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Kenyon Review
NEWSLETTER | APRIL 2016

Why We Chose It: “Homage to Phillis Wheatley” by Kevin Young
BY NATALIE SHAPERO, EDITOR AT LARGE
One aphorism that has always struck me as particularly unfortunate is history is written by the victors. I take the point, but the word “victors” seems to imply some semblance of fair fight, and we exist in a universe where fair fights are few and far between. Perhaps a preferable phrasing would be history is written by the oppressors. The plunderers. The violators. The slave-holders.

In the current issue of KR, you’ll find a suite of poems by renowned poet and essayist Kevin Young, grouped under the title “Homage to Phillis Wheatley.” This heading is at once apt and wholly insufficient. Continue reading “Why We Chose It.”

Join Us for a Special Reading in New York on April 15!
Strand BookstoreGive yourself a gift on tax day! The Writers Studio will honor KR with a reading at the Strand Book Store, on April 15 at 7 p.m., featuring novelists Lily Tuck, Laura van den Berg, and Daniel Torday, and poets Meghan O’Rourke, Kimiko Hahn, and Kenyon Review Poetry Editor David Baker. Buy a $15 Strand gift card at the main floor registers or at the door to attend this event. Find more information about the reading here.

KR Sponsors National Poetry Month! Celebrate With Us on April 28
National Poetry MonthWe’ve made it official! KR is now a sponsor of the Academy of American Poets’ National Poetry Month. In Gambier on April 28, we’ll celebrate Poem in Your Pocket Day to culminate the monthlong observance. Kenyon Review Student Associates drape the trees and dot campus buildings with poems ripe for the reading, Kenyon denizens recite poems to each other throughout the day, and the associates’ 1939 Press plays a featured role. Join us if you’re in the Gambier area for readings by poets Adam Clay, Richie Hofmann, Marcus Jackson, and Natalie Shapero. Read about National Poetry Month.

Do You Know a Teacher?
Pass a note to your favorite teacher! The Kenyon Review Writers Workshop for Teachers. Enjoy five glorious days of writing—June 29–July 3, 2016.
Intensive. Refreshing. Inspiring. Stories and poems and essays—and not a jot of grading! Professional growth as well. This workshop offers .25 credit hours and gives you brilliant ideas for classroom lessons. Apply now! Read more about the Workshop for Teachers.

Twice Blessed? Consider KR’s Art of Text Workshop
Are you drawn in similar measure to the verbal and the visual? If you’re a writer curious to work in more genres, or an artist wishing to deepen your engagement with text, KR’s Art of Text Workshop blends techniques of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, visual arts, and the art of the book to generate new creative content and form. No particular background is required, just an openness to generating new work and taking risks with text and materiality. Some past participants have held MFA’s in poetry, fiction, nonfiction, book arts, digital arts, or theater, and some have worked in fields from graphic design to library science to literature, and more. The workshop is held in Kenyon’s gorgeous new studio art building, and all materials are provided. Join us for this innovative adventure, June 25–July 1. Register soon! Enrollment is limited. Read more about the Art of Text Workshop.

Playwrights: An Intensive for You at the Kenyon Institute June 12–18
Our colleagues at the Kenyon Institute invite you to the Kenyon Playwrights Conference, a remarkable international playwriting workshop presented with their partners Atlantic Theatre, Woolly Mammoth Theatre, and the UK’s Royal Exchange Theatre. You’ll write every day guided by our partners’ top literary managers and watch the development of commissioned work by three award-winning playwrights. Master classes and readings of your work round out the week. Read more about the conference here; there’s still time to register here before the May 16 deadline.

New in KR Podcasts
KR PodcastDanielle Evans, author of the prize-winning short story collection Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self, talks with KR Fellow Melinda Moustakis about road trip stories, the importance of plot, reading poetry as a daily exercise, and why poetry shouldn’t be used as pick-up lines. Listen here.

From KROnline: Saudade
BY JIM WHITESIDE
Ethan ChatagnierWhat is destined to burn, burns.
The rest stays solid, unmoving. The last

time he closed the door between us, the latch
rang, and I sensed for the first time myself

in relation to the room around me:
dust in the air illuminated, our favorite

record still on the turntable, diamond-tip needle
suspended, playing the room’s silence. What’s

destined to burn, burns. Dug further,
the well once more gives water.

Read the twin poems.

On Sitting Down to Read Shakespeare Once Again
BY THEODORE B. LEINWAND
Kenyon Review Cover Spring 2002From The Kenyon Review, New Series, Spring 2002, Vol. XXIV, No. 2

Here at KR we have special reason to honor an “upstart Crow.” Just in time for the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death on April 23, we offer an essay probing the pleasures and anxieties of reading Shakespeare for students, teachers, and especially John Keats, whose imaginative re-readings generated some of his best-loved poems.

Of course, many of us do not sit down to read Shakespeare. When recently I talked with students in two discussion sections that meet after Shakespeare lectures, I found that at least half of them read Shakespeare lying down in bed or stretched out on a couch. Some say that their bedroom or the bed in their dormitory room is the only place that offers the sort of quiet, more than that, the repose, that reading Shakespeare seems to require. Continue reading this essay.

From the KR Blog: On Poverty
BY ALISON STINE
February 29, 2016

Alison StineIn the wake of Claire Vaye Watkins’s “On Pandering,” there were many responses; notably, critiques of the essay’s failure to address the author’s white privilege. But no one addressed class privilege in the essay, which begins with a slam on rural Pennsylvania, a poor place Watkins says smells like pigshit, and which she described “to faraway friends [as] murdersome.” . . . I live there. Read the blog post.

A Micro-Conversation with Katherine Karlin
Katherine Karlin’s story “Nearly Everybody Reads the Bulletin” appeared in the Mar/Apr 2016 issue of the Kenyon Review.

Katherine KarlinWhat was your original impetus for writing “Nearly Everybody Reads the Bulletin”?

I am interested in writing about friendships, which can rupture as violently as romantic love. I wondered what would happen to a woman who, in middle age, gets tossed aside for another woman—not by a husband, but by a close friend. Like a divorcée, she would be forced to recalibrate what is left of her future. But she might have a tougher time exciting sympathy, explaining the depth of her pain. It struck me as a tragic situation. Read the full interview.

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The Kenyon Review is supported in part by generous grants from the Ohio Arts Council,
the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Smart Family Foundation.
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