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Kenyon Review

Why We Chose It
“Icarus Does the Dishes,” by Tommye Blount, appears in the Mar/Apr 2018 KROnline.

It is strange to write from an editorial perspective, which presupposes power, about a peer’s work I so admire, which has within it the indisputable power of true poetry. The understated surfaces of Tommye Blount’s poems belie the living heat that drives them, the clarity of their perceptions, and the quiet disjunctions to their lyric fluidity.
Read the rest of “Why We Chose It.”

The Mar/Apr KR: Ready to Read!
Mar/Apr 2018The Mar/Apr issue of the Kenyon Review is now out, offering poetry, fiction, nonfiction—and drama as well. We’re happy to offer a sneak peek. Click here to check out poems by Terrance Hayes and Tommye Blount, excerpts from a story by Claire Boyles and a play by David Butler, and a review of Frank Bidart’s Half-light: Collected Poems 1965-2016 by KR’s critic at large, Jonathan Farmer. Subscribe or order a print or digital copy today!

An Ideal Idyll: KR Nature Writing Workshop
Nature Writing Workshop“Slip of / bird / with fan / of furious / wings . . .” Cintia Santana’s brilliant poem “Hum” landed in the pages of the Sept/Oct 2017 Kenyon Review, but her evocation of a hummingbird actually took flight the summer before, during KR’s Nature Writing Workshop. We’re accepting applications now for the 2018 workshop—two workshops, actually, one in poetry and one in prose, both running from June 16-23. The experience is ideal, and idyllic: intensive writing (and reading), superb teachers, field work with Kenyon College biologists adding to the sense of immersion and wonder, plus the chance to ramble through the college’s beautiful nature preserve, with its sloping meadows and forest streams. Nature writing is just one in an array of choices offered by the KR Writers Workshops. (See the story below about the full schedule.) Learn more about the Nature Writing Workshop, and apply!

Playwrights Conference Offers a Unique Workshop Experience and Playwriting Community: June 10-16, 2018
Playwrights Conference“Unique” is a big claim, but there’s really nothing quite like the KR Playwrights Conference, where both accomplished and aspiring playwrights hone their art while drawing on the expertise of professional staff from leading theater companies. The Conference is at once an engaging community and a creative retreat. The week-long program includes: intensive writing seminars led by outstanding professors and by the literary managers of three theater companies; optional tutorials; master classes with resident playwrights working on commissioned plays; the chance to hear actors perform works-in-progress by participants; and feedback from experienced directors. The energy flows from classroom to café. The Kenyon College campus—nationally recognized for its beauty—provides an ideal setting for both camaraderie and creative work. “The writers really value the feedback and the community, especially since there are fewer workshops for playwrights than for those who write fiction and poetry,” says Conference Director and Kenyon Playwright-in-Residence Wendy MacLeod. “It’s an amazing opportunity to have access to literary managers and artistic directors from major theaters.” Learn more about the Playwrights Conference and find application materials here.

Apply Now, Before Writing Workshops Fill
Writers WorkshopThere’s still time to apply for one of the KR Writers Workshops, but spaces are beginning to fill, so act soon. Writers at all levels have thrived in these intensive summer workshops, where the participants generate new work (rather than rehash what they’ve already written) in sessions led by inspiring teachers. Outside the classroom, there’s ample time to socialize, relax, explore—and, of course, write—on one of the country’s most beautiful college campuses. Here’s a quick guide to the 2018 workshops:

June 10-16, 2018
Playwrights Conference

June 16-23, 2018
Workshops in Fiction,
Literary Nonfiction, Poetry, and
Nature Writing

July 7-12, 2018
Writers Workshop for Teachers

July 7-14, 2018
Workshops in Fiction,
Hybrid Writing,
Literary Nonfiction,
Spiritual Writing, and

You can find detailed information and application instructions here.

Visit Us at AWP!
AWP 2018AWP is upon us! If you’re coming to the 2018 Association of Writers and Writing Programs Conference in Tampa, Florida (March 8-10), be sure to check out the Kenyon Review booth (number 533), where you can pick up a nice give-away, as well as our panels on translation and book reviewing. Here’s a link that will tell you everything you need to know about KR at AWP.

A Focus on the Art of Translation
Writers, readers, and translators (seasoned or neophyte), take note: this spring and summer, the Kenyon Review is offering a variety of ways to explore the challenging, exhilarating art of translation. At AWP on March 8, KR will host a panel discussion and reading devoted to translation, “Kenyon Review Translates!” Also, one of our summer writing workshops—in the July 7-14 session—is “The Translator’s Voice: A Polyglot Workshop,” designed for aspiring as well as mid-career translators. Finally, check out the KR Podcast in which Editor at Large Andrew Grace speaks with Translations Editor and accomplished translator Katherine Hedeen. In addition to discussing literary translation and the summer workshop, they talk about Cuban poetry as well as the Jan/Feb 2018 issue of the Kenyon Review, which featured a special section on younger Cuban poets. Hedeen helped edit that section, and will co-teach the summer workshop.

Resistance, Change, Survival: Poetry and Prose by Shelley Wong
Shelley WongAuthor of the chapbook “Rare Birds,” Shelley Wong is a Kundiman fellow and the recipient of a Pushcart Prize, a MacDowell Colony fellowship, and a Peter Taylor fellowship from the Kenyon Review Writers Workshop. The “Resistance, Change, Survival” series presents three poems and an essay by Wong.

From “Sightlines”:
I am familiar with occupying liminal spaces. I am Asian American whose life has been shaped by a long familial history of assimilation. I am queer, but as a femme I can pass as straight. In being unseen, I adapt to live. I am not static. This is an old story, the story of women, the story of people of color in the US, of queerness. Read the three poems and the entire essay.

New in KR Podcasts
KR PodcastIn this month’s episode, Andrew Grace talks with Kenyon College Spanish professor and translator Katherine Hedeen about the special section on new Cuban poetry in the Jan/Feb issue of the Kenyon Review, literary translation, and KR’s summer writing workshop: “The Translator’s Voice.” Listen to it!

From KROnline: “A List of Places My Mother Was Old”
Mahreen Sohail

  1. My mother is old at the yogurt shop. The small storefront tucked in between two pharmacies, the inside walls painted white. A boy ladles yogurt into a polyethylene bag, hair parted to the left with clumps of gel.
  2. My mother is old in the car sitting next to me as I drive, my wrists tight and young in front of me, hands on the wheel, wrinkle-free.

Read the story.

From the KR Blog: “Where Writing Takes Us”
February 20, 2018
Laura Maylene WalterI dreamt I was attending a writing residency in a stately, ancient house on a hill. As I walked the grounds to absorb the beauty, I kept thinking, Everyone says writing is so hard and discourages it, but look where it’s taken me. When I woke, I thought of the real places I might never have visited had it not been for my writing. And so I made a list. Read the rest of the blog entry, in which Walter’s list includes “an island of dismembered dolls” and “the echoing insides of an empty grain silo.”

A Micro-Conversation with Legna Rodríguez Iglesias
Legna Rodriguez IglesiasRodríguez Iglesias’s poems, “99, 33, 77, 11,” appear in the Jan/Feb 2018 issue of the Kenyon Review.

How has your writing changed as a consequence of moving to the United States?

It hasn’t changed. I have been quite sure of what I want for a long time, even though sometimes I achieve it and sometimes I don’t. It amazes me how people are amazed that I continue writing after leaving Cuba, and under precarious conditions. My writing is a gesture. I can write in whatever dirty hole. The only thing that changes is the perspective; the eye stays the same. Read the entire 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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