The incomparable Vievee Francis, recent winner of the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, is judging our 2017 Poetry Prize. If you’re looking for inspiration, why not look at her work? Indiana Review editors share their favorite poems below!
Posts Tagged: Vievee Francis
IR is proud to be partnering again with IU Press to award our second annual Blue Light Books Prize, this time to an outstanding poetry collection! Submissions open December 1, 2016. Check out our guidelines for more details.
In preparation for Blue Light Books submissions, IR staff and MFA students in the Indiana University Creative Writing Program reflected on the poetry collections they’re most thankful for this holiday season. Think of these collections as our blue lights through clouded times.
Be sure to check out our Blue Light Books Prize tableau on our Instagram page.
Vievee Francis is one of those poets who is often described as ‘visionary.’ Her poetry is deep and rich and so strong, and as a fiction writer I feel pretty inadequate trying to describe it. I was amazed to discover, when I sat down and spoke with Vievee in Bloomington (when she was in town for the 2nd Annual Blue Light Reading this past spring), that her voice in conversation is as complex, thoughtful, and passionate as it is in her poetry. You can hear the audio of our interview on The Bluecast page (forthcoming!), or read it below.
Vievee Francis: My name is Vievee Francis, I’m a poet, I live in the city of Hamtrammack, which is a small town—2.2 square miles—in Michigan, completely surrounded by the city of Detroit.
Rachel Lyon: Your poems have a distinct relationship to both city and a rural or country sort of landscape. Can you talk about landscape in your poetry a little?
VF: Landscape plays a strong role in my poetry. I’m from Texas originally—from West Texas, but I’ve also lived in East Texas off and on through my early childhood—but then, I’ve lived in cities as well—Atlanta, Detroit. And I think the play, back and forth, between the rustic and the urban, as well as what is Southwestern or Southern and what is Northern, those are always being juxtaposed in my work.
Will you be in or near Bloomington, Indiana next Friday, March 30th? If your answer is yes, be sure to mark your calendars! IR contributors Vievee Francis, Roxane Gay, and Mary Hamilton will be reading at 8pm at the Bloomington Playwrights Project,and you’re invited!
Vievee Francis is the author of two books Blue-Tail Fly (Wayne State University, 2006) and Horse in the Dark (winner of the Cave Canem Northwestern University Poetry Prize, forthcoming August 31, 2012). Her work will appear or has appeared in numerous journals, and anthologies, including Best American Poetry 2010, Crab Orchard Review, Indiana Review, and Angles of Ascent: A Norton Anthology of Contemporary African American Poetry, among others. In 2009 she was the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award. In 2010 she received a Kresge Fellowship. She was the 2009/2010 Poet in Residence for the Alice Lloyd Hall Scholar’s Program at the University of Michigan. A Cave Canem Fellow, she is currently an Associate Editor for Callaloo, the premier journal of African Diaspora Arts & Letters.
Roxane Gay‘s writing appears or is forthcoming in Best American Short Stories 2012, New Stories From the Midwest 2011 and 2012, Best Sex Writing 2012, Salon, NOON, American Short Fiction, Indiana Review, Cream City Review, Black Warrior Review, Brevity, The Rumpus, and many others. She is the co-editor of PANK, and an HTMLGIANT contributor.
Mary Hamilton is an optician, writer, teacher, and pedestrian living in Los Angeles. Her work has been published in several journals online and in print. In 2010 she won the fourth annual Rose Metal Press short short fiction chapbook competition. Her chapbook, Kill Me Forever is forthcoming from the Lit Pub in late 2012.