Take A New Look at KR
This month, we are delighted to present the first issue of a new volume year and with it the boldest revisions of design and frequency in the 75-year trajectory of the Kenyon Review. Even that last “the” has been plucked from its perch in our title. More on that later. But our makeover goes beyond our new look. KR will now appear every two months—six times a year—rather than the quarterly issues of many decades. All of this comes after two years of questions and debate and planning.
Why We Chose It
By Hilary Plum, Book Review Editor
by Noy Holland
Sometimes a magazine digs for its fortune; sometimes you have to get yourself out under that window and serenade. I wrote to Noy Holland a winter or two back to see if she might send a story to the Kenyon Review. “Monocot” is what arrived, two stunning pages, and a new reminder of Holland’s distinctive place in contemporary American literature. I could never mistake a story of hers for anyone else’s; at the same time, I can’t predict what rich work each new piece will undertake. How, for instance, does “Monocot” move so quickly through this family’s history, and still give us the beetle pacing over the screen, the father sipping from the bloom of the lily?
The Kenyon Review Short Fiction Contest opens Feb. 1st
Have a piece of unpublished short fiction of 1,200 words or fewer? Submit to the Eighth Annual Kenyon Review Short Fiction Contest
any day during the month of February. 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 the Kenyon Review Writers Workshop. Entry fee of $18 includes a one-year subscription to KR
or extends your existing subscription by a year. Ann Patchett
, celebrated author of six novels, including Bel Canto
and State of Wonder
, will be the final judge. Go short and good luck!
Summer Is Icumen In!
It’s hard to believe, when January’s icy blasts are upon us, but summer is just around the corner! It’s time to start making your summer plans, including the Kenyon Review’s Summer Workshops, where—whether you’ve been writing for years, have recently graduated from an MFA program, or have just now decided to take the leap out of your private notebooks and into a classroom—you’ll find a productive, supportive, intense workshop in which to accomplish your literary goals. KR’s 2015 Summer Workshops include:
Online applications for all of KR’s Summer Workshops are available now.
New in KR
This month’s podcast features Contributing Editor Andy Grace interviewing the poet, novelist, and critic Sharona Muir
. Muir’s most recent book, Invisible Beasts
, blends fiction and science, experimenting with the idea of a modern-day bestiary. The podcast also includes readings by the winners of the 2014 Short Fiction Contest
, which was judged by novelist and memoirist Katharine Weber.
In Spring 2001, KR produced a special issue in partnership with Stand (U.K.) and the Nobel Museum in Stockholm to celebrate the centenary of the Nobel Prize. Among the treasures offered in that issue were two early poems by Pablo Neruda from Residencia en la Tierra (1925-31), reprinted in this special issue in new translations by Lewis Hyde.
The Kenyon Review, New Series, Spring 2001, Vol. XXIII, No. 2
by Pablo Neruda
Like ashes, like seas breeding into themselves,
in the sunken slowness, in the formless,
or the way one hears from high up on the roads
the strokes of a bell crossing in a cross,
having that sound already separate from the metal,
confused, acting heavy, working itself to dust
in the same grinding place of forms so far away,
or remembered or not seen,
and the aroma of the plums that rolling to the ground
are rotting in time, infinitely green.
Magic in the World
by Aaron Krol
We all agreed the merciful thing was to kill it.
Larvae growing out of its back like spines
and its head craning round to see what had become
of its body, what it had been replaced with.
I was the oldest, but it was Stephen I made
When Goethe Met Napoleon
During Napoleon’s 1808 campaign in Germany, he visited his favorite author, Goethe. The two giants of the age met twice, once at Weimar and once at Erfurt. Andrew Roberts’s new biography, Napoleon, devotes a paragraph or two to this meeting; the biography is a very complimentary take on Napoleon, so Roberts is naturally very eager to quote Goethe’s highly favorable impression of how well the French Emperor could hold a literary conversation. Napoleon himself wrote Romantic novels as a young man; incidentally, so did Saddam Hussein.
A Micro-Interview with Amy Victoria Blakemore
Amy Victoria Blakemore’s winning story from the 2014 KR Short Fiction Contest, “Previously, Sparrows” appeared in the Fall 2014 issue of The Kenyon Review
and can be found here
Could you tell us a little about “Previously, Sparrows”? What was the hardest part about writing it?
The first draft of “Previously, Sparrows” was a poem. I had been exploring the phenomenon of falling in love with the idea of a person, with the hope of who they might become. The trend haunts me: for when we talk about love, do we really mean love, or do we mean creation myth? Either way, the poem never felt complete because I needed the form of a story to explore the act of story making.