Posts Tagged: poetry

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Listen to “autoportraits as cyborg” by Miriam Karraker

We are excited to feature Miriam Karraker’s “autoportraits as cyborg: in pain” and “autoportraits as cyborg: in device,” two pieces from her series as a special sneak peek into our upcoming Summer 2017 IR 39.1 Issue! Her poems are a part of the Metallic Grit Special Folio, where we explore what creates something or someone resilient and also investigate this hybridity—its multifaceted nature.

Click here to listen to “autoportraits as cyborg: in pain,” and click here to listen to “autoportraits as cyborg: in device.”

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Miriam Karraker is pursuing an MFA in poetry at the University of Minnesota. Her writing has appeared in or is forthcoming from DIAGRAM, BOAAT, TAGVVERK, Full Stop, 3:AM Magazine, Gigantic Sequins, and Gulf Coast

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Hoosier Journal Spotlight: Booth and “How to Make a Beginning” by Aubrey Ryan

This spring, Indiana Review conducted interviews with other Indiana journals. We were driven by a few questions:  What does it mean to be a Midwestern or Hoosier journal? What does it mean to be a member of a literary community? What are our Hoosier neighbors up to? What do they seek for their publications?

Robert Stapleton, Founder and Editor of Booth, which is published out of Butler University in Indianapolis, IN, was kind enough to answer a few questions for our final installment for the spring semester. We talked about Booth‘s namesake, the literary community in Butler University and Indianapolis, and enduring advice from William Faulkner. Be sure to check out a gorgeous poem, “How to Make a Beginning” by Aubrey Ryan, at the end!

Read more…

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Microreview: Rochelle Hurt’s In Which I Play the Runaway

In Which I Play the Runaway by Rochelle Hurt (Barrow Street Press, 2016)

Rochelle Hurt’s second poetry collection, In Which I Play the Runaway, does more than summon narratives of origin and growth—the poems command another language with a new alphabet of “boxcar beats,” of fluorescence, linoleum, of living inside “this hissing kettle of a house.” In impossibly small spaces, Hurt demands the creation of another sight, reckoning with the speaker’s unflinching desires.

The book layers itself with self-portraits in which the speaker imagines herself as something else. The images build upon one another until it almost becomes too much, yet the poems pace themselves accordingly. In “Poem in Which I Play the Cheat,” the speaker tells us about the origins of her love. She asks us to

 

“understand before it began before that—

Sun as first love: when I was small”

and eventually says

“What I mean is that I fall in love with surfaces.”

 

I am stunned by how these stories accumulate to form an expansive landscape of the self. I read this collection when I was traveling, and even though these poems spread across various locales, the central voice does not waver through its changes, growths, and revelations. Hurt’s poetry has the power to transform a constrained space into one of power. For example, “Halfhearted,” one of the collection’s prose breaks, ends with this:

“But here’s where I got a break: on the seventh day of each week I lived in the pit of myself. Houseless, husbandless, I slept outside, balanced on a rock—tough, whole, unable to be consumed by any desire. On those nights I was happy.”

In Which I Play the Runaway begins with a “last chance” and ends with “honesty” Through this journey, the self is made resilient, each time more complicated than before. Hurt converts the impossible into a real possibility and in so doing, makes the truth undeniable. This collection is a must for anyone thinking of transcendent landscapes and the intense making of the self.

 

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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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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.