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Kenyon Review
NEWSLETTER | OCTOBER 2017

Why We Chose It
BY JAQUIRA DÍAZ, KENYON REVIEW FELLOW
Sept/Oct 2017“We Not Die” by Karl Taro Greenfeld appears in the Sept/Oct 2017 issue of the Kenyon Review.

Initially, what attracts me most to a story or essay is the language, its rhythm and music—I want to read a good story or essay, sure, but I also want to hear it sing. I want the writer to take stylistic and linguistic risks, to convey entire worlds in mere sentences. I want sentences like rollercoasters, sentences that grab hold of you and don’t let you go, that travel through time and space and history and culture, that make you forget yourself. I want to be surprised.
Read the rest of “Why We Chose It.”

Colm Tóibín to Receive KR Achievement Award at November 9 Dinner
Colm ToibinThe Kenyon Review has selected Colm Tóibín as the winner of the 2017 Kenyon Review Award for Literary Achievement. The Irish-born novelist, essayist, dramatist, poet, and critic is admired as one of the English language’s most gifted prose writers. In books including The Blackwater Lightship, The Master, Brooklyn, Nora Webster, and, most recently, House of Names, Tóibín delves into questions of identity, sexuality, and family with deep insight and exceptional lyricism. He will receive the award on November 9 at a gala dinner in New York City. Then he travels to Gambier, Ohio, for the Kenyon Review Literary Festival, where on November 11 he will deliver the Denham Sutcliffe Memorial Lecture, followed by a book signing.
Learn more about Colm Tóibín and the KR Award for Literary Achievement..

Knox Reads! Brooklyn
BrooklynKR launched this year’s Knox Reads! initiative initiative by giving away free copies of Brooklyn, the quietly moving novel of the immigrant experience by Colm Tóibín, winner of the 2017 Kenyon Review Award for Literary Achievement. Copies of the book were distributed recently at the Mount Vernon Farmers Market and the Kenyon College Bookstore, with a third giveaway scheduled for this Friday, October 6, at Paragraphs Bookstore in Mount Vernon. As part of Knox Reads!, the annual community-reading event tied to the literary award, KR is sponsoring book discussions as well as screenings of the film Brooklyn (based on the novel) throughout October and into November, leading up to the Kenyon Review Literary Festival on November 10-11. Check out the full schedule of Knox Reads! events here.

Submit to KR’s Poetry Prize for Young Writers
Grodd PrizeThe fifteenth annual Patricia Grodd Poetry Prize for Young Writers—open to high school sophomores and juniors throughout the world—will begin accepting entries in November. The winner receives a full scholarship to the Kenyon Review Young Writers Workshop, and the winning poem will be published in the Review, along with the poems of the two runners-up. Submissions are accepted electronically through November 30. Learn more about the contest.

KR Reading Period Closes November 1
Reading Period Closes SoonIf you plan to submit to the Kenyon Review this year, you have a little less than a month left to send us your work. We will accept submissions—of short fiction, poetry, essays, drama, and translations—through November 1, 2017. The process is online, and all submissions are considered, in a single pool, for both the print journal and KROnline. Click here to access our submission guidelines.

Save the Dates: 2018 Summer Writing Workshops
Writers WorkshopsSerious writers with widely varying levels of experience value the Kenyon Review Writers Workshops in June and July as an opportunity to stretch their abilities in the company of inspiring teachers and fellow writers. We have set the dates for our 2018 summer workshops:
Session One: June 16-23 (workshops in fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and nature writing)
Session Two: July 7-14 (workshops in fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and spiritual writing)
Save these dates and stay tuned for more information!

The KR Twitterverse: 40,000 Followers!
TwitterShout-outs and celebrations, quotes and musings, literary news, reading recommendations, snippets of eloquence, and links, links, links: the Kenyon Review Twitter feed functions as an engaged community embracing readers and writers—and the power of language—around the world. KR established its Twitter account in July 2010, and as of this fall we count 40,000 followers, a milestone that reflects the power of social media to connect people around common interests. Follow KR on Twitter.

Resistance, Change, Survival: An Essay by Poet Afaa M. Weaver
Afaa M. WeaverWhen the Golden Age of Capitalism ended in the early Seventies, I went into factory work to support myself as a poet. I looked out at the landscape of American poetry, and did not see much reflection of the personal lives of people such as myself, so I set that as my project, unaware of the potential for deep change if people like me wrote poetry without the hegemonic bonds of canonicity, or the exigencies of class among our own racial and ethnic groups. Read the entire essay, the third piece in a series initiated by the Kenyon Review Fellows.

New in KR Podcasts
KR PodcastIn this episode, novelist Nick White talks with associate editor Kirsten Reach about Possum Neck, snow cones, “Friday the 13th,” queer readings of slasher flicks, and why writing is “a constant act of lying to yourself.” Listen to it!

From KROnline: “On Adonis’s ‘Concerto Al-Quds’”
BY KHALED MATTAWA
Khaled MattawaThe only trip that our poet Adonis took to Al-Quds/ Jerusalem was in 1966 at the invitation of a small literary club. By then Adonis had been, for several years, publisher and editor of the pioneering literary review Sh’ir, which launched the second phase of modern Arabic poetry. Sh’ir promoted free verse, individualism, classicism, and fresh poetic diction. Read the rest of this essay.

From the KR Blog: Joseph Brodsky, the Incredible Star: An Interview with Ellendea Proffer Teasley
BY LAURA MAYLENE WALTER
Laura Maylene WalterSeptember 11, 2017
Let’s be honest: as writers, we sometimes fantasize about writing a bestseller. We daydream that the book we worked so hard to craft goes on to receive national press and effusive reviews. . . . Now let’s change that fantasy a little. Imagine that you manage to achieve all of this—just not in your own country or in your native language. This is essentially what Ellendea Proffer Teasley experienced when her memoir, Brodsky Among Us, was published to great acclaim in Russia in 2015.
Read the interview.

A Micro-Conversation with Gabrielle Calvocoressi
Gabrielle CalvocoressiThe Sept/Oct 2017 issue of KR includes Calvocressi’s poems “In a Landscape of Perpetual Springtime,” “[If I wait long enough],” and “[I like it when].” Other poems have appeared in KROnline.

Can you talk a bit about inventing a special symbol to stand in for third-person singular pronouns? Poetry editor David Baker called this “a pictorial body, a musical sign, a split and multiple inscription, a primal gasp.” How did this idea first come to you? Have you used it in other pieces?

Well. I didn’t invent it, which is important for me to say. It’s a musical symbol that my wonderful editor Gabriel Fried and Persea [Books] came to me with when I came to the conclusion that I just could not use a gendered pronoun in those poems. In my second book, Apocalyptic Swing, I didn’t use personal pronouns in most of the poems because I’m deeply interested, as a queer person and artist, in what vessel we put ourselves in when no one is looking. That can be in relation to desire or power (maybe those things are one in the same for some people) or other aspects of the self in relation to others. I was interested in that. And I remain so. 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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