Starting this past Friday, KR’s Weekend Reads expanded to include both a poem of the week and a story (or essay) of the week. The first edition includes Erin McGraw’s dazzling short story “The Penance Practicum” and “Let Me Remind You You Are Still Under Oath,” a wonderful poem by Nance Van Winckel. If you’re not yet signed up for Weekend Reads, you can click through and receive it every Friday.
We’re all so busy, so pressed for time. One of the KR trustees, himself among the busiest people I know as well as one of the kindest, last year suggested sending out something short for people to enjoy over the weekend–or while traveling, or killing time in a doctor’s office. So after some development we launched Weekend Reads, sending a single, memorable piece back into the world. Some we gleaned from our archives, treasures published originally decades ago. Some, so delightful I couldn’t resist, have been published more recently. Some come from The Kenyon Review, our print journal; others from KROnline, which is, well, online.
I confess to being startled–more than startled–at the enthusiasm fresh out of the gate for this weekly feature. The “click-through rate,” a measure of people receiving the email then clicking the link to our website to read the full piece, was unusually high early on and has just kept rising. That’s one mark of its success. Another is the number of other publications and websites and newsletters who more recently have created versions of their own. I’m always happy with a compliment.
But only one piece a week always struck me too limiting. Some of us do, of course, love both poetry and prose. Others, however, simply prefer one or the other. Weren’t we shortchanging or even frustrating them every other week? Hence the new version, richer, more complex, more joy. Feel free to read one or both. Either way, there’s good reading here.