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Kenyon Review Newsletter - February 2014

Michaela Jenkins Wins Patricia Grodd Poetry Prize
for Young Writers!
The Patricia Grodd Poetry PrizeMichaela Jenkins, a junior at the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities in Greenville, South Carolina, took first place in this year’s Patricia Grodd Poetry Prize for Young Writers presented by The Kenyon Review. Jenkins’s poem “Indigo Sister” was selected by KR Poetry Editor David Baker from more than 1,000 submissions. She will receive a full scholarship to the Young Writers Workshop this summer. Her poem will also appear in the Fall 2014 issue of The Kenyon Review.

Enter KR’s Short Fiction Contest through March 1st
Short Fiction ContestHave a piece of unpublished short fiction of 1,200 words or fewer? Submit to the Seventh Annual Kenyon Review Short Fiction Contest any day through March 1st. The contest is open to writers who have not published a book of fiction. The winning story and two runners-up will be published in The Kenyon Review, and the winning writer will receive a full scholarship to a Kenyon Review Writers Workshop. Entry fee of $18 includes a one-year subscription to KR or extends your existing subscription by a year. Katharine Weber, the Richard L. Thomas Chair in Creative Writing at Kenyon College and author of five critically-acclaimed novels, including Triangle and True Confections, will be the final judge. Go short and good luck!

Join KR at AWP 2014

Is your novel ready and waiting for feedback?
KR Novel WorkshopIs your novel complete but not quite ready to send out? The KR Novel Workshop offers intensive workshopping of 100 pages of your book with an eye to helping you develop a saleable manuscript. Nancy Zafris, Man Martin, and Karin Lin-Greenberg will offer editorial advice while consultants from the business side will be on hand to advise. This workshop meets June 27-July 3, 2014. Application deadline is March 15, 2014. Admissions decisions will be made by the end of March. Limited to 12 participants.

High school teachers, come recharge your
creative writing battery!
The Writers Workshop for Teachers benefits you and your students. Part inspiration, part professional development, this five-day intensive nurtures your own inner writer while also providing new classroom practices to help you develop the gifts of your students. This workshop meets June 28-July 3, 2014. Admissions is rolling, so it helps to apply early!

Apply to Young Writers - Deadline is March 1st

Why We Chose It

Why We Chose it
By Kascha Semonovitch, Book Review Editor

Kascha SemonovitchOn Traci Brimhall’s Our Lady of the Ruins, reviewed by Maya Catherine Popa

In her engaging review, Maya Popa gives a detailed picture of the premise and plot of Traci Brimhall’s recent book of poems, Our Lady of the Ruins: it is the end of the world and a select few know it. These select few are women, and they are still in the process of cleaning up after the apocalypse.

Why the apocalypse? Why has Brimhall written about it? Why has Popa selected a book that struggles with that odd theme?

From the KR Archives
Herbert Read
An original Kenyon Review Credo

The Kenyon Review, Autumn 1950, Vol. XII, No. 4

The Critic as Man of Feeling
by Herbert Read
At the basis is pathos. Sympathy and empathy—feeling with and feeling into: these are the essential psycho-physical processes without which all criticism is null and dull. It follows from this that there are no immutable canons of criticism, no perfect critics. Criticism is good and sane when there is a meeting of intention and appreciation. There is then an act of recognition, and any worthwhile criticism begins with that reaction.

Suzen Rita ChangFrom KRO
by Suzen Rita Chang
I didn’t come here on a boat. I didn’t get smuggled here like some exotic bird with my limbs folded and shriveled in the hold of a cargo ship. When I was eighteen, I bought a plane ticket with money I’d been saving since I was twelve, made up a story about visiting relatives in Los Angeles, got off the plane at LAX, and never used the return trip. I found a job washing dishes in a Chinatown restaurant and moved in with a few girls like me. One of them died five months later of “accidental poisoning” when she mistook the drain cleaner for the mouthwash, or at least that’s what the coroner said. What I wanted to know was why she’d felt she would find the mouthwash under the sink instead of in the medicine cabinet and why she’d then gone ahead and swallowed it, but some explanations were more comfortable than others, so the girls who knew her grieved for her accidental poisoning and moved on.
Click here to finish reading this story.
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 BlogBrian Michael Murphy
Amiri Baraka’s Dope
January 22, 2014 — Brian Michael Murphy
Though I knew a few things about spoken word by the end of my first year of college, nothing had prepared me to hear a recording of Amiri Baraka’s “Dope.” I had been reading regularly at an open mic that helped birth the Columbus spoken word scene—Snaps-n-Taps—a tiny place full of mostly black people, a positive, welcoming place, bursting with every cliché you’ve seen in films like Love Jones and at actual poetry slams. But Snaps-n-Taps also delivered moments of astonishment, when future spoken word giants like Ed Mabrey and Scott Woods took the stage, and gave me, a thoroughly Midwestern kid, the sense that significant artistic achievement could come from cities other than New York, Los Angeles, and other fabled places.

A Micro-Interview with David J. Daniels
KR ConversationsDavid J. Daniels’s poem “This is the Pink” can be found in the Winter 2014 issue of The Kenyon Review.

David J. DanielsIs there a story behind your KR poem “This is the Pink”? What was the hardest part about writing it?

The story behind “This Is the Pink” is fairly frank: I was mugged with a beautiful woman I fell in love with for the wrong reasons, I cruised public bathrooms for other kinds of intimacy on the side, we finally broke up, and decades later, Katrina happened. This was a hard poem to write, not just for its subject matter (which is, I suppose, the matter of catastrophe, at both a personal and national level) but also for its vagrant use of outside sources. One challenge was how to modulate tone when I stole from so many voices, among them James Baldwin, Gwendolyn Brooks, and Adrienne Rich, actual CNN footage, a racist bartender, the queer theorists Lauren Berlant and Michael Warner, and of course, The Old Testament.

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Winter 2014
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