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Kenyon Review
NEWSLETTER | SEPTEMBER 2016

The Poetics of Science
The Poetics of ScienceKR explores and celebrates literary science writing both online and in print this season, and in a symposium of live events later in the year. How does science inspire the literary imagination? Can science writing be a literary art? Find a wealth of new writing reflecting the interplay between literature and science, curated and introduced by associate editor Sergei Lobanov-Rostovsky, in the Sept/Oct issue of KR out now, in contemporaneous editions of KROnline, and through a months-long blog discussion. Enjoy invigorating fiction by Andrew Ladd, Anne Valente, and more; drama by Karen Malpede; nonfiction by Helen Betya Rubinstein, Jill Sisson Quinn, Joseph Osmundson, and others; dazzling poetry from Rafael Campo, Leah Falk, Laura Kolbe, and many more; and art by Suzanne Stryk. And stay tuned for announcements of yearlong events in our Science Writing Symposium taking place on the Kenyon campus. Read Sergei Lobanov-Rostovsky’s introduction to the Poetics of Science initiative.

Why We Chose It
BY SERGEI LOBANOV-ROSTOVSKY, ASSOCIATE EDITOR
On Not Eating the Marshmallow,” by Helen Betya Rubinstein, appears in the Sept/Oct 2016 issue of the Kenyon Review.

Ah, temptation. The temptations of the flesh and of the will, the temptations of what is sweet and what is bitter, and the temptations of knowledge that lead us to set before a child not an apple but its squishy, melty, corn syrup and gelatin equivalent—a marshmallow—to test that child’s capacity to resist temptation and our own desire to interpret the results as a predictor of future success. Helen Betya Rubinstein’s delightful essay, “On Not Eating the Marshmallow,” in KR’s special issue, The Poetics of Science, lays before us all these temptations, made more seductive by the temptations of its sharp and lovely prose. Continue reading “Why We Chose It.”

Meet the new KR Fellows
The Poetics of ScienceWe’re thrilled to introduce our newest Kenyon Review Fellows! Jaquira Díaz and Margaree Little, two younger writers of exceptional talent, have taken up residence in Gambier where, over the course of the next two years, they will work on significant writing projects, teach one course per semester for the Kenyon College English department while being mentored by distinguished faculty, and receive editorial and production experience with the Kenyon Review. Continue reading about fellows Díaz and Little.

KR Reading Period Opens September 15th
Reading Period Opens SoonThe Kenyon Review will begin accepting submissions online on September 15, 2016 and the submission period will continue through November 1, 2016. Please note the earlier deadline this year. The goal of the shorter reading period is to make the process fairer, helping to ensure that submissions arriving later in the reading period stand the same chance at publication in the Kenyon Review or KROnline as do those that appear at the very start. Short fiction, poetry, drama, essays, and translations will be accepted for both the magazine and KROnline from a single pool of submissions. Click here to access our submission guidelines.

Announcing the KR Fall 2016 Reading Series
What enriches the literary life of a college campus and its surrounding community better than the voices of great writers? This fall, we’re thrilled to sponsor appearances by such commanding writers as Hilary Mantel, Daniel Mark Epstein, Diane Seuss, John Koethe, Julie Barton, and KR Fellows Jaquira Díaz and Margaree Little. If you’re in the vicinity of Gambier, please join us! KR Fall Reading Series Schedule.

Save the Dates: 2017 Summer Writing Workshops
KR offers a double-scoop of intensive, generative, creative writing workshops in the summer of 2017:

JUNE 17-24, 2017
Fiction: Lee K. Abbott, E.J. Levy, Nancy Zafris
Nonfiction: Rebecca McClanahan, Dinty Moore
Poetry: David Baker, Joanna Klink, Carl Phillips

JULY 8-15, 2017
Fiction: Christopher Tilghman
Nonfiction: Geeta Kothari
Poetry: Natalie Shapero
Nature Writing: David Baker
NEW! Translation: Katherine Hedeen, Elizabeth Lowe

What does a typical day in a KR summer writing workshop look like?

New in KR Podcasts
KR PodcastThis month we offer a pair of podcasts not to be missed. Listen to poet Linda Gregerson talk with KR book review editor Corey Van Landingham about revisiting Ovid, throwing her voice, and poems that remain open to interference. Next, hear E.J. Levy talk with Meghan Pipe about adding the texture of life to fiction, the “disciplined passivity” of following your characters, and the joy of finding a home in other genres. Add KR to your iTunes playlist.

From KROnline: A Single Young Shoot Growing Straight up out of the Snow: The Stinging Brilliant Green of Sagawa’s Modernism
BY ERIC EKSTRAND
The Collected Poems of Chika SagawaA review of The Collected Poems of Chika Sagawa. Translated by Sawako Nakayasu.

In this first English language Collected from Canarium, Sawako Nakayasu’s cold-rolled translations introduce Anglophone readers to the forward expressionism of Sagawa Chika, one of Japan’s early and almost-forgotten Modernists.

In her introduction, Nakayasu explains that at the start of World War II, following Sagawa’s death from stomach cancer at age twenty-four, a nationalistic cultural contraction snuffed l’esprit nouveau with which her work is associated.
Continue reading this review on KROnline.

Map of the New World
BY DEREK WALCOTT

Kenyon Review Cover Spring 2007From the Kenyon Review, New Series, Winter 1981, Vol. III, No. 1

Derek Walcott was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1992. The Kenyon Review published this two-part version of “Map of the New World” in 1981, the same year that a three-part poem of the same name appeared in Walcott’s volume The Fortunate Traveller. A variant of the Part II we reproduce here surfaced as Part III of the poem in The Fortunate Traveller, while Part I below is unique to KR.

I
Dragons once, with webbed hands, serrated fins,
circled this unknown sea. Their scales
flake now like scurf, their skins
aged with this wrinkled chart.
Where they were feared to rise was usually written:
IBI DRAGONES, there are dragons here,
in dragonish letters of mediaeval Latin.

Continue reading this poem.

From the KR Blog: MFA: Expectation vs. Reality
BY LAURA MAYLENE WALTER
August 20, 2016

Laura Maylene WalterIt’s mid-August, the time of year when aspiring writers all over the country are gearing up to begin MFA programs. Only three short years ago, that was me. I remember the nerves, the excitement, the self-doubt, the anxiety. Would I get along with my cohort? Would I become a better writer? Was this decision worth giving up the comforts of my stable job and life? Read the blog post.

A Micro-Conversation with Safiya Sinclair
Safiya Sinclair’s poem “One Hundred Amazing Facts about the Negro, with Complete Proof, II” appears in the July/Aug 2016 issue of the Kenyon Review.

Safiya SinclairWhat was your original impetus for writing “One Hundred Amazing Facts about the Negro, with Complete Proof, II”?

Coming to America really sharpened my rage in very unexpected and crucial ways, and burned in me the necessity of bearing witness. While living in Charlottesville, Virginia, I experienced for the first time the marked separation between the black community and the town’s inescapably blinding whiteness. . . . While there, I found a book called 100 Hundred Amazing Facts About the Negro: With Complete Proof by J. A. Rogers, which consists of a great list of (largely unknown) accomplishments of black people throughout history. . . . The book is also a compilation of some of the many crimes carried out against black people in the service of (white) American history. . . . I began writing a series of poems using some of the facts in the book as epigraphs, and was also inspired by the possibilities of its title, which subverted my expectation that it would center on violence rather than excellence. Read 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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