In Memoriam: E. L. Doctorow
We were deeply saddened to learn of the death of E. L. Doctorow on July 21st. A longtime contributor, long-serving advisor, and loyal friend to KR
, Doctorow was also the inaugural recipient of the Kenyon Review Award for Literary Achievement in recognition of his tremendous influence on the world of letters, not least his reimagining of the genre of historical fiction. We will miss him profoundly. Read editor David Lynn’s valedictory to E. L. Doctorow.
Why We Chose It
BY DAVID LYNN, EDITOR
Erin McGraw’s story “Management” appears in the Summer 2015 issue of KROnline.
Right out of the gate the voice is sure and angry and trapped:
Teenagers twine around each other and complain to me about the lame music. Do they think I can do anything about it? “Manager” isn’t the same thing as “Management” at Dogs ’N More. I’m the hinge on a greasy door that lets in frantic moms who can’t control their kids, horny teenagers feeling each other up, sullen cashiers who figure they’re too good for a hot-dog shack. You come to Dogs ’N More, you get what’s coming to you.
This is the opening of “Management” by Erin McGraw in KROnline. I’m fully engaged from the start, which is the holy grail of all openings: grab your readers and don’t let them go, don’t let them breathe. Continue reading “Why We Chose It.”
Meet Our New Associate Editor
Though she has a new place on our masthead, Kirsten Reach
is already known to many in the KR
community as a former Kenyon Review associate and intern extraordinaire, Young Writers resident advisor, and one of the earliest contributors to the KR blog. We are lucky to snag her back from her successful ten-year sojourn in the New York publishing world, most recently as an editor at Melville House Publishing. As we welcome Kirsten, we say an affectionate farewell to her phenomenal predecessor, Natalie Shapero
. Natalie joined KR
in 2013 as an inaugural KR Fellow and during the past year has served as associate editor. Among numerous valued contributions in that role, she has hosted visiting writers, invigorated the podcast program, and enlivened the KR blog and other social media, all while winning an NEA fellowship for her poetry. She leaves us to join the faculty of Tufts University. Our very best wishes go with you to Medford, Natalie!
To Envy a 16-Year-Old: Kenyon Review Young Writers Workshop 2015
BY MEERA WHITE ’18, YOUNG WRITERS RESIDENT ADVISOR
It’s 1:30 p.m., I’m 19 years old, I’ve just completed my first year of college, and I’m sitting in a circle of cramped, wooden desks. It’s summer and the sun drifts lazily through the windows. This is my former 200-level history classroom, but for now the walls are covered with poster paper. Bright Crayola markers have diagrammed story arcs, written archaic poetry references, and listed nostalgic childhood items. And while the classroom is strange, it’s the students that are stranger. They’re 16- and 17-year olds. Wide-eyed, jittery, and fresh. Continue reading this recap of Young Writers 2015.
Awards for KR’s new design
If you’ve been enjoying the new look of our magazine, you’re in good company. We’re pleased to announce that KR
has been honored with not one but two Awards of Excellence in this year’s University and College Designers Association (UCDA) annual competition, one for cover design and another for our 75th anniversary poster (click on the image above to see full detail). Kudos to Landesberg Design Associates
for outstanding work on the magazine redesign and other design projects. Huzzah!
Meant to get a copy of our award-winning poster? We still have a few left for the discounted price of $19.95. The poster features an excerpt from Eavan Boland’s poem “To Memory” (KR 2007) and art by Elvis Swift. Visit our store to order.
How Does Two Years to Write, Read, and Teach Sound? Apply For a KR Fellowship!
On August 15, the Kenyon Review
will begin accepting applications for its KR Fellowships
. These two-year post-graduate positions are intended for creative writers who have already completed the MFA or PhD degree and are seeking time to develop as writers, teachers, and editors. Two fellows, a poet and a prose writer, will arrive in Gambier, Ohio in August 2016. Applications will be accepted through September 15, 2015. Learn more about applying for a fellowship.
The Poetics of Science: Call for Submissions
How does science inspire the literary imagination? Can science writing be literary? The Kenyon Review
is seeking poetry, fiction, essays, and drama that respond to issues in science, ecology, or the environment for a special issue to be published in September 2016. Feeling inspired? KR
is now accepting submissions
for this special issue. Read more about the call for submissions here.
New in KR Podcasts
Is memoir the most difficult genre to write well? In our latest podcast episode, Rebecca McClanahan
tells contributing editor Andy Grace why she thinks so. She also speaks of her longstanding debate with editor David Lynn about the fundamental differences between fiction and nonfiction. McClanahan is the author of many collections of poetry, nonfiction, fiction, and writing instruction, including Word Painting
and Write Your Heart Out
. Download the podcast.
From KROnline: Summer Nights, 2006
BY JAYANTA MAHAPATRA
These are more like doors
that open with a strange slowness;
they turn outward like my palms,
shadows spread out on night’s walls.
The uprooted mango tree in our yard
is never in doubt
my love is returned.
It doesn’t evade the passing bird;
but today I will speak to no one.
Continue reading this poem on KROnline.
All the Time in the World
BY E. L. DOCTOROW
As we mourn the passing of E. L. Doctorow, we must also take joy in remembering the pleasures he gave to readers everywhere and to
KR readers in particular: his mastery of voice, his rhythmic sentences, the reach and audacity of his imagination, the liberties he took and the liberty he celebrated. We invite you to read (or re-read) “All the Time in the World,” published in 2009 in the
Kenyon Review, both to remember how much he gave us and to feel how much we have lost.
From The Kenyon Review, New Series, Winter, 2009, Vol. XXXI, No. 1
What I’ve noticed: how fast they put up these buildings. Cart away the rubble, square off the excavation, lay in the steel, and up she goes. Concrete floor slabs and, at night, work lamps hanging like stars. After a flag tops things off as if they were all sailing somewhere, they load in the elevator, do the wiring, the plumbing, they tack on the granite facing and set in the windows through which you see they’ve walled in the apartments, and before you know it there’s a canopy to the curb, a doorman, and upstairs just across the street from my window, a fully furnished bedroom and a naked girl dancing.
Continue reading this story.
From the KR Blog: Poetry and Play (Part I)
BY DORA MALECH
July 20, 2015
For me, poetry and play have always felt inextricably linked, both personally in terms of poetic process and pleasure, and more publicly in terms of pedagogy. When I was working toward my MFA degree, a professor, in meeting with me about my poems, accused me of “just trying to crack myself up.” He was right. I was trying to crack myself up, sometimes. And break my own heart. And find some solace. And figure a few things out through language. In other words, I was playing. Read the rest of this blog post.
A Micro-Conversation with William Stobb
’s poem “What Is Happening?
” appears in the July/Aug 2015 issue of the Kenyon Review
What was your original impetus for writing “What Is Happening”? Did you begin with a line or phrase? With an image? With the poem’s overarching animating impulse?
Years ago, I had this great photo of a storm spiral over Antarctica. It was a full-page photo I ripped out of a magazine, probably a National Geographic, and which I eventually lost somewhere. But I think of it every once in a while—fairly regularly, actually. I’m interested in the random images, ideas, song snippets, phrases, etc. that consciousness throws back at me. What are they for? Why do I remember these things? Read the rest of the interview.