond the kind of life that breathes oxygen into its gills, or reads most of the way through a listicle, or lies in bed dreading the day, or falls down, down into the earth’s oldest memory until it reaches its first quiet, the lullaby it hums when thinking of something else, the slow breath, the thought that almost becomes a thought just before dawn) your country of origin?

“Weight” will appear in Indiana Review 38.1, Summer 2016: GHOST issue.


Franny Choi is the author of Floating, Brilliant, Gone (Write Bloody Publishing, 2014). She has FC - photo2 by Reginald Eldridgereceived awards from the Poetry Foundation and the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts. Her work has appeared in Poetry Magazine, The Journal, Rattle, and others. She is a VONA alumna, a Project VOICE teaching artist, and a member of the Dark Noise Collective.

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2015-2016 Indiana Review Online Features

Indiana Review Online Features

Marie-Helene Bertino . . . . . . Sometimes You Break Their Hearts, Sometimes They Break Yours
Elise Burke . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sorry For Crashing Your Party and Possibly Killing Your Horse
Catherine Carberry . . . . . . . . Campfire Sing-Alongs for Opposite Orphans
Julie Hensley . . . . . . . . . . . . . Seeing Red
Joseph Kim . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Superstar
Matt Sadler . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Blue Christmas

Hannah Gamble . . . . . . . . . . In a Time of War
Keetje Kuipers . . . . . . . . . . . Some Advice for Both of Us
Rebecca Lehmann . . . . . . . . Bucolic Calling
Jamaal May . . . . . . . . . . . . . Athazagoraphobia (Fear of Being Ignored)
Aimee Nezhukumatathil . . . When All of My Cousins Are Married
Richard Siken . . . . . . . . . . . . Three Proofs

Kate Birch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . One More Artificial Organ
Jackson Blair . . . . . . . . . . . . . Glacier
Judith Hertog . . . . . . . . . . . . Matzevah
Jacob Newberry . . . . . . . . . . The Night Is Filled With Orchards, Every Night
Kathleen Rooney. . . . . . . . . . An Open Letter to World War I Soldier Alexander Bradley Burns of Downers Grove, Illinois on the Occasion of My Father’s Retirement After Six Years in the United States Air Force Reserves, plus Twenty More in the U.S. Army Reserves

Graphic Memoir
Alexander Rothman . . . . . . . What Is Comics Poetry?


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Online Feature: “Glacier” by Jackson Blair


The way through the world is more difficult to find than the way beyond it.

—Wallace Stevens

My office is configured in such a way that I’m blind to coworkers who appear at my door. Each day I sit like a parked car in a cul-de-sac, my backside positioned toward visitors, a situation that forces me to discriminate between the surprisingly varied sounds they make. Thus, I’ve come to recognize knockers by their knocks, foot-draggers by the scuff of their feet, and in one case, a person by a quick intake of breath, followed by a long pause, as with a case of apnea. Read more…

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Online Feature: “Campfire Sing-Alongs for Opposite Orphans” by Catherine Carberry


At night, the camp was illuminated. We slept during the day to avoid dreams of our parents killing us again, and in the hours before sunrise we laced our boots, packed jerky and marshmallows, and hiked the candle-lined trails that snaked behind our cabins. As junior counselor, I led the nocturnal hikes through the forest. Before my mother accidentally shot me, I had been camping only once, on an overnight Girl Scouts retreat. But after months at the Accidental camp, I could build fires, patch torn tents, and hike the intricate trails without a compass. Sometimes I led the campers in sing-alongs I remembered, and sometimes we were silent. Tonight, our only sounds were soft footsteps on the pine needle floor.

Read more…