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The Kenyon Review Newsletter May 2011

KR Short Fiction Contest

Fan Li Wins 2011 KR Short Fiction Contest

Fan Li, of Toronto, ON, has won the fourth annual Kenyon Review Short Fiction Contest for writers under thirty. Li’s story, “Chiasmus,” was selected by judge Ron Carlson from nearly 600 entries, and will be published in the Winter 2012 issue of The Kenyon Review. Li will also receive a scholarship to attend the KR Writers Workshop in Gambier, Ohio.

Click here to learn more about the winner, runners-up, and a change to the contest rules in 2012.

Why We Chose It

Why We Chose It

By David Lynn, Editor

In a recent message to me just after I’d accepted her new book review on Thomas Sayers Ellis’ Skin, Inc. for KROnline, Kascha Semonovitch mentioned that the task had been “a challenge and a pleasure.” She’s right, of course—crafting a good, effective review is no easy undertaking. And as editors we have to be as picky, as demanding as with any other work we publish. Book reviews and literary discussions were at the heart of the original purpose of journals such as The Edinburgh Review in the early 19th century, and were central to the mission of The Kenyon Review and The Partisan Review in the mid-century glory days of the 20th.

Continue reading to learn why KR selected Kascha Semonovitch’s “Skin, Inc.: Identity Repair Poems by Thomas Sayers Ellis: This Book Is Not ‘Like’ Anything You’ve Ever Read” for KROnline.

KR congratulates Pushcart Prize winning authors

Pushcart PrizeKR congratulates three just-announced Pushcart Prize winners from the past volume year:

  1. Kathleen Graber — “The Telephone”
    Summer 2010 issue
  2. E.C. Osondu — “Janjaweed Wife”
    Spring 2010 issue
  3. Alan Michael Parker — “Family Math”
    Spring 2010 issue

Back issues of KR are available here.

Seeking YOU: Want to Blog for KR?

Do you blog? Are you a fan of the KR blog? KR is looking to our newsletter audience to help us keep the KR blog conversation fresh and vibrant, and we need your help! We’re looking to work with 1-2 bloggers who can write a weekly “Short Takes” column on the KR blog with literary news, oddities, opinion and comment. Examples of past “Short Takes” posts that model what we are looking for can be found here, here, here, and here.

We’re looking for writers with verve, a little sass, the ability to find great content, and the willingness to commit to a three month blogging stint. Got what it takes? Send a sample “Short Takes” blog post and a one paragraph bio as a .doc attachment to: applications@kenyonreview.org. Include “Short Takes Blogger” in the subject line of your e-mail. Small monthly compensation included.

Celebrate Spring with a Subscription Discount!

Subscription OfferSubscribe to KR today using promotional code ESP11 to purchase one year of KR for $19.95. That’s 50% off the newsstand price for a one year subscription! With this discount you’ll pay less than $5 an issue to have award-winning cutting edge literature delivered straight to your door four times a year. You’ll start with the Spring 2011 issue, featuring a wicked and wonderful essay by Andrew Hudgins, terrific new poems by Kevin Young, and exciting new fiction by Kelly Cherry and Hasanthika Sirisena. Over the course of your subscription you’ll read new material by Ron Carlson, Alice Fulton, T.C. Boyle, Erin McGraw, Kazim Ali, and Mark Strand, as well as many other prominent and emerging writers in each packed issue. Don’t delay! Click here and use promotional code ESP11 to receive the discount. Offer ends May 31st, 2011.

A New Way to Search KROnline

Now it’s easier than ever to find the content you want on KROnline. We’re pleased to announce a new genre index of all pieces featured on the KR Web site. Go to the main KRO index page and click on one of the genre links at the top. You can also continue to search by author name, reviewer, and interview subject below.

A Profile of KR Writers Workshop Instructor Stanley Plumly

Stanley PlumlyIn an interview with the Boston Review, current Maryland Poet Laureate Stanley Plumly mused, “in poetry there is also a sense of the authentic presence of the person who has had the experience—the purpose of the art of poetry is to authenticate the experience.” Fortunately, Gambier, Ohio and the Kenyon Review Writers Workshop will experience the impressive wit, extensive knowledge, and acclaimed poems of accomplished poet, Stanley Plumly as he serves as an instructor of poetry at this summer’s workshop.

Click here to read the full profile.

KR Recognizes Student Associates

Poem in Your Pocket DayKenyon students who volunteer for KR’s Student Associates program do much of the hard work that keeps the magazine running. On Thursday, April 28, following a reading by poets Terrance Hayes and Yona Harvey to celebrate Kenyon’s Poem in your Pocket Day, KR threw a festive dinner to honor the heroic efforts of the 2011 KR Associates and Interns at the college’s Writers’ House.

Click here to learn more about the KR Associates.

From KRO


If the angels came there would be no kindness they are
after all also without mercy pity they are warriors soldiers
of wing beak and sword griffins of the lord endlessly taking
sides come unto all of this world to do his bidding he has
no interest in rescue how obvious that has become he has
no interest in the seed its vanishing its chance random choice
of fate either ground cradled or ground down in the bird’s
churning belly seed is food is blood is muscle is waiting
to become flesh its own or someone else’s seed is always
fuel in the metabolic fire the apple a womb encounters
her teeth she taught herself to eat god taught her to bleed

Click on a name below to read more recent poetry on KROnline:
Rose McLarney   §   Nicky Beer   §   Daniel Poppick   §   Jennifer Chang

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 BlogDavid Lynn




Great KR Short Fiction Contest Entries

April 17, 2011 —
David Lynn

On Friday I packed up the finalists from the KR Short Fiction Contest and shipped them off to Ron Carlson, this year’s judge. What an amazing set. I’d had the pleasure, along with Sergei Lobanov-Rostovsky, of reading the semi-finalists chosen from many hundred of entries by our editors and Associates.

Sergei and I only compared notes once we’d read them all, and it was striking, reassuring, to discover how much overlap there was in our favorites.

Click here to finish reading this blog post.

From the KR Archive

John BerrymanIn 1945, John Berryman won a previous KR contest for short fiction, cosponsored by Doubleday, Doran & Co. Berryman published two stories in KR that year—the other was “The Lovers”—but he went on to achieve his greatest renown as a poet with the publication of 77 Dream Songs in 1964, which won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry. Still, then as now, it is possible to glimpse the emergence of a major talent in this winning entry to a KR contest for short fiction.

The Kenyon Review, Autumn 1945, Vol. VII, No. 4.

The Imaginary Jew

The second summer of the European War I spent in New York. I lived in a room just below street-level on Lexington above 34th, wrote a good deal, tried not to think about Europe, and listened to music on a small gramophone, the only thing of my own, except books, in the room. Haydn’s London Symphony, his last, I heard probably fifty times in two months. One night when excited I dropped the pickup, creating a series of knocks at the beginning of the last movement where the oboe joins the strings which still, when I hear them, bring up for me my low dark long damp room and I feel the dew of heat and smell the rented upholstery. I was trying as they say to come back a little, uncertain and low after an exhausting year. Why I decided to do this in New York—the enemy in summer equally of soul and body, as I had known for years—I can’t remember; perhaps I didn’t, but was held on merely from week to week by the motive which presently appeared in the form of a young woman met the Christmas before and now the occupation of every evening, not passed in solitary and restless gloom.

Click here to read the rest of this story.


Contents May 2011
Short Fiction Contest
Why We Chose It
Pushcart Prizes
Blog for KR!
Subscription Offer
KRO Genre Index
Stanley Plumly
KR Associates
From KROnline
From the Blog
From the Archives





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