Why We Chose it
By Caitlin Horrocks, Fiction Editor
On Chris Drangle’s “Kink”
Risk is important to me as a writer, reader, and editor. I love stories that take a premise or style that seems unlikely to succeed, whose first paragraphs risk a raised eyebrow or groan, and whose last paragraphs are then all that much sweeter a triumph. Basically, I love being proved wrong. “Kink,” by Chris Drangle, which appeared this past August in the Kenyon Review Online, proved me very, very wrong.
The eleventh annual Patricia Grodd Poetry Prize for Young Writers
is accepting entries now through November 30th. The prize, which is open to high school sophomores and juniors throughout the world, is juried by David Baker, KR
’s poetry editor. Enjoy reading last year’s prize-winning poem:
by Ian Burnette
On Friday morning
I drive Aunt Alé to her job
where she decorates cakes
for little more than the cab fare
it takes to get there.
. . .
Happy Birthday, Weekend Reads!
This month marks the first anniversary of Weekend Reads
, the feature that delivers exciting fiction, poetry, and essays to your inbox every Friday. In the past year Weekend Reads has brought us gems by Amitav Ghosh, Honorée Fanonne Jeffers, Gabriel García Márquez, Mary Szybist, Sejal Shah, Alex Epstein, Seamus Heaney, and many more. Not getting Weekend Reads? It’s free and easy to sign up.
New KR Podcasts Available Soon
Thanks to everyone who answered our audio content survey from last month! We’re pleased to announce a new development in our audio offerings: downloadable podcasts for listening in the car, at the gym, or while doing the dishes! Our first podcast will feature Austin Smith
reading his story “Cicadas”
from the fabulous Fall 2013 issue of The Kenyon Review
. Watch for an email with the link to the podcast in mid-November.
Save the Date for KR’s Adult Writing Workshops!
At the beginning of December, our Web site will be updated with all the Summer 2014 workshop information. For now, please mark your calendar for the workshops that interest you most!
June 14-21, 2014: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry,
Literary Hybrid/Book Arts, and New Media
June 28-July 3, 2014: Novel Writing and Writing for Teachers
The Kenyon Review, New Series, Winter 1990, Vol. XII, No. 1
Roman Fall: In Memoriam
by Edward Hirsch
I remember the bells of Santa Maria Maggiore
ringing on a crisp November morning
Under an undiminished blue sky
that seemed to go on forever
Over the purple hills rising in the distance.
And I remember the rich unquarried blues
of the Janiculum at twilight,
The sky veined and chipped like marble,
The wind dipping
and soaring on transparent wings.
Explaining the Sublime
by Cynthia Arrieu-King
She says yes trillium is like morning glories but with three long leaves,
much better colors. Not so biological, I say. She
pictures rolling hills, crocuses, and apple blossoms
swooning, perfumed. I say, no your brain is parsing that beauty,
more like huge mountains or vistas of the sea
or featureless they’re terrifying.
Fear of the unknown, all that water making you feel small.
But how can a waterfall make you afraid? she asks.
This year, the Kenyon Review Literary Festival will honor the work of the distinguished poet Carl Phillips. In anticipation of Phillips’s visit to our campus this November, many of us here at Kenyon and in the surrounding community are reading and discussing his book Double Shadow
, as well as the chapbook “Radiance Versus Ordinary Light.” Whether you’re local to Gambier or a world away, you can be a part of this celebration of Phillips’s work. During the month of October, we featured posts on our blog that delved into Double Shadow
and “Radiance Versus Ordinary Light”; we invite you to read through the posts
and offer your own responses in the comments sections.
In “Almost Tenderly,” Imagining the “It”
In the Carl Phillips poem “Almost Tenderly,” included in his Double Shadow
and also Kenyon’s “Radiance Versus Ordinary Light: Selected Poems by Carl Phillips,” a scene unfolds inside an “It.” The “It” is some sort of container
. The container may be physical or purely metaphorical, but it has “heft.” The nouns that it or its heft is compared to (syntactically, the distinction is hard to make) connote both protection (armor, breastplate, shield) and revelation (the shield is on hinges). Alas, the container “swung apart / like a door,” revealing “the sea / and on the shore, a man: stripped; beaten.”
A Micro-Interview with Brian Teare
Brian Teare’s poem “Clear Water Renga” can be found in the Fall 2013 issue of The Kenyon Review
Is there a story behind your KR poem “Clear Water Renga”? What was the hardest part about writing it?
A lot of stories meet in “Clear Water Renga.” Some of these stories are public—the 2007 Cosco-Busan spill in San Francisco Bay, the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico—some of them are private—my own response to these and other environmental disasters—and some of them are still to be told—such as whether herring will return to spawn in certain parts of San Francisco Bay, and what the long-term effects of toxic dispersants on both human and marine life will be. There’s also the story “behind” the poem: years ago the poet Brenda Hillman gave me an assignment to write about dark matter. Of course I thought: oil. In recent years it has fueled some of our most destructive actions. But nothing came of the thought until the Cosco-Busan spill.
The hardest part of writing the poem: all of it. It took five years.