Posts Tagged: poetry

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IR Editors’ Poetry Wish List!

 

Winter is coming, and 2015 is winding down. For us, that means submissions are closed, and we have the honor to read the deluge of great poetry sent our way. Selecting work is no easy task. And in the spirit of the upcoming holidays and the upcoming 2016 Poetry Prize judged by Camille Rankine, three MFA Poetry Candidates on Indiana Review’s staff weigh in on what they value–and what they might want to see in the poems that make them want to say Yes!

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Micro-Review: Natalie Scenters-Zapico’s The Verging Cities

The Verging Cities by Natalie Scenters-Zapico (The Center for Literary Publishing, 2015)

Reviewed by Willy Palomo

 

I have never been to the border, yet the border has maintained its presence in my life, mostly through the barriers it has erected against my friends and family. What I know of it I have learned either from the confusing and crazed worlds of media and academia or from late night stories half-spoken by my parents, both of whom migrated to the United States from El Salvador during the 1980s and hardly speak of it. Given all the violence, divisive politics, and silence surrounding the border and its issues, it is difficult to find a voice discerning and trustworthy enough to share its stories with the scope and passion Natalie Scenters-Zapico faces the subject in The Verging Cities, her debut collection of poetry about the sister cities, El Paso and Juarez.

 

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Listen to Megan Peak Read “The First Book”

 

Megan Peak’s poem, “The First Book,” appears in our Summer 2015 issue, Indiana Review 37.1.

Listen to her read ” The First Book” here.

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Megan Peak holds an M.F.A. from The Ohio State University. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Blackbird, Cimarron Review, Iron Horse Literary Review, Linebreak, Muzzle, North American Review, Pleiades, Ploughshares, and Valparaiso Poetry Review. Her manuscript was a finalist in the 2015 Levis Prize in Poetry at Four Way Books.

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Micro-Review: Tasha Cotter’s SOME CHURCHES

Some Churches by Tasha Cotter (Gold Wake Press 2013)

Reviewed by Emily Corwin

 

“Hold that bird your heart.” I have been thinking about this line lately, with the cold autumn temperatures, with my coat buttoned all the way up. Hold that bird your heart. An instruction, an incantation. It is about tending to your rawest parts. It is about desire—for people, for air, for safety, for something un-nameable. Read more…

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The New Testament, Citizen, and Forgiveness Forgiveness: Contemporary Poetry on the Politics of Race

In light of the recent epidemic of racially charged violence and two grand jury decisions not to indict the policemen responsible for the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, I would like to draw attention to three newly published poetry collections that deserve consideration within the current dialogue on blackness: The New Testament by Jericho Brown, Citizen by Claudia Rankine, and Forgiveness Forgiveness by Shane McCrae. These three books have garnered much attention on their individual merit, but deserve consideration in terms of the conversation we should be having about race relations in America.

A poetry book is a kind of rumination. For the average poetry collection to go from the seed of an idea to an ISBN number takes at least 2-3 years—even for relatively established poets like Rankine, Brown and McCrae. All three books were released within a month of each other and, based on their overlapping subject matter, one might suppose these varying depictions of the expendability of black lives result from the July 13, 2013 Trayvon Martin case verdict. But, assuming a typical publication schedule, these books would have been in the editing stages by the time George Zimmerman’s acquittal made headlines.

I say this because The New Testament, Citizen, and Forgiveness Forgiveness all bear testimony to the importance of poets amidst the voices that respond to today’s atrocities. The fact that these books focus our attention of varying views of blackness, of black masculinity, of disappearance, of youth—while our newsfeeds fill with the loss of one black life, after another black life, after another—is more strategic than anomalous.

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