Posts Categorized: Poetry

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Online Feature: “Remedies” by Talin Tahajian

You were the color of a dove & I don’t know what to do
about that. I have never understood how to cup my hands

& take communion. Like a faithful daughter, I carry this
with me. I stab it with feathers & pray until it is covered

in gems. I rinse it in the river that knows my blood, wring
it out beneath a full moon. I know nothing about bird calls.

I know nothing about meat. Bless the river & all the fish
we poisoned. Foreign fluids. Bless the red birches forced

to watch. I want to burn something, so I char the flesh
of a catfish & think of myself. Girl as carp. Small tragedy

with freshwater pearls. I baptize myself in this water
& I see myself float in this water. Somewhere, a flock

of crows & I don’t hear anything over the soft breath
of river fish as they touch me in places that don’t exist.

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This poem appeared in Indiana Review 37.1, Summer 2015.

Emily Corwin (Poetry Editor): Talin Tahajian’s poetry is tender, melodic, and sensuous. I can never get enough of her writing, especially this poem—the way she explores faith through images of birds, water, fish. This poem sweeps me up like the river running through it. If you have not read Talin’s work, you definitely should—her poems are necessary and gorgeous and exactly what you need.

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Talin Tahajian grew up near Boston. Her poetry has recently appeared in Kenyon Review Online, Indiana Review, Best New Poets 2014 & 2016, Salt Hill Journal, Passages North, Columbia Poetry Review, and Washington Square Review. She’s the author of two chapbooks, The smallest thing on Earth (Bloom Books, 2017) and Start with dead things (Midnight City Books, 2015), a split chapbook with Joshua Young. She edits poetry for the Adroit Journal and is currently a student at the University of Cambridge, where she studies English literature.

 

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Interview with 2016 Poetry Prize Winner Alicia Wright

Alicia Wright’s poem “His Father’s Wake” was chosen by Camille Rankine as the winner of the 2016 Poetry Prize!  “His Father’s Wake” appeared in IR 38.2. Do read on for insight, inspiration, and any tips she might have for current submitters to the 2017 Poetry Prize, deadline April 1st!

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Alicia Wright is originally from Georgia and has received fellowships from the Iowa Writers Workshop. Poems appear in The Literary Review, Southern Humanities Review, The Southeast Review, and New South as the winner of their 2015 New Writing Contest, among others. At present, she lives and teaches in Iowa City, and this fall she will begin a PhD in Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Denver.

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Online Feature: “Quotidian” by Corey Van Landingham

A friend calls me crying, again, and, wanting to describe
her taste in men, I look up poor vs. bad. Language
is changing, the internet declares. The rules don’t hold.
It’s a poor and a bad time to be dating, I tell her.

A questionnaire asks how many nights a week do I have
difficulty falling asleep. Five nights is labeled as Always.
Those two extra nights in the ether. Nights that would
nudge always toward infinity, spin out into some other

ineffable arsenal. When the therapist asked why I stopped
cutting myself, I told him vanity. The multiple choice
wavering inside my forehead, good enough. The options
on the questionnaire so perfect in their circles, making

time eerily check-offable. Like when I see the man
in the hardware store, who, years ago a boy, told me
to take my pants off as he drove me home, and,
because I was young and in love with my body

for the last time, I did. I tell my friend to be patient.
Before we had words for the days of the week, humans
still were touching each other, holding each other’s faces
between their hands, lifting their eyes up to the stars,

which will never be loosened from language, for us,
so much a part of the body that we almost, now,
forget it. Maybe I stopped sleeping with scissors
out of boredom. Maybe it was that each person

pausing beside me in the paint aisle I checked off
as Better. That two lost nights might separate Better
from Best, and what’s beyond that? What happens
when you choose something, someone, because,

for two nights a week, it could be worse? If my ass were
never bare on the leather for that man, buying a ladder
right there in front of me, then maybe I wouldn’t be still
shivering next to boxes of sharp objects, trying to decide.

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This poem appeared in Indiana Review 37.1, Summer 2015.

Emily Corwin (Poetry Editor): Corey Van Landingham is one of the coolest, smartest voices in contemporary poetry. I read her collection, Antidote last autumn and it swept me up. “Quotidian” is a gorgeous piece, exploring matters of friendship, sex and romance, self-harm, wellness. Van Landingham interrogates here what a “good” life traditionally looks like, about what it could look like. This poem leaves me unsettled in the best of ways.

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Corey Van Landingham is the author of Antidote, winner of the 2012 Ohio State University Press/The Journal Award in Poetry. A recipient of a 2017 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and a Wallace Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University, her work has appeared in Best American Poetry 2014, Boston Review, and The New Yorker, among many other places. She is currently a doctoral student in English Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Cincinnati.

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2017 Poetry Prize Twitter Contest!

Finding a diamond in the middle of a rough draft feels like a gift – until you start editing and realize that you have to cut it. We at Indiana Review want to find a home for all of your murdered darlings. Share the line of poetry that it killed you to delete for a chance to win an IR Prize Pack and one free entry to the 2017 Poetry Prize!

Examples include:

@IndianaReview: But her pawn, like she, had moved on/and he found himself staring/grandmastered again. #IRDarlings

@IndianaReview: Gold pressed in between a god’s thin fingers/bone-like, too warm, thick with saliva and greed. #IRDarlings

@IndianaReview: There is forever the pull of muscle/sparking young eyes and the confidence/to keep putting one foot in front of the other. #IRDarlings

Make sure to tag @IndianaReview and use the hashtag #IRDarlings when sharing your murdered darlings. While there will only be one winner, we will also be awarding several runner-ups IR Prize Packs.

Follow us at @IndianaReview to see updates on this contest and more, and be sure to submit to the 2017 Poetry Prize! More information can be found on our website: https://indianareview.org/contests/

The deadline for the Twitter Contest is March 10th, 2017 at 12PM EST.