Posts Tagged: bookfair

Be Right Back – Currently in Seattle.

The editors of Indiana Review are thrilled to be joining the dynamic community of readers, writers, editors, and publishers at AWP in Seattle this year! Stop by to visit us at table S5 in the BookfairWe’ll have great swag, be happy to see you, and along with a selection of old issues we’ll have copies of our new issue for sale, featuring work by Annie Hartnett, Ryan Werner, G.C. Waldrep, Jamaal May, and other great writers. We hope to see you—contributors, writers, readers—there!

Close out your February with us at our RUN-AWP event, a basketball game and reading we’ll be co-hosting with O, Miami on Friday the 28th from 4:00 until 6:00. Interested in learning more? Of course you are. Check out more event details here.

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Back Issues in Boston

It’s late February, which means that those of you not entirely preoccupied with polishing your poesy for our Poetry Prize (poets like alliteration, right?) are probably thinking more and more about heading to Boston for AWP, which is coming up in…holy crap, it’s next week! And I haven’t even picked out my tuxedo yet.

Besides the boozing and schmoozing (do poets still like rhyme?), one of the best parts about AWP is the Bookfair. I like having the opportunity to meet those of you who read IR and submit your work to us, and I also like meeting the editors of others journals I’m fond of. But I especially like that the journals at the Bookfair sell their back issues for low, low prices that help to somewhat offset the cost of my tuxedo rental.

IR will of course be offering our own array of back issues at the Bookfair, and I thought I’d take a few minutes to give you one good reason to buy each of the back issues we’ll have at our table. So here’s a quick look at some of my favorite stories that have appeared in the pages of IR over the last few years: Read more…

The Most Silent Hour

Between a multitude of panels, hundreds of booths at the book fair, and numerous offsite reading and events, not to mention catching up with friends and writers from afar, AWP keeps most people pretty busy. As an editor this year, I spent a lot of time behind our beautiful IR table, but did see a handful of inspiring panels and heard poets I admire read their work in funky clubs around Chicago.

There’s something great about writers coming together, about being in a place where so many minds are linguistically inclined, are tuned in to the language of language and believe in the power of the word to change the world. I spent the weekend a tad awestruck—as I got a drink at the Irish pub downstairs, or waited in the restroom, or ran on the mini- track in the mornings,  it was exciting to think that the strangers surrounding me were probably composing the next Great American novel, or the next gut-wrenching poem. The community of listeners too, those who appreciate poetry, who want to increase its reach, encouraged me when it comes to the future of literary arts. Yet when people in the same field come together, competition—for publication, for accolade, for attention—creeps in, and somehow sullies the beauty of what we have all met to promote and celebrate. Be it the networking I’m so woefully horrible at, or the palpable hunger for publication floating through the room, or the general name-tag eying to determine ‘who are you,’ I can’t say. But by the time I sat drinking my final Windy City coffee on Sunday, I felt distinctly inadequate, uninspired, and a smidge disillusioned.

I’ll be the first to say how important community is—I treasure my writing friends here in Bloomington. They read my work, they support me, encourage me, tell me when things just aren’t working, and I know I would be a worse writer and person without them. As I sat with a few half-started lines of a poem and a cold cup, before even leaving the conference, I received a rejection letter. And like an unexpected and welcome wind, Rilke rushed to mind. I love his poetry, (read Steven Mitchell’s translations of the Duino Elegies, if you haven’t!) but his first letter in Letters to a Young Poet called to me. I looked it up, and include an excerpt here:

“You ask whether your verses are any good. You ask me. You have asked others before this. You send them to magazines. You compare them with other poems, and you are upset when certain editors reject your work. Now (since you have said you want my advice)…There is only one thing you should do. Go into yourself. Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depths of your heart; confess to yourself whether you would have to die if you were forbidden to write. This most of all: ask yourself in the most silent hour of your night: must I write? Dig into yourself for a deep answer. And if this answer rings out in assent, if you meet this solemn question with a strong, simple “I must”, then build your life in accordance with this necessity; your whole life, even into its humblest and most indifferent hour, must become a sign and witness to this impulse”

My impulse, too often, is to get caught up in the world of competitive mania, to forget that I am called to write, that I must do it, that it is as essential an act as breathing. It has spread its roots  to the very depths of my heart, but sometimes I think it is so deep I forget that calling, or take it for granted. This is not to say that literary journals shouldn’t exist and continue to publish poems, but that the poems must come first. That the work and the way of moving through the world as a quiet soul and as an observant being is worth something. Rilke reminds us for whom writing is a matter of life and death that writing does not equal acclaim or recognition, and that life as a writer requires an inward turning, of sorts, and a humility. Today what I hope most is that we all can embrace that solitude, can write in and through our most indifferent hours. No matter if we have one or two or two-hundred publications, if we attended this conference or not, participated in panels, readings, presentations, if we have been solicited or if we write in our closets, to our dogs, to the refrigerator, I hope we can all find solace in writing. That it keeps bearing witness. Because it must.

Ranier Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet, Translated by Stephen Mitchell

IR + Gulf Coast + Writers We Love + AWP 2012 = A Reading You Won’t Want to Miss!


As Barbie says, “Math class is tough,” and like Beyonce, I don’t know much about algebra, but I do know this: when you add together the collective energies of Gulf CoastIndiana Review, and five writers that have been featured in recent issues of both journals, you’re sure to come up with exciting results. That’s why we are thrilled to announce our first GC/IR reading, which will take place on March 1, 2012at AWP’s annual Conference & Bookfair.

Plan to join us for an evening of incredible readings by Michael Czyzniejewski, Ross Gay, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Leslie Parry, and D.A. Powell at Buddy Guy’s Legends in Chicago (just around the block from Hilton Chicago & Palmer House Hilton), at 8:30pm. There is a suggested donation of $4.

We can’t wait to see you there!