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Kenyon Review Newsletter - September 2014

Ann Patchett to Receive 2014 Kenyon Review Award for Literary Achievement
Ann PatchettAnn Patchett, author of Bel Canto, State of Wonder, and This is the Story of a Happy Marriage, has been selected as this year’s winner of the Kenyon Review Award for Literary Achievement.

Patchett is known for her penetrating explorations of the human condition in her six fiction novels and three nonfiction works. “Ann Patchett combines a sweeping lyrical voice with an ability to create drama that holds readers breathless with anticipation—she’s truly among the most daring and singular authors at work today,” said KR Editor David Lynn. “We at The Kenyon Review are thrilled to welcome her to the Kenyon campus as well as to honor her at our 75th anniversary celebrations in New York.”

Patchett will visit Gambier on October 25 to give the Denham Sutcliffe Memorial Lecture at the Kenyon Review Literary Festival. She also will be honored at the award gala in New York City on November 6.


Why We Chose It

Why We Chose It
By Natalie Shapero, Associate Editor
Natalie Shapero“All of Me” by Melissa Febos

“Tattoos,” writes Melissa Febos in her sharp, soulful essay on art, self-destruction, and salvation, “express multiple desires: to be seen, to attract, to repel. But I have also marked myself in order to remember.” Febos is referring here to how she has gradually transformed her body into a chart of past strains and exhilarations, a map to be explicated with new lovers and referred back to privately as a source of creative germination and peace of mind. But in the phrase “marked myself,” it is impossible not to also hear another meaning—marked as in placed a target on. Marked as in a marked woman, certain to be hunted down.


KR Reading Period Begins September 15th
The Kenyon Review will begin accepting submissions online on September 15, 2014 and the submissions period will continue through January 15, 2015. Short fiction, poetry, drama, essays, and translations will be accepted for both the magazine and KROnline from a single pool of submissions. Have questions about submitting to KR and what we’re looking for? Editor in chief David Lynn will be doing a Twitter Q&A on Tuesday, September 23 at 2:30. Follow @kenyonreview for more info and to read the conversation.

Submissions to The Kenyon Review


Fall 2014Check out KR’s Fall Issue!
KR’s Fall 2014 issue hits the newsstands September 11th and features a new Kenyon Review Credo by Joyce Carol Oates, as well as new fiction by Megan Mayhew Bergman, Michelle Latiolais, Lori Ostlund, and the winners of KR’s 2014 Short Fiction Contest, essays by Bruce Bond and Ira Sadoff, new poetry by Joanna Klink, Eric Pankey, Campbell McGrath, Sherod Santos, and much more. Grab a copy today! Or check out our Kindle Extended Edition! Subscribe and get the full KR issue for only .99 cents a month! Or purchase single issues for only $3.99.


Three KR Authors Honored with Jaffe Awards

Rona Jaffe Winners

We’re proud to announce that three Kenyon Review contributors—fiction writer Olivia Clare, creative nonfiction writer Mara Naselli, and poet Solmaz Sharif—have been honored with 2014 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Awards. The awards, worth $30,000 each, are given annually to six women writers who demonstrate excellence and promise in the early stages of their careers.

Olivia Clare’s “Rusalka’s Long Legs” was published in KROnline Summer 2013. Click here to read the story.

Mara Naselli’s piece “On Being a Mother,” was published in the Summer 2014 issue of KR. Click here to read a Why We Chose It about her essay.

Solmaz Sharif’s poem “Personal Effects” was published in the Spring 2013 issue of KR. Look for more of her poems in the May/June 2015 issue.
Click here to read Sharif’s “KR Credo: A Poetry of Proximity,” published in KROline Fall 2014.


Solmaz SharifFrom KRO
Note: To celebrate the 75th anniversary of KR, we asked a group of established and emergent authors to write a short essay, a credo, stating their core beliefs about writing and literature. In doing so, we pay tribute to John Crowe Ransom, who in the late 1940s commissioned a set of credos about critical practice from public intellectuals of the day. Throughout the 2014 year, this newsletter brings you a contemporary credo published in KRO as well as a classic credo from the archives. Enjoy!
The Kenyon Review Credos: A Poetry of Proximity
by Solmaz Sharif
In his first State of the Union address, just months after 9/11, George W. Bush, as rhetoric requires, repeated, impassioned, a number of terms. With each repetition, he began redefining those terms for an American public. Free and its variants (freedom, freed, etc.) appears in this speech twenty-one times. Terror et al., thirty-seven times. Democracy, zero. Al Qaeda, surprisingly, only once.

I appears thirty-three times, my thirteen. We appears eighty-eight times, our seventy-nine. (APPLAUSE) appears seventy-seven times in the transcript. “They were as wrong as they are evil,” Bush intoned, which got him one of his seventy-seven (APPLAUSE)s.

Click here to read Sharif’s Credo.
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.


From the KR Archives
Stephen Spender
An original Kenyon Review Credo
The Kenyon Review, Spring 1951, Vol. XIII, No. 2
On the Function of Criticism
by Stephen Spender
Poetry is the use of certain techniques of language and certain forms in order to make vivid certain metaphors. The poet says “my experience is like this,” “my thought takes such and such a shape.” He creates the experience or the thought in language, so that the metaphor becomes a new experience, the experience of the poem. Yet, the poem, like an image in a looking glass, although seeming an enframed, separate world of the image, reflects a real world. Criticism reminds us of this. Besides judging the quality of the mirroring of the image, and the suitability of the frame, it relates the image in the mirror back to the real experience in a hierarchy of events having greater or lesser significance.


From the KR BlogIda Stewart
Remarkable Findings
August 25, 2014 — Ida Stewart
I captured this video a few months ago while reading the late Irene McKinney’s last poetry collection, which I blogged about here. I intended to post this video back then, but at the time I found myself unable to say anything more than Hey, look at this beautiful thing.

Typical me. I am that person in the backseat always pointing out trees, saying things like Such gnarly branches, right? while you try to keep it on the road. I am your dinner companion who just can’t get over the crust on this bread. This crust! I am always making the quality of light an obstacle we must surmount before we can proceed to more important topics.


A Micro-Interview with Shauna Seliy
KR Conversations Shauna Seliy’s story “Kingdom” appears in the Summer 2014 issue of The Kenyon Review.

Shauna SeliyCan you identify the seed of inspiration of your story “Kingdom”? What was the hardest part about writing it?

Many years ago my stepfather told me a story about being in a barber’s chair when he was a kid. The police came storming in after the guy in the chair next to him, a known numbers runner, who immediately started eating the evidence. I had that story for a long time, but nowhere to go with it. I had to wait for some other things to fall into the net. Then some years later, I heard a story from my stepdad’s cousin about how when her mother was pregnant with her, in a moment of despair, she headed for the train tracks, but was stopped by a chance meeting with a family friend.

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