Posts Categorized: Poetry

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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.

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2017 Blue Light Books Prize Twitter Contest!

In honor of Indiana Review’s 2017 Blue Light Books Prize, we are announcing a new Twitter Contest!

Starting today, tweet us a well-crafted haiku using the hashtag #BLB2017. There is only one rule: the haiku must contain the word “blue.” If you’re unfamiliar with the form, a haiku is a three-line poem with the syllable pattern, 5/7/5. Please separate your lines by using a slash.

Some example Haikus are:

@IndianaReview: Rising from winter / these bodies frostbitten blue / spring melt runs down limbs #BLB2017

@IndianaReview: I live under blue / and a cold Juniper tree / and it shakes me here #BLB2017

@IndianaReview: They’re all different blues / these oceans of foaming froth / tranquility here #BLB2017

The winner with the best blue haiku will receive a free entry to the prize and an IR Prize Pack. Remember to use the hashtag #BLB2017. Follow us at @IndianaReview to see updates on this contest and more.

Deadline for the Twitter Contest is January 15, 2017 at 12 PM EST.

If you want to learn more about our 2017 Blue Light Books Prize with final judge, Ross Gay, or if you would like to submit your poetry collection, follow the link: https://indianareview.org/blue-light-books/

 

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Online Feature: “Midwest Still Life, In Motion” by Karyna McGlynn

you are still/rushing toward me

 

    unhinge the following:

 

                                                                                plum gut

                                                                                blue bells

                                                                                white rose

                                                                                yr wet mouth

                                                                                a silencer

                                                                                suckling pig

                                                                                in attic dark

 

you are hurdling/through the anonymous country

 

on the phone you sound like a man standing still

 

& despite your movement through the night’s           raw flank

 

your voice is weirded with cobwebs & cannot           move me

 

 

I stare at the space where I’ve opened           the door

I can see the night commute coming on           thick:

 

a long train full of few glossy fruits

                                                                                purple patch

                                                                                wax leaf

 

Texas is a tall stranger walking away from me           on the street

But you keep coming/I want you to remain           standing still:

a man frozen in action, who never arrives:           a still life

of his own best intentions while I enact my           sweet recoil:

 

                                                                                blue in the lip

                                                                                divisive cherry

                                                                                sour rotgut

 

You are still/the man who goes to long

romantic lengths to assure his death &

you are the train who comes to repossess           my trunk

to sand back the dark where I’ve turned           my old globe

                                                                                on its axis

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This poem appeared in Indiana Review 32.1, Summer 2010. 

Emily Corwin (Poetry Editor): Earlier this year, I fell in love with Karyna McGlynn’s work after reading I Have to Go Back to 1994 and Kill a Girl. This poem embodies much of McGlynn’s playful voice and form on the page, the precision of imagery, the way she builds a world with sensuality and rich texture. This is the kind of poem that transforms each time you read it—it is a travelogue, a painting, a movie, a letter. I cannot wait to read McGlynn’s next collection Hothouse, forthcoming from Sarabande Books next year.

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Karyna McGlynn is the author of Hothouse (Sarabande Books 2017), The 9-Day Queen Gets Lostmcglynn%20tin%202 on Her Way to the Execution (Willow Springs Books 2016), Alabama Steve (Sundress Publications 2014), I Have to Go Back to 1994 and Kill a Girl (Sarabande Books 2009), and Scorpionica (New Michigan Press 2007). Her poems have appeared in The Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, Black Warrior Review, AGNI, Ninth Letter and Witness. Karyna earned her PhD in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Houston and was recently the Diane Middlebrook Fellow in Poetry at the University of Wisconsin. She is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of Poetry and Translation at Oberlin College.

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Interview with Ross Gay, 2017 Blue Light Books Prize Judge

We are proud to have Indiana University Director of Creative Writing and long-time supporter of Indiana Review Ross Gay judge the 2017 IR/IU Press Blue Light Books Prize. While preparing your poetry manuscripts, read his interview where he discusses when he knows a poem is finished, writing as conversation, love, and what he might be looking for in the winning poetry collection.

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Ross Gay is the author of three books: Against Which; Bringing the Shovel Down; and Catalog of Unabashedrossgay1 Gratitude, winner of the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award and the 2016 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude is currently a nominee for the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award. Catalog was also a finalist for the 2015 National Book Award in Poetry, the Ohioana Book Award, the Balcones Poetry Prize, and was nominated for an NAACP Image Award.

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