Posts Categorized: Prizes

Live Blog: Poetry Selection Meeting, 2/1/13

Here on the blog we’ve previously discussed how we select pieces for inclusion in Indiana Review, but in the spirit of transparency, I thought it would be fun to give you all a closer look into how we select content—by live-blogging a poetry selection meeting! Meetings typically last at least two hours, so in an effort to make this, you know, approachable, I’ve cut things down a bit; be sure to check the time markers for how long we spend discussing each poem. We give every submission its due, but if a poem makes it this far in the process, we will take all the time it needs for a thorough reading.

Even this guy wouldn't be bored at our poetry meetings!

Even this guy wouldn’t be bored at our poetry meetings!

In the spirit of professionalism, I have relabeled our staff by acronyms: E for our Editor, AE for our Associate Editor, PE for our Poetry Editor, R# for our nine readers, and WE for me. The poems are sorted into packets; P2P1, for example, would be the first poem in the second packet.

This particular meeting occurred last Friday, a few days before the Super Bowl (which we do not have comments on…). Poems needed to receive seven votes for publication. Enjoy!

6:20 p.m.: Settling in. We’ve got Hershey’s kisses and Upland Wheat Ale (the beverage of choice on Parks and Recreation!) and blue tortilla chips and salsa and chocolate chip cookies and wine!

6:21: The coat rack fell over! Because R1 put one too many coats on it. Which knocked over a glass of water! Which got all over the WE’s pants! Commotion ensues!

6:24: WE is finally approaching dry. Small talk. Discussion over the creation of a new editorial position. Tentative title: “Furniture Editor.” Responsibilities will include selecting furniture and who may sit on it.

6:28: PE calls the meeting to order. There are five packets left over from the last meeting, and we’ll start with those. R1 is holding the first packet of poems. Now, eerily quiet by comparison.

6:29: R1 reads P1P1.

Read more…

IR’s 2013 Poetry Prize: We’re Open for Submissions!

Have you heard? Indiana Review‘s annual Poetry Prize is officially open for submissions! This year’s judge is National Book Award Winner Nikky Finney. You can find guidelines here.

Last year’s prize-winning poem, “The Sublime,”written by Joshua Gottlieb-Miller and selected by Dean Young, is featured in our most recent issue, 34.2, which can be ordered here.

All submissions are considered for publication. So, round up your prize-worthy poems and send them our way!

Announcing the 2012 Fiction Prize Winner and Runner-Up!

We could not be more excited to announce the winner (and finalists) of Indiana Review’s 2012 Fiction Prize!

2012 Indiana Review Fiction Winner

“Mavak Tov”

CB Anderson

Arlington, MA

Runner-Up

“It’s Not All Cause and Effect, Miss Carbin”

Nolan Grieve

When asked to say a few words of the winning piece, “Mavak Tov,” contest judge Dana Johnson writes:

This story haunted me. The main character’s longing and desire for comfort, for a place to be, is so powerful and recognizable, as is the conflict and question this story poses, not just for the main character but for all of us: At what price do we achieve comfort? At what point do we reject what is easy and familiar for something far more necessary, which is true agency and power? This essential question is explored through a beautifully rendered relationship between a mother and her daughter and between the wives of one polygamist man, in gorgeous, unflinching detail.

The winning story will appear in Indiana Review 35.1, due out in late spring 2013. You can order a single issue or a subscription here.

A huge congratulations to our winner and runner-up, and a million more thanks to the hundreds of writers who submitted and made this contest a success! We appreciated the chance to read such varied, surprising and often wonderful work.

Finalists:

Adrienne Celt, “The Boy with the Open Mind”

Annie Hartnett, “Cheek Teeth”

Rachel May, “The Gold Dust Room”

Jane Ridgeway, “Creation Groans”

Michael Tasker, “For the Killing”

Tara Wright, “The Lives that Come before You, the Lives that Never End”

Fiction Contest Deadline Extended!

I know. We’re excited, too.

Due to extreme weather conditions, we wanted to make sure our friends, readers, talented submitters on the east coast who may have lost power had the chance to send us their stories. Y’know, since they may have been concerned with other things when this happened:

Therefore, the deadline for our 2012 Fiction Prize has been extended to this Friday, November 2. If submitting via mail, this is the postmark date. If submitting online, you have until 11:59pm on Friday to do so. The guidelines are listed here. One more chance at glory within the pages of Indiana Review and $1,000? You might say it’s a “perfect storm.”

And finally — HAPPY HALLOWEEN, ghost-writers!

What We Look for in Poems: Sizzle & Steak

Dana Johnson, the Final Judge for our 2012 Fiction Contest  (which closes on October 31st, fictioners!), told us in an interview that she has no patience for “stories that are clever but have no heart.” She went on to explain that, though linguistic fireworks are important to a piece, what’s most important (to her) is whether or not the piece is trying to initiate a larger conversation with the reader and the world. In poetry, I think about this as a distinction between sizzle and steak.

You know how, when you go to Applebee’s, somebody always orders that dish that comes out sizzling and smoking, and it smells great (by Applebee’s standards), and everyone thinks, man, I should’ve ordered that? I’ve always been intrigued by that dish, but I suspect that the steak leaves much to be desired. In the same way, while I love sizzle in poems—dynamic use of language, surprising lines, dope images, lovely music—I’m also concerned about the steak. The ideal poem has both, I think—sizzle and steak, dazzle and stakes—and that’s one of the main things I look for when reading for Indiana Review.

(Read more after the jump!) Read more…