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Kenyon Review
NEWSLETTER | NOVEMBER 2015

Why We Chose It
BY SERGEI LOBANOV-ROSTOVSKY, ASSOCIATE EDITOR
Jaquira Díaz’s essay “Ordinary Girls” appears in the Nov/Dec 2015 issue of the Kenyon Review

Jaquira DiazGreat writing is like diving: anybody can get from the platform to the pool—or the pavement—but some, with grace and sweat and just a bit of swag, can make that brief passage through the air angelic in its beauty and terror. “We started talking about dying long before the first woman jumped,” writes Jaquira Díaz in her essay “Ordinary Girls” in the new issue of KR. As an opening sentence, that’s like getting a good bounce off the board. We sense that there’s nothing but air below her, but it’s also clear she’ll work some magic on the way down. Continue reading “Why We Chose It.”

Submit to the Patricia Grodd Poetry Prize for Young Writers
Grodd PrizeThe thirteenth annual Patricia Grodd Poetry Prize for Young Writers is accepting entries now through November 30. The prize is open to high school sophomores and juniors throughout the world. Click here to read how Editor at Large Natalie Shapero selected the winners for last year’s contest. Learn more about the contest or submit a poem.

KR’s New App Launching in January 2016!
New AppThis January, we’re excited to make some of the very best writing from around the world available to our subscribers on all of their digital devices. KR’s new digital subscription app will extend beyond the print edition of our magazine to include KROnline, interviews, and podcasts. Subscribers will also be able to share stories and poems via email, Facebook, and Twitter. More information will be arriving in your inbox soon!

Former Amazon Kindle digital subscribers—make sure you don’t miss a single issue! Click here for more information or contact us at kenyonreview@kenyon.edu.

Nov/Dec issue now out!
Nov/Dec 2015Enjoy a cornucopia of delicious reading in the latest issue of the Kenyon Review. Inside you’ll discover a special section on “Walking with Poets” introduced by Poetry Editor David Baker and featuring exciting new poems by Cole Swensen, Stanley Plumly, and more; brilliant fiction from T.C. Boyle, Judy Troy, Roohi Choudhry, and Angela Pelster; dazzling poetry from Robert Wrigley, Christopher Kondrich, Sandra M. Gilbert, and more; and provocative nonfiction by Jaquira Díaz and Troy Jollimore. Subscribe or order the new issue today!

A Celebration of Writers:
The 2015 KR Literary Festival
BY ELIZABETH OVIEDA, KENYON REVIEW INTERN
RosenblattPosters advertising this year’s KR Literary Festival and Roger Rosenblatt’s novel Kayak Morning quickly became wet from consistent rain, with one or two seen blowing down Middle Path. However, the weather oddly complemented the images seen all over campus of a solitary kayak drifting on a lake on a gray morning, and the unpredictable Ohio weather failed to diminish excitement for the Kenyon Review Literary Festival. Read the rest of the article.

New in KR Podcasts
KR PodcastIn this month’s podcast, poet Maggie Smith and consulting editor Andrew Grace discuss balancing parenting with the writing life, rewriting fairy tales, the ins and outs of the poetry manuscript consultation business, and whether or not book-prize culture is good for poetry. Download the podcast.

From KROnline: Ravishment
BY ANNA ROSE WELCH
Anna Rose WelchOver the trees, birds hang themselves from the sky.

In portraits, the Christ Child clutches sparrows like these

in his fist. Something this ordinary is supposed to represent my soul.

In your fist, a tangle of my hair the color of a finch.
Continue reading this poem on KROnline.

Mr. Mintser
BY ROBERT PINSKY
Kenyon Review Cover Spring 1983From The Kenyon Review, New Series, Fall, 1982, Vol. IV, No. 4

One of America’s most celebrated poets, Robert Pinsky served as U.S. Poet Laureate from 1997 to 2000 and created the Favorite Poem Project documenting the life of poetry in the lives of a wide range of Americans. Here we rerun an unusual short fiction piece by Pinsky, published in KR more than thirty years ago.

Gilchrist Avenue was a sort of semirespectable street, bordering on the town’s Little Africa, with mostly one-family and two-family houses. Our end of it also had a few rooming houses, the fancier ones catering to jockeys and trainers during the track season in the summer. In the less high-class house next-door to us, the roomers seemed to be mostly house painters and restaurant workers, coming and going in spattered white pants and shirts, with a darkly male air of whiskey, rough language, and turpentine.

Continue reading this story.

From the KR Blog: 1,369 Light Bulbs, or, How to Write in a Basement
BY BRIAN MICHAEL-MURPHY
October 22, 2015

Brian Michael MurphyMost evenings, I head down to the basement and my small mountain range of index cards, arranged on a makeshift tabletop built out of a door and a few 2x4s. Above my head are a few blaring, bare light bulbs, and lately I can’t help but think of those strange opening pages of Ellison’s celebrated novel: “In my hole in the basement there are exactly 1,369 lights. I’ve wired the entire ceiling, every inch of it. And not with fluorescent bulbs, but with the older, more expensive-to-operate kind, the filament type.” As a writing technology, the index card slows things down the way a typewriter would if I were to use it. When I go to the basement I feel as if I am going back in time a bit, the time before Word and Scrivener and OneNote, that era when Joseph Heller and William Faulkner covered walls with their outlines, when every word was on some kind of paper. Read the rest of this blog post.

A Micro-Conversation with Beth Bachmann
Beth Bachmann’s poems “hamartia,” “surface,” and “location (echo)” appear in the Sept/Oct 2015 issue of the Kenyon Review

Beth BachmannWhat was your original impetus for writing “hamartia”? Did you begin with a line or phrase? With an image?

2007: I fell in love with a bird. Don’t most poems start there? I saw a picture of a lyre-tailed nightjar—a gorgeous bird with long, black feathers twice the length of its body. It made me think of Orpheus’s head still singing as it floated down river, away from his body.
2014: My friend sent me a recording of Jeff Buckley singing “Hallelujah,” I think perfectly, and it made me think poetry is not what you say, but how you say it.
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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