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Kenyon Review

Why We Chose It
When I’ve answered the “Why We Chose It” imperative about reviews on KROnline in the past I’ve focused on the books we’ve chosen to review, and I could go on here about how impressed I’ve been by Pamela Erens’s work, which has been rightly compared to James Salter’s—no minor compliment, that. But it occurred to me: why not consider why we chose the reviewer? The solid literary review of the solid literary novel requires a certain lightness of touch, a certain acuity matched by a certain inherent affinity for the endeavor. Vanessa Blakeslee excels at these things. Read the rest of “Why We Chose It.” Vanessa Blakeslee’s review of Pamela Erens book The Understory appears in the Winter 2015 issue of KROnline.

Twice Blessed? Consider KR’s Art of Text Workshop
Are you drawn in similar measure to the verbal and the visual? If you’re a writer curious to work in more genres, or an artist wishing to deepen your engagement with text, KR’s Art of Text Workshop blends techniques of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, visual arts, and the art of the book to generate new creative content and form. Join us for this innovative adventure, June 27-July 3. Register soon! Enrollment is limited. Read more about the Art of Text Workshop.

Is Your Novel Ready and Waiting for Feedback?
Is your novel complete but not quite ready to send out? The Kenyon Review Novel Workshop offers intensive workshopping of 100 pages of your book with an eye to helping you develop a saleable manuscript. Nancy Zafris and Man Martin will offer editorial advice while consultants from the business side will be on hand to advise. This workshop meets June 26-July 2, 2015. Application deadline is March 15, 2015. Admissions decisions will be made by the end of March. Limited to 12 participants. Read more about the Novel Workshop.

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 workshop nurtures your own inner writer while also providing new classroom practices to help you develop the gifts of your students. This workshop meets June 27-July 2, 2015. Rolling admissions, so apply early! Read more about the Workshop for Teachers.

Learn about our other adult Writers Workshops.

Check out KR’s New Issue!
The Kenyon Review’s Mar/Apr 2015 issue features dazzling new fiction by Lois Bassen, Katherine Robinson, Dominic Russ-Combs, and Rolf Yngve; poems by David Barber, Bruce Beasley, Amanda Calderon, Patricia Clark, Nick Flynn, Jane Hirshfield, Julio Machado, Sarah Mangold, Erika Meitner, Carol Muske-Dukes, and Chūya Nakahara; and nonfiction by Matt Donovan, Randy Fertel, and Matthew Gavin Frank. Grab a print copy today! Or check out our Kindle Edition! Subscribe and get the full KR issue for only .99 cents a month. Or purchase single issues for only $3.99. Subscribe or order the new issue today.

New in KR Podcasts
Ethical issues in book reviewing come to the fore in this month’s podcast, featuring Associate Editor Natalie Shapero interviewing Karen Long. Long, a member of the National Book Critics Circle, is the manager of Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards and former book editor at the Cleveland Plain-Dealer. Download the podcast.

On Posterity
All the traffic that I have in this with the public is, that I borrow their utensils of writing, which are more easy and most at hand; and in recompense shall, peradventure, keep a pound of butter in the market . . .

Finish reading this essay on KROnline.
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.

A Winter-Piece to a Friend Away
From The Kenyon Review, Spring, 1948,
Vol. X, No. 2

Your letter came. — Glutted the earth & cold
With rains long heavy, follows intense frost;
        Snow howls and hides the world
We worked awhile to build; all the roads are lost;
Icy spiculae float, filling strange air;
No voice goes far; one is alone whirling since where,
        And when was it one crossed?
        You have been there.

Continue reading this poem.

On Missing Pieces
January 29, 2015

Sick in bed and unable to sustain concentration from behind a fog, I spend a day rereading Henri Lefebvre’s The Missing Pieces. Lefebvre’s text, translated by David L. Sweet and released by Semiotext(e), lists works of art that have either been lost to time or that were never seen to completion. There are several reasons I find so much pleasure in this particular book. I love lists, as many writers seem to, and Lefebvre is a master at arrangement, suggestion, meter, and winks within the list form. More than that, however, I find a perverse joy in reading of works of art and literature that are no more. Certainly, were I given the love letters of Arthur Rimbaud to Paul Verlaine, miraculously recovered, I would be unable to do anything else until I had read them. This would be thrilling. But there’s another thrill in just naming a project, in refusing its actuality, or maybe refusing the right of the reader to access it. Read the full blog post.

A Micro-Conversation with Chana Bloch
Chana Bloch’s poem “Inside Out” appears in the Jan/Feb 2015 issue of the Kenyon Review.

Could you tell us a little about “Inside Out”? What was your original impetus for writing it? How does it differ from your other work?
I wrote “Inside Out” the day I showed up for a crucial scan and was told, “Come back tomorrow. The scanner is broken.” I sat benumbed at my computer for a couple of hours, parsing the terrible “either/or.” As on other occasions when facing a crisis, I found it was possible—no, essential—“to divert [myself] with words.” When I stopped for lunch, I discovered I had written the first half of the poem. Then, pencil in hand, I walked down Thousand Oaks Boulevard in Berkeley searching for a sign—in the sky, the trees—and the rest of the poem wrote itself. 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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