Heather Monley Wins 2013 KR Short Fiction Contest
, of Brooklyn, New York, has won the sixth annual Kenyon Review Short Fiction Contest. Monley’s story, “Town of Birds,” was selected by judge Katharine Weber
from over 1,800 entries, and will be published in the Winter 2014 issue of The Kenyon Review
. Monley will also receive a scholarship to attend the 2013 KR Writers Workshop.
Why We Chose It
By David Lynn, Editor
I had never read work by Aisha Gawad before, but when I came across this passage early in her story “Waking Luna,” [now in KR, Spring 2013], I found myself captivated:
“I have driven here in Baba’s old Tercel all the way from Bay Ridge—that sliver of South Brooklyn that smells of lamb on a spit for blocks. I am eating hot grape leaves from a Styrofoam container when she calls—Come get me, she says, not a command, not a plea, just a statement of fact. It is a Friday afternoon and both our mothers are at the masjid for Jumaa prayers like the good Muslim women they raised us to be. I find my father smoking rose water shisha on a sidewalk corner with all two of the other Arab atheists. I tell him I am going to the library. He hands me the car keys.”
Kayla Glazer Receives S. Georgia Nugent Award in Creative Writing
Kayla Glazer, a graduating senior at Thetford Academy in Thetford, Vermont, has been named the recipient of the S. Georgia Nugent Award in Creative Writing, a merit scholarship named in honor of the Kenyon president and designed to attract the most talented writing students to the College.
Robert Lowell on Randall Jarrell
“When I first met Randall, he was twenty-three or four, and upsettingly brilliant, precocious, knowing, naive, and vexing. . . . In 1937, we both roomed at the house of John Crowe Ransom in Gambier, Ohio. Ransom and Jarrell had each separately spent the preceding summer studying Shakespeare’s Sonnets, and had emerged with unorthodox and widely differing theories. . . . I can see and hear Ransom and Jarrell now, seated on one sofa, as though on one love-seat, the sacred texts open on their laps, one fifty, the other just out of college, and each expounding to the other’s deaf ears his own inspired and irreconcilable interpretation.”
—Robert Lowell, The New York Review of Books, November 25, 1965
The Kenyon Review, Spring 1951, Vol. XIII, No. 2
All Or None
by Randall Jarrell
Each year, just as the blossoms
Fall, and the buds curl from the boughs,
I hear from the sky a wondering voice:
The brass bird that drowses
All year on the turning house
Has felt in his veins, once more, a green
Start: a shudder of awe
Runs through him—the new life
That comes, in the spring, to everything but our lives.
Wasteland, Wasteland, Wasteland
by Claire Vaye Watkins
The binder does not say “mole men.” The mole men are a rumor, a legend. So the old, empinkened blind man with the puckered skin and long, translucent, prehensile whiskers we found in the desert near the Repository is not a mole man.
The binder, given to us ages ago by a gentleman representing the U.S. Department of Energy, says the Nuclear Waste Repository at Yucca Mountain, just up the road from our tiny gamblers’ settlement in the Nevada desert, is unmanned.
What Sort of Questions ‘Should’ You Ask at a Literary Event?
A week or so ago, I was sitting on a couch in Abu Dhabi, interviewing the Syrian novelist Nihad Sirees.
We spoke for several hours: about our shared love of Egypt, about the difference between scriptwriting vs. novel-writing, about his three-year-old granddaughter, about the nature of memory, about the current state of literature in Syria. Relatively early in the interview, during a part where my recorder was switched on, we began to talk about Syria. Suddenly, he stopped.
No, no, no, Sirees told me. He had answered enough questions about politics while he was at Brown University (2012-2013). He and I were supposed to talk about literature.
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