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The Kenyon Review | February 2009

The Kenyon Review  |  February 2009 Newsletter

Felicity Sheehy Wins Patricia Grodd Poetry Prize for Young Writers

Grodd Prize Logo

Felicity Sheehy, a junior at Westover School in Middlebury, Connecticut, took first place in this year’s Patricia Grodd Poetry Prize for Young Writers presented by The Kenyon Review. Her poem “Letter” (seen at right) was selected by KR Poetry Editor David Baker from more than 600 submissions. In winning the prize, Sheehy receives a full scholarship to attend KR‘s 2009 Young Writers summer program. Her poem will also appear in the Fall 2009 issue of The Kenyon Review.

Haley Markbreiter, a resident of New York City and a junior at The Spence School, was named a runner up for her poem “The Solitude of Hungarians.”

Also named a runner up was Arbil Lopez, a sophomore at CAPA in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, for her poem “Ciudad.”

Both Markbrieter and Lopez will receive partial scholarships to KR‘s 2009 Young Writers summer program and see their poems published in the Fall 2009 issue of KR.

Shoshana Akabas, of New York City, Shelley Whitaker, of Interlochen, Michigan, and Michael Ingram, of DeSoto, Texas, took honorable mention for their poems, “Broken,” “Prayers,” and “Dublin.”

The Patricia Grodd Poetry Prize recognizes outstanding young poets and is open to high school sophomores and juniors. This year’s contest was the fifth annual and attracted submissions from students across the country and abroad. The selection process involved a panel of students from Kenyon College as well as KR editors.
The contest is named in honor of Patricia Grodd in recognition of her generous support of The Kenyon Review and its programs, as well as her passionate commitment to education and deep love for poetry.



You tell me first about the three ladybugs
on your kitchen window—
how the light filtered under their bodies
to make them into miniature suns
and the patterns from their wings
skimmed, for a moment,
over your hands.

It is midsummer, and the fields
outside your house are smoldering
with corn, but you,
I know, make your breakfast
of cold cereal and pills,
the milk in your bowl
tinged with fluorescent light.

You used to eat what you grew
with your own hands,
what put dirt under your fingernails:
heirloom tomatoes,
moon and stars watermelon.
It’s too cold to garden now, you say.
You mail me a drawing of flowers
and some seeds.

These are the days
when all the beauty is leaking
out of your life anyway
and you want me to have
the linens, the rings,
the bone china.
You’ll keep your TV:
its static reminds you of who you are,
sounding, from a distance,
almost like birdsong.

Felicity Sheehy, winner of the 2009 Patricia Grodd Prize for Young Writers.

Kenyon Review Subscription Offer

KR CoversWhy is 2009 already better than 2008? Because this great subscription offer comes your way: a one year subscription to The Kenyon Review for $19.95. You’ll save 50% off the cover price! Order today and your subscription will begin with the very special Winter 2009 70th Anniversary issue, featuring work by E.L. Doctorow, Joyce Carol Oates, Carl Phillips, Linda Gregerson, Alfred Corn, Ilya Kaminsky and Kazim Ali, as well as the winners of our inaugural short fiction contest. To take advantage of this offer, use code “NWSL1” in the comments section of the subscription page. Celebrate the new year! Subscribe!

Click here to subscribe.

The Kenyon Review Short Fiction Contest

Short Fiction ContestThe Kenyon Review is accepting submissions for the second annual Kenyon Review Short Fiction Contest until February 28, 2009. The contest is open to all writers under 30 years of age. Submissions must be 1,200 words or less to qualify for the contest. Richard Ford will be the final judge.

The contest winner will be receive a full scholarship to attend the 2009 Kenyon Review Writers Workshop, June 20-27, in beautiful Gambier, Ohio. In addition, the winning story will be published in a special section in the Winter 2010 issue of The Kenyon Review.

Submissions will be accepted until February 28, 2009. Entries must be submitted through the Review’s website, where an entry form is available.
Find the full contest guidelines here. Submit your entry here.

Apply now for The Kenyon Review Writers Workshop!

Writer's Workshop Logo

Applications are now available for The Kenyon Review Writers Workshop, an intensely creative week-long series of writing workshops held June 20-27, 2009 on the campus of Kenyon College in beautiful Gambier, Ohio.

This year’s session includes our traditional workshops in fiction, poetry, and literary nonfiction, which focus on the generation and revision of new work for experienced writers, as well as workshops for new writers in poetry and fiction. Workshop leaders include David Baker (poetry), Carl Phillips (poetry), Nancy Zafris (fiction), Lee Martin (fiction), Rebecca McClanahan (literary nonfiction), Deborah Digges (poetry for new writers), and Geeta Kothari (fiction for new writers).

Whether you’ve been writing for years, recently graduated from an MFA program, or have just now decided to take the leap out of your private notebooks and into a classroom, you’ll find a workshop here to help you accomplish your literary goals.

Click here to apply.

Apply now for The Kenyon Review Young Writers Workshop!

Young Writer's Workshop Logo

The Kenyon Review is now accepting applications for its Young Writers workshop, a creative writing adventure for 16-18 year olds in Gambier, Ohio. Two sessions will be offered this summer: June 28-July 11 and July 19-August 1, 2009. Young Writers is an intensive two-week workshop for intellectually curious high-school students who value writing. KR‘s goal is to help students develop their creative and critical abilities with language—to become better writers and more insightful thinkers.

Scholarships are available for those who demonstrate financial need.

The deadline for submitting applications for the Young Writers workshop is March 1. Because of the large number of applications, admission is highly selective, based primarily on the student’s application essay and a teacher’s recommendation.

For more information and an application, please visit the Young Writers workshop page on our web site or contact Anna Duke Reach, Program Director, at (740) 427-5207.

KR Welcomes New Bloggers

New KR Bloggers

KR welcomes six new bloggers to the KR Blog. Visit soon!

Jay Thompson lives in St. Louis, where he co-curates the Exploding Swan reading series, co-edits the journal Thermos and studies. His poetry, interviews and prose have appeared in Poetry International, the Laurel Review, La Fovea, Cranky, and Pleiades.

Darcie Dennigan lives outside of Providence. Her poetry collection, Corinna A-Maying the Apocalypse, was published in 2008.

David F. Smydra Jr. is a new media specialist living in Silicon Valley. He works for Google.

Kirsten Reach has been with the Review since 2004. These days she lives in Brooklyn, eating lots of bagels and strolling in the park when the weather’s nice. She blogs also for the Institute for the Future of the Book.

Sierra Nelson‘s poems have appeared in DIAGRAM, Painted Bride Quarterly, Verse Daily, Mare Nostrum, and Forklift, Ohio.

Nathaniel Otting was raised right in Gambier. Following the past of his teacher, Eugen Kullmann (1915-2002), to Germany and Switzerland, he found a way to Berlin. Called back to Amherst that fall, he took up as a sub-sub librarian at Schoen Books, of The Robert Walser Society of Western Massachusetts, and for the Nor By Press, where my cadastre, his translation of Uljana Wolf’s “mein flurbuch” (from her kochanie ich habe brot gekauft) will appear in Loquesto 2009.

End of Reading Period

The KR reading period for 08-09 officially ended on January 15th. We want to thank all writers who took the time to submit their work to us! We depend on your submissions for a successful magazine. We’ll be reading through currently submitted material through the spring. Writers who have work with us will be notified via e-mail of any decisions regarding their work.

The next open submission period will begin Sept. 15th, 2009. Thank you for your continued interest in KR!

Happy Valentine’s Day from KR!

Crush Tree Photo

KR Associates Kate Kremer and Fraser Reach view the “Crush Tree,” an art installation project conceived and installed by Kenyon students. Anonymous love notes from one Kenyon student to another (anonymous) Kenyon student were hung from the branches of the “upside down” tree this past November and all were invited to come and read these notes. Could one be intended for you?

Photo credit: Erin McKenney.

From KRO

KRO Logo

Recently on KRO: A conversation with and new poetry from Carl Phillips.

A review of Aravind Adiga’s The White Tiger by Wendy Singer.

Almost Tenderly

Carl Phillips

It had the heft of old armor—like a breastplate
of bronze; like a shield, on hinges. It swung apart
like a door. Inside it, the sea was visible—the sea
and, on the shore, a man: stripped; beaten. Very
gently—tenderly, almost—as if to the man, to
calm him, but in fact to no one, the sea was singing:
Here, in the deepening blue of our corruption, let

love be at least one corruption we chose together.
But the man said nothing. Why not call restlessness
our crown, and our dominion, sang the sea . . . But
the man was a brokenness like any other: moving,
until it fails to move—the way, over time, suffering
makes no difference. His wounds were fresh; still open.
Where the light fell on them, they flashed, like the sea.

Read more poetry from Carl Phillips


The KR Family Tree

Think of this section as a bulletin from KR in which we brag about the accomplishments of the extended KR family and leave out the gall-bladder surgeries.

A combined edition of Sarah Arvio’s two books of poetry, Sono with Visits from the Seventh will be published by Bloodaxe in England in May 2009. She has recently won the Boston Review poetry contest. “Salmat,” an essay, will appear in Antioch Review in winter 2009. Her poem “Neck” appeared in The New Yorker in May, and another poem, “Sage,” appears in the current issue of The New Republic.

Philip Deaver’s retrospective on the work of David Huddle appears in the latest issue of Southern Review.

Beth Ann Fennelly will spend Feb-June of 2009 in Brazil on a Fulbright grant, studying the work of poet Elizabeth Bishop, writing poems for her fourth book, and lecturing on American poetry.

Eric Gansworth‘s book of poems and paintings, A Half-Life Of Cardio-Pulmonary Function, was on the National Book Critics Circle’s “Good Reads List” for Spring 2008, and his first full length work of drama, Re-Creation Story, was selected for the Public Theater’s Second Annual
Native Theater Festival
, which was held at the Public Theater, in NYC, November 12-15th, 2008.

Emery George is working away at his large translated edition of Friedrich Hölderlin’s poetry. Translations of his from this project have to date appeared in AGNI, Literary Imagination, Southern Humanities Review, and Superior Poetry News. In August 2008 Mr. George was elected full member of
PEN American Center. In December 2001 he was also elected full member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

Jynne Martin was a finalist for the 2008 Ruth Lilly Prize and has been awarded a fellowship to Yaddo.

Rahul Mehta‘s story, “Quarantine,” which appeared in the Spring 2008 issue of KR, was selected for inclusion in New Stories from the South: The Year’s Best, 2009, by guest editor Madison Smartt Bell. The book will be published in September 2009 by Algonquin Books.

D. Nurkse‘s ninth book The Border Kingdom was published by Knopf this year. Forthcoming poems are in The New Yorker and The Times Literary Supplement. Recommended reading: Equiano’s Travels, ed. Paul Edwards, the autobiography of an African born in 1745, who survived the slave trade, naval warfare, and Arctic exploration.

Janet Peery’s third book, a novella and stories titled What The Thunder Said, is out from Saint Martin’s/Picador. It was awarded a 2008 WILLA Award from Women Writing the West for Best Contemporary Fiction as well as the 2008 Library of Virginia Literary Award for Fiction. Two of the stories, “Great Men and Famous Deeds” and “No Liquor Sold to Indians Past Dark,” appear in The Kenyon Review.

The KR Family Tree (Continued)


Anne Sanow’s short story collection Slow Stately Dance in Triple Time has been selected the 2009 winner of the Drue Heinz Literature Prize. The collection will be published by the University of Pittsburgh Press this fall. Her story “Safety” appeared in the Winter 2008 issue of KR.

Michelle Richmond has been named as the recipient of the Hillsdale Award for Fiction from the Fellowship of Southern Writers. The award, which is granted in odd-numbered years, will be presented at the Conference on Southern Literature in Chattanooga, TN, in April.

G. C. Waldrep’s new collection, Archicembalo, which won the 2008 Dorset Prize (judged by C.D. Wright), is due out from Tupelo Books in April 2009. He recommends two books of poetry, Kevin Prufer’s National Anthem (FourWay, 2008) and Robyn Schiff’s Revolver (Iowa, 2008).

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The Kenyon Review is supported in part by generous grants from the Ohio Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Smart Family Foundation, and the New York Times Company Foundation.

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