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Kenyon Review
NEWSLETTER | JANUARY 2016

Why We Chose Them
BY DAVID LYNN, EDITOR
Announcing the 2016-18 Kenyon Review Fellows: Jaquira Díaz and Margaree Little

Jaquira Diaz and Molly LittleThis monthly column usually offers editors’ thoughts on why we originally fell in love with—and ultimately published in the Kenyon Review or KROnline—a particular story or poem or essay. It’s become one of our most popular features. Readers and, especially, other writers really want a glimpse into what works, what grabs an editor by the throat and won’t let go.

This month, however, I’m delighted to share a different critical challenge: how and why we fell in love, so to speak, with two remarkable younger writers and ultimately awarded them KR Fellowships. Once again this past autumn we received several hundred applications, and the sheer literary quality of the writing samples was stronger than ever. So how do we decide? Who are we looking for? Continue reading “Why We Chose Them.”

Resolve to Give Your Writing a Creative Vacation This Summer!
FEATURING AN INNOVATIVE NEW PROGRAM IN NATURE WRITING
The year may still be new but, trust us, summer is just around the corner. It’s time to start making your plans, including the Kenyon Review Summer Workshops. 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 2016 Adult Summer Workshops include:

June 18-25, 2016
Fiction Workshop
Literary Nonfiction Workshop
Poetry Workshop

June 25-July 1, 2016
Novel Workshop
The Art of Text

June 25-July 2, 2016
NEW! Nature Writing Workshop

June 29-July 3, 2016
Writers Workshop for Teachers

The Kenyon Review Short Fiction Contest opens February 1st
You can submit an unpublished fiction piece of 1,200 words or fewer to the Eighth Annual Kenyon Review Short Fiction Contest any day during the month of February!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 $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.

Jan/Feb issue now out!
Jan/Feb 2016Relish our roster of winter reading in the latest issue of the Kenyon Review. Inside you’ll find the winners of the 2015 Short Fiction Prize; a special section on “Poets Regarding Pain” featuring new poems by Bob Hicok, Shara McCallum, and Solmaz Sharif; brilliant fiction from Roger Rosenblatt, Rachel Pastan, Leslie Blanco, and more; dazzling poetry from Phillip B. Williams, Hugh Behm-Steinberg, Katie Willingham, and more; and provocative nonfiction by Dorothy Gallagher, Kenneth McClane and Jonathan Farmer. Subscribe or order the new issue today!

From KROnline: The Devil’s New Red Axe
BY DAVID RUTSCHMAN
David RutschmanOne day the devil appeared to a simple woodcutter and offered him a new red axe. The woodcutter, dazzled, accepted the axe, which was lighter and sharper than any he had ever seen. That morning, he chopped and stacked over a week’s worth of wood; that afternoon he chopped and stacked even more.
Continue reading this story on KROnline.

The Colossus
BY SYLVIA PLATH
Kenyon Review Cover Fall 1960From The Kenyon Review, Fall 1960, Vol. XXII, No. 4

When KR brought “The Colossus”—one of a pair of Sylvia Plath’s poems—to the attention of the world in 1960, readers may have had an inkling that Plath would one day be regarded as a colossus herself among twentieth-century poets. We find that every encounter with this poem, its fame and familiarity notwithstanding, has the power to make it strangely new again.

I shall never get you put together entirely,
Pieced, glued, and properly jointed.
Mule-bray, pig-grunt and bawdy cackles
Proceed from your great lips.
It’s worse than a barnyard.

Continue reading this poem.

From the KR Blog: An End In Itself
BY DORA MALECH
December 27, 2015

Dora MalechI’ve been thinking about failure ever since I wrote about it in the context of the life and work of Delmore Schwartz. I’m far from the only one to turn failure on its head these days—in fact, it’s become almost a cliché to embrace failure; read Ned Beauman’s piece that appeared a few years ago in The New Inquiry for a hilarious take on the business and self-help world’s commodification of Samuel Beckett’s dictum to “fail better” (“Fail Worse”).
Read the rest of this blog post.

A Micro-Conversation with Roohi Choudhry
Roohi Choudhry’s story “This is What We Could Have Been,” appeared in the Nov/Dec 2015 issue of the Kenyon Review

Roohi ChoudhryWhat was your original impetus for writing “This Is What We Could Have Been”? Was it inspired by a specific current event?

I tried hard to think of ways to sidestep this question because the truth is going to sound so hokey and maudlin: I dreamed this story. There, I’ve said it. Serious writers aren’t even supposed to write their character’s dreams, let alone their own. I was terribly afraid of writing this one, worrying it would turn out to be overly dramatic or sentimental.
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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