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Kenyon Review Newsletter - March 2012
Join KR at AWP in Chicago!

Visit us February 29-March 3, at the Association of Writers and Writing Programs Conference at the Hilton Chicago and Palmer House Hilton in Chicago. Check out our schedule of events:

AWP Dance Card


Deadline Extension for the KR Short Fiction Contest
Short Fiction ContestBecause of the timing of the AWP conference, we have extended the deadline for the fifth annual Kenyon Review Short Fiction Contest to March 4 at midnight EST. The contest is open to all writers who have not yet published a book of fiction. Submissions must be 1,200 words or fewer to qualify for the contest. Nancy Zafris, former KR Fiction Editor and current editor of the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction book series, will be the final judge. There is no entry fee.


Young Writers Workshop: Applications Due March 1st
Young WritersThe Kenyon Review will accept applications through March 1st for its Young Writers Workshop, a creative writing adventure for 16-18 year olds held in Gambier, Ohio. Two sessions will be offered this summer: June 24-July 7 and July 15-28, 2012. 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.


From the KR ArchivesJames Dickey

In 1956, James Dickey resigned his teaching position at The University of Florida when his reading of the poem “The Father’s Body” to a local women’s group was construed as obscene. He took a position as an advertising copywriter and executive for the McCann-Erickson agency in New York, a position he later described as “selling his soul to the devil in the daytime and buying it back at night.” Dickey worked in the advertising business until 1961, when he received a Guggenheim Fellowship that allowed him to move his family to Italy and devote his time to writing poetry. It is not believed that his departure is related to McCann-Erickson’s acquisition of rival firm Sterling Cooper.

The Kenyon Review, Winter 1961, Vol. XXIII, No. 1

The Change

by James Dickey

Blue, unstirrable, dreaming,
The hammerhead goes by the boat,
Passing me slowly in looking.

He has singled me out from the others;
He has put his blue gaze in my brain.
The strength of creation sees through me:

The world is yet blind as beginning.
The shark’s brutal form never changes.
No millions of years shall yet turn him
. . .


Catherine PierceFrom KRO
The Mother Warns the Tornado

by Catherine Pierce

Scene: a bathtub, dry. The noise outside inaudible
behind the baby’s wails.

I know I’ve already had more than I deserve.
These lungs that rise and fall without effort,
the husband who sets free house lizards,
this red-doored ranch, my mother on the phone,
the fact that I can eat anything—gouda, popcorn,
massaman curry—without worry. Sometimes
I feel like I’ve been overlooked. Checks
and balances, and I wait for the tally to be evened.

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.


From the KR BlogHilary Plum
Writing American Empire

February 6, 2012 — Hilary Plum
The most recent issue of Guernica features an essay by Kamila Shamsie on “The Storytellers of Empire,” which considers the insularity (my word, not hers) of contemporary US “post-9/11″ literature. Shamsie is from Pakistan, and wonders why contemporary literature from Pakistan features the US, travels to the US, indeed travels the world, but the reverse almost never happens: why does the American novel seem so determinedly, relentlessly domestic, instead of taking on America’s role in the world?

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