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Kenyon Review
NEWSLETTER | FEBRUARY 2016

Why We Chose It:
Hugh Behm-Steinberg’s Parallax of Birds
BY G. C. WALDREP, EDITOR AT LARGE
Hugh Behm-Steinberg’s poems “Black-Bellied Whistling Ducks” and “Red-Breasted Nuthatches” appear in the Jan/Feb 2016 issue of the Kenyon Review.

A few years ago, Joshua Corey and I were in the thick of editing The Arcadia Project. At some point—I don’t remember exactly when—I recall Josh rolling his eyes and saying, with emphasis, “not another &*%$# bird poem.” The journal Conjunctions had just run a fine bird-themed issue, and it might have been Eric Linsker’s poems that elicited this reaction; I’m no longer quite sure. We did, for the record, include those poems in our anthology, but the fact was that by the end of our editing process, we’d come to think of contemporary American nature poetry (of whatever persuasion) as one part trees, one part birds, and one part . . . everything else. Continue reading “Why We Chose It.”

Alyssa Mazzoli Wins Patricia Grodd Poetry Prize for Young Writers!
Grodd PrizeAlyssa Mazzoli, a sophomore at Fine Arts Center in Greenville, South Carolina, took first place in this year’s Patricia Grodd Poetry Prize for Young Writers presented by the Kenyon Review. Her poem titled “Death Uses a Lot of Laundry Detergent” was selected by KR Editor at Large Natalie Shapero from a pool of nearly 1,000 submissions. Mazzoli will receive a full scholarship to the Young Writers Workshop this summer. Her poem will also appear in the Nov/Dec 2016 issue of the Kenyon Review. Continue reading to learn more about the Grodd prize and read the winning poem.

Leap into KR’s Short Fiction Contest by February 29th
February 29thU.S. presidential elections, Olympic summer games, an extra day to submit your work? Yes, thanks to the quadrennial expansion of the calendar, this year you have an extra day to submit your unpublished short fiction to the Ninth Annual Kenyon Review Short Fiction Contest! Eligible pieces must be no longer than 1,200 words, and 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, with the winning writer receiving a full scholarship to the Kenyon Review Writers Workshop. Entry fee of $20 includes a one-year subscription to KR or extends your existing subscription by a year. Jaimy Gordon, National Book Award-winning author of Lord of Misrule, will be the final judge. Go short and good luck! Click here to learn more about the contest.

Attention Novelists!
February 29thLooking to take your fiction to the next level? Join us this summer from June 25–July 1 for the KR Novel Workshop: 5-1/2 days devoted to making your novel work. Make this the year you transform your draft and map the road to completion! Learn more about the Novel Workshop

Download KR’s New App!
New AppDownload our new mobile app and receive the best writing from around the world on all of your digital devices! KR’s new digital subscription app will deliver to your tablet and/or phone the full edition of our print magazine as well as KROnline, interviews, and podcasts. Print subscribers have full access to app content at no additional cost. New digital subscriptions are $19.99/year. Download the free app in the iTunes store. Android users, navigate to our mobile-friendly site.

New in KR Podcasts
KR PodcastIn this month’s podcast, Jaimy Gordon, National Book Award-winning novelist of Lord of Misrule, talks with KR Fellow Melinda Moustakis about women writing animals in fiction, falling in love with dialogue, grooming racetrack horses, fishing, the ugliness of the human form, and annoying family members by requesting retelling of stories. Download the podcast.

From KROnline: New Micro-Reviews
Janet McAdams introduces KROnline’s newest feature: micro-reviews of richly diverse new poetry collections. In addition to McAdams, reviewers in this series include Joseph Campana, Lynn Domina, Heid E. Erdrich, Honorée Fanonne Jeffers, Dean Rader, and Lesley Wheeler.

[T]he micro-review isn’t merely a shorter or truncated version of a conventional review. While longer reviews have a story to tell about a given text or texts (and the essay reviews that appear in the print KR especially so) micro-reviews share kinship with snapshots. Like a snapshot, they seem to offer a quick glimpse into and of a book but attend to and reveal their subjects’ intricacies.
Read January’s micro-reviews.

Yeats as an Example
BY W.H. AUDEN
Kenyon Review Cover Spring 1948From The Kenyon Review, Spring 1948, Vol. X, No. 2

W.H. Auden’s perspective on Yeats was famously complex and even contradictory, vacillating between admiration and rebuke. In this essay, Auden reflects on what he learned from Yeats, crediting his predecessor with transforming the occasional poem into a serious poetic genre and, even more, with rescuing English lyric from “iambic monotony.”

One drawback, and not the least, of practicing any art is that it becomes very difficult to enjoy the works of one’s fellow artists, living or dead, simply for their own sakes.

When a poet, for instance, reads a poem written by another, he is apt to be less concerned with what the latter actually accomplished by his poem than with the suggestions it throws out upon how he, the reader, may solve the poetic problems which confront him now. His judgments of poetry, therefore, are rarely purely aesthetic; he will often prefer an inferior poem from which he can learn something at the moment to a better poem from which he can learn nothing. Continue reading this essay.

From the KR Blog: Temporary Passings/Possessions: On Hitchcock’s Vertigo and Carlotta Valdes
BY ROSEBUD BEN-ONI
January 17, 2016

Rosebud Ben-Oni . . . And then there’s the case of Carlotta Valdes in Vertigo. Her “character” is particularly problematic because she is both completely necessary and ornamental; she drives the plot forward by both appearing and not appearing. Even her last name, Valdes, once presumably Valdez, tells a much larger tale than the one of patriarchy and greed, or that of a Mexican-American woman trying to pass for white to gain social acceptance; it is a testament to larger racial and historical erasure. Her story has never been her own.
Read the blog post.

A Micro-Conversation with Shasta Grant
Shasta Grant’s story “Most Likely To,” the winner of the 2015 KR Short Fiction Contest, appears in the Jan/Feb 2016 issue of the Kenyon Review.

Roohi ChoudhryWhat was your original impetus for writing “Most Likely To”?

The story was originally one thread of a longer story. There were two time frames: the one in “Most Likely To” and an earlier one when the narrator was in seventh grade. I knew the seventh-grade version of my narrator well but I was struggling to understand her adult-self. I realized that tying the two stories together was holding me back from getting at the tension of her current situation. After I separated them, I was able to develop the story more fully. The earlier time frame ended up being a much longer story, which I’m still working on. Read the rest of the 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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