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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.

What My Last Man Did by Andrea Lewis: Excerpts Part 2

What My Last Man Did won the Indiana Review / IU Press 2016 Blue Light Books Prize and is forthcoming from IU Press in March 2017. Read excerpts from two of Andrea’s stories below, and pre-order your copy of What My Last Man Did today!

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Andrea Lewis’s work has appeared in many literary journals, including Prairie Schooner, Cutthroat, Cold Mountain Review, and Catamaran Literary Reader. Three of her stories have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She is a founding member of Richard Hugo House, the place for writers in Seattle. She lives with her husband on Vashon Island, Washington. More of her work is available at www.andrealewis.org.

Read more…

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IR Value Statement

For thirty-nine years, Indiana Review has prided itself on publishing outstanding works by emerging and established artists within a wide aesthetic. From the traditional to the absurd, flash fiction to book reviews, prose poems to graphic narratives, the editorial staff has striven to bring readers pieces that exemplify the highest craft, the sharpest language, the most “carefully strange” worldview.

We would like to take a moment to reiterate a set of different, and no less important, standards. At Indiana Review, we…

  • Believe, always, in the power of art to affirm life.
  • Condemn spaces where creativity is corrupted in service of hatred and violence.
  • Seek out works that defy stereotypes, build empathy, challenge oppression, and inspire political and personal self-awareness, while continuing to embody the highest principles of literary and artistic craft.
  • Understand the ongoing sources of oppression both in the publishing world and the wider political landscape that seek to intimidate, brutalize, and silence the voices of women, LGBTQIA individuals, people of color, and other marginalized communities.
  • Maintain our commitment to creating a space for marginalized artists to share their diverse experiences through the mediums of fiction, poetry, non-fiction, and visual art.
  • Respect the experiences and opinions of those different from our own, without ever condoning perspectives that are racist, sexist, homophobic, or otherwise driven by hate.
  • Endeavor to align ourselves with the publications, organizations, and individuals that are similarly committed to these goals, striving each day to create and disseminate art that is unapologetic in its quest for a more just world.

In solidarity,

The Editors of Indiana Review

2016-2017

What My Last Man Did by Andrea Lewis: Excerpts

What My Last Man Did won the Indiana Review / IU Press 2016 Blue Light Books Prize and is forthcoming from IU Press in March 2017. Read excerpts from two of Andrea’s stories below, and pre-order your copy of What My Last Man Did today!

*

Andrea Lewis’s work has appeared in many literary journals, including Prairie Schooner, Cutthroat, Cold Mountain Review, and Catamaran Literary Reader. Three of her stories have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She is a founding member of Richard Hugo House, the place for writers in Seattle. She lives with her husband on Vashon Island, Washington. More of her work is available at www.andrealewis.org. Read more…

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Microreview: Rickey Laurentiis’s Boy With Thorn

Boy with Thorn by Rickey Laurentiis (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2015)
Review by Yael Massen

Rickey Laurentiis’ debut poetry collection, Boy with Thorn, arrives at a crucial time in American literary discourse, engaging the oppressive and harmful legacies of our nation with clarity and intelligent critique. Laurentiis’ collection as a whole is honest in recognition of a life lived through violence. The reader must praise the landscapes in this collection, in the midst of its terror and destruction, for also producing Laurentiis’ lyric beauty and wisdom. His relentless recognition of personal truths and reclamation of narratives formerly silenced is an example of poetry at its highest form.

Introduced by Terrance Hayes, who selected the collection for the prestigious 2014 Cave Canem Poetry Prize, Boy with Thorn deliberately engages with crises and politics few contemporary poets discuss with self-reflection. In “I Saw I Dreamt Two Men,” the speaker addresses Anti-Homosexuality bills proposed in Nigeria and Uganda with the support of conservative American Christian organizations, as well as recognition of his own inaction: “I stayed with southern silence.”

The silence of the American South is the landscape that haunts this collection. A Louisiana native, Laurentiis returns to the environmental destruction and social dispossession in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in “No Ararat”: “I didn’t dream this. There was a storm. Then there wasn’t. The day after came like a hammer through glass. The sky shook off his clothes and it was brilliant. I tell you it was necessary: Violence had to preface such beauty.” Religion, like the south, is embedded into the geography of the collection. Laurentiis’ speaker is in constant conversation with an ideology that brought him to live “the way a problem lives, openly, so much / earth wanted [him] closed” (“Epitaph on a Stone”).

I was most moved by Laurentiis’ poems that directly engage rape culture, particularly “Black Iris,” a poem that transforms Georgia O’Keeffe’s eponymous painting. Here, Laurentiis crafts narratives and representations of sexuality complicated by violence and trauma formerly silenced and denied by the “Old Masters” (to quote “Vanitas with Negro Boy”) of art and white supremacy.

and when the iris shakes in it,
the lips of the flower shaping
to the thing that invades it, that will be
me, there, shaking, my voice shaking.
like the legs of the calf, who—out of fear?
out of duty? —is sitting by his dead
mother because what else will he do, what else has he?
Because a voice outside him makes him.

The title poem of the collection, “Boy with Thorn,” exemplifies Laurentiis’ technical mastery, social consciousness, fearsome imagination, and self-awareness. The ekphrastic poem transforms a first century B.C.E. bronze sculpture into a meditation on violence and a reclamation of the self in the aftermath of trauma:

                        11.
              I keep thinking of the thorn as
a marker, scrawler, what shapes the places both excused
              and forbidden
in his body’s swamp.

                             12.
          Violence thou shalt want. Violence thou shalt steal
and store inside.

The poem concludes on the speaker’s negotiation of these internalized, external voices.

                        28.
          This was his body, his body
finally his.

                        29.
          He shut the thorn up in his foot, and told his foot
Walk.

Laurentiis’ speaker pronounces a final resolve to inhabit his body as is, with an understanding of the pain that must be managed as a part of its existence.