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The Kenyon Review Newsletter January 2010

Short Fiction Contest

The Kenyon Review will begin accepting submissions for the third annual Kenyon Review Short Fiction Contest on February 1, 2010. 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. Louise Erdrich will be the final judge.

The contest winner will be receive a full scholarship to attend the 2010 Kenyon Review Writers Workshop, June 19-26, in Gambier, Ohio. In addition, the winning story will be published in a special section in the Winter 2011 issue of The Kenyon Review.

Submissions will be accepted until February 28, 2010. Entries must be submitted through the Review’s website, where an entry form will be available. Find the full contest guidelines and submit your entry here.

KR Special Issue Highlights Indigenous Authors

Winter 2010

The Kenyon Review Winter 2010 issue devotes all of its pages to North American Indigenous authors. Guest edited by Simon Ortiz, the issue features work by Eric Gansworth, Diane Glancy, Joy Harjo, LeAnne Howe, Janet McAdams, Mark Turcotte, and Orlando White, and many more. An artist’s book, Chapulin’s Portrait, by Leslie Marmon Silko is included in full color.

End of 2009-2010 Reading Period Approaching!

The KR reading period for 2009-2010 officially ends on January 15th. It’s not too late to submit! We also want to thank all the writers who have shared their work with us! We depend on your talent for a successful magazine. We’ll continue to read material submitted by the January 15th deadline 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, 2010. Thank you for your continued interest in KR!

From KROnline Veronica Forrest-Thomson

This month on KRO, we’ve been running a special feature on the work of the British poet Veronica Forrest-Thomson. This exclusive web feature includes selections from her Collected Poems (Exeter, Shearsman Books in assoc. with Allardyce, Barnett, Publishers, 2008), along with essays from a symposium co-hosted by Christ’s College, Cambridge, and the Centre for Modernist Studies at the University of Sussex during January of 2008. Here’s a brief taste of Forrest-Thomson’s work:

Not Pastoral Enough

                        —homage to William Empson

It is the sense, it is the sense, controls,
Landing every poem like a fish.
Unhuman forms must not assert their roles.

Glittering scales require the deadly tolls
Of net and knife. Scales fall to relish.
It is the sense, it is the sense, controls.

Yet languages are apt to miss on souls
If reason only guts them. Applying the wish,
Unhuman forms must not assert their roles,

Ignores the fact that poems have two poles
That must be opposite. Hard then to finish
It is the sense, it is the sense, controls,

Without a sense of lining up for doles
From other kitchens that give us the garnish:
Unhuman forms must not assert their roles.

And this (forgive me) is like carrying coals
To Sheffield. Irrelevance betrays a formal anguish.
It is the sense, it is the sense, controls,
“Unhuman forms must not assert their roles”.

Click here to read more poetry by and critical essays on Veronica Forrest-Thomson

KROnline is the online complement of The Kenyon Review. New fiction, essays, poetry, and reviews are published on a biweekly basis. Check back often to read some of the most cutting edge material you’ll find anywhere on the web. Click here to see our latest offering.

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 27-July 10 and July 18-31, 2010. 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.

Young Writers at a bonfireScholarships 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.

Young Writers diningFor 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.

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.

Michael Harper’s new book of poems, Use Trouble, has been published the the University of Illinois Press. He has also been named the first poet laureate emeritus of the State of Rhode Island.

Kirk Nesset’s new novel, Mr. Agreeable, has been published by Mammoth Books.

Mukoma Wa Ngugi’s novel Nairobi Heat has been published by Penguin SA, and an interview with the author recently appeared in Chimurenga Magazine.

Lewis Putnam Turco‘s new book, Satan’s Scourge: A Narrative of the Age of Witchcraft in England and New England 1580-1697, published in 2009 by Star Cloud Press of Scottsdale, Arizona, has been named winner of the “Wild Card” category at the 2009 New England Book Festival.

Carolyn Wright’s poem, “This dream the world is having about itself. . . ,” which won the Firman Houghton Award in 2007 (from the New England Poetry Club) and was published in The Iowa Review in 2008, was selected by guest editor David Wagoner for The Best American Poetry 2009. It also won a Pushcart Prize for 2009, and appears in the Pushcart Prize XXXIV: Best of the Small Presses. Her most recently published book is an anthology of translations from Bengali, Majestic Nights: Love Poems of Bengali Women (White Pine Press, 2008), which includes translations published in The Kenyon Review (Anradha Mahapatra, Vijaya Mukhopadhyay, and Ruby Rahman). Her most recent poetry collection is A Change of Maps (Lost Horse Press, 2006), finalist for the Idaho Prize and the Alice Fay di Castagnola Award from the Poetry Society of America, and winner of the 2007 Independent Book Publishers Bronze Award for Poetry. She also reports that she planning to use issues of The Kenyon Review in her future classes, as part of a pilot program with the CLMP.

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 19-26, 2010 on the campus of Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio.

The Kenyon Review Writers Workshop focuses on the generation and revision of new work. Instructors employ challenging exercises and lead the groups in close readings and discussions of participants’ work. In addition, the instructors schedule personal meetings to discuss workshop assignments and other projects. This year’s session includes workshops in fiction, poetry, and literary nonfiction. Workshop leaders include David Baker (poetry), Linda Gregerson (poetry), Rebecca McClanahan (literary nonfiction) Dinty W. Moore (literary nonfiction), Ron Carlson (fiction), Tara Ison (fiction) and Nancy Zafris (fiction).

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 learn more about the summer writing programs at Kenyon.

From the KR Archives

Readings for WritersRebecca McClanahan is the author of nine books, most recently Deep Light: New and Selected Poems 1987-2007 (Iris Press) and The Riddle Song and Other Rememberings (University of Georgia Press), which won the Glasgow Prize in Nonfiction, and Word Painting: A Guide to Writing More Descriptively (Writer’s Digest Books). Each summer she brings glamour to Gambier by teaching her workshop on literary nonfiction during the Kenyon Review Writers Workshop. We’re preparing her palanquin already. Her poem “To the Absent Wife of the Beautiful Poet at the Writers’ Conference” is reprinted in KR’s new anthology, Readings for Writers. It first appeared in KR Winter 1996, Vol.XVIII, No. 1).

To the Absent Wife of the Beautiful Poet at the Writers’ Conference

I want you to know that nothing happened,
and everything that might have is now sewn
into the hoop of Arizona sky
that stretched above our heads that shy
evening of talk when we left our books
and went out to read the papery news
of bougainvillea. Here was vegetation
more animal than plant, the dangerous spine
of cactus, its fleshy stem and thistle,
and those rubbery tongues lolling speechless
in the desert air where even domestic
herbs turn wild, parsley and dill spilling
over their planned containers. When your husband
broke off a piece of rosemary and held it
out to me, I smelled the sharp clean scent
of marriage, the scent that fills my loved world
three time zones away. My garden, the spotted
cat and aged brandy, the bed pillow minted
with the imprint of my husband’s head.
Yet I confess that part of me wanted
to take, in that moment, the man you more
than half-made, knowing that what I love
most in married men is what is given
by wives. The elbow he leans upon
is your elbow, his listening quiet,
your quiet, practiced in twenty years
of bedtime conversation. If he loved,
in that instant, anything in me, it was
the shape and smell of one whole woman
made from the better halves of two— 
your hard-earned past and my present, briefly
flaming. Not long ago I watched a girl
I might have been twenty years ago, sit
literally at my husband’s feet and adore him.
There are gifts we can give our husbands,
but adoration is not one. If I could,
I would be one woman diverging, walk
one road toward those things that matter
always, the difficult trail long love requires.
The other, for what burned in the eyes
of your husband as he asked, What is the secret
to a long marriage
? I gave my grandfather’s
bald reply: You don’t leave and you don’t die.
There are no secrets. Together, the four of us—
your beautiful husband, mine, you, and I,
have lasted. I started to say forty
married years, but no, it is eighty,
each of us living those years sometimes,
by necessity, singly, the whole of love
greater than the sum of its combined hearts.
That’s what I mean about the sky. Its blueness
and the way it goes on forever. An old
teacher told me if you break a line in half
again and again, you will never reach an end.
Infinity is measured by the broken spaces
within as well as by the line spooling out
as far as we can see. I love my husband.
Still, there were spaces in that evening
that will go on dividing our lives. And if
the sky had not begun in that moment
to blink messages of light from stars I thought
had died out long ago, I might have answered
your husband’s eyes another way.
And there would have been heaven to pay.

To purchase a copy of Readings for Writers or for a full list of authors included in the anthology please click here.

From the KR Blog

Collage Sonnet


December 3rd, 2009 — David Bartone


Okay, so I’m going to a reading party in a couple weeks where everyone brings some inspirational things they’ve read in the past few months to read to the lot. And well, today I decided to make a sonnet-length poem from lines from fourteen moving books I’ve read lately. Warning: it’s a bit of a mess. I love. It:

I am ashamed before the Great imitation of

Emperors and kings, dukes and marquises,               counts, knights, and townsfolk, and all               people who wish to know

It’s not enough to bring forth witnesses to some

So everything went nameless as the men

You do not know me without you have read a               book

In pink that hurts

Terrible old man! thought Starbuck with a               shudder, sleeping in this gale

Nothing for me to do but shut my eyes

The chaos of a small pond

I got restless picturing your ankles

To the lover bee,

I shall love

And now let all the ships come in

Yes, yes, all of this, or another way of saying it.

Find more KR Blog posts here.

New on the KR Blog in 2010

KR welcomes two new bloggers into the fold for the next six months: Elizabeth Ames Staudt and Tamiko Beyer will blog through the 2010 summer. They will join continuing writers Jay Thompson, Cody Walker, Sierra Nelson, and Rebecca Hoogs. Hold on to your quills! Check back to the dynamic KR homepage regularly to catch new posts, or subscribe to the KR Blog RSS feed to get all the updates.

Tamiko Beyer’s poetry has appeared in little red leaves, diode, Sonora Review, OCHO, Copper Nickel and others. She has received several fellowships and grants, including a Kundiman fellowship, a grant from the Astraea Lesbian Writers Fund, and a Olin and Chancellor’s Fellowship from Washington University in St. Louis where she is currently an M.F.A. candidate. She the assistant poetry editor of Drunken Boat, and a founding member of Agent 409: a queer, multi-racial writing collective in New York City.

Elizabeth Ames Staudt is currently without a permanent address, but her temporary one is quite lovely. She received her MFA from the University of Michigan and is working on a novel.



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