Saturday, December 27, 2008

2008 Pushcart Nominations

We'd like to offer our congratulations to the writers below, whose work our editors have selected for Pushcart nominations. In alphabetical order by author last name:

“All that Crawls beneath Me,” by Jericho Brown, Poetry (from IR 30.1, Summer 2008)

“Railway Killers,” by Anthony Farrington, Fiction (from IR 30.2, Winter 2008)

“Miss Thelma,” by Amaud Jamaul Johnson, Poetry (from IR 30.2, Winter 2008)

“Superstar,” by Joseph Kim, Fiction (from IR 30.1, Summer 2008)

“Archeology,” by Wayne Miller, Poetry (from IR 30.2, Winter 2008)
“Obit,” by Ted Sanders, Fiction (from IR 30.2, Winter 2008)

And thank you to all our contributors for your wonderful work!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


You may have noticed that our posting has become a little bit spotty. That's because we're on holiday! We do hope to keep up with some posting over our break, but we can't make any promises. (We've got all the holiday obligations everyone else has.) We will be back with a regular schedule starting January 12.

If you're a subscriber, you should have your winter 2008 issue in your hands in the next week or two. Please do let us know if you haven't received your issue by the time we're back in the office!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Exciting cash prizes!

We're a little late spreading the word about this, although I'm sure many of you reading are already well aware. The 2009 NEA literary grant winners have been announced! And we're very excited to see a number of Indiana Review contributors on this list, some from way back in the day. We saw Xochiquetzal Candelaria (23.2), Bob Hicok (30.2, 28.2, 26.1, 24.2, 19.1), Julia Kasdorf (18.1), Michael McGriff (31.1), Orlando Ricardo Menes (30.1, 25.1, 19.1), Aimee Nezhukumatathil (31.1, 30.1, 27.1, 26.1), and Jane Springer (30.1). (I hope I didn't miss any of our former contributors!)

Congratulations to our contributors, as well as to all the NEA grant winners.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Extra, Extra! Read all about it!

Some exciting literary news has come to us via the New York Times. First, the NYT has released their "100 Notable Books of 2008" list, and we're happy to see so many short story collections included there, particularly in the top twenty. As many of you know, short story collections often don't get a fair shake as novels or memoirs do, so it's good to see that someone out there appreciates the short story. Check out the list here.

Second, Indiana University and the town of Bloomington--IR's home sweet home--are featured in this interesting and sometimes funny NYT article on book club culture and conflict. We never realized being in a book club could become so serious! Check it out.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Bluecast: Ross Gay

In this edition of the Bluecast, Ross Gay reads and discusses "Some Instructions on Black Masculinity Offered to My Black Friend by the White Woman He Briefly Dated: A Monologue" featured in our Winter 2007 issue, 29.2. Remember, if you'd like to hear previous editions of the Bluecast, just click "posts" and select the one you want to hear.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

We have a winner!

The results are in! Congratulations to Shelly Oria, winner of our 2008 Fiction Prize. Her story, "New York 1, Tel Aviv 0," will be published in our Summer 2009 issue (31.1).

Congrats also to Tara Cottrell whose story, "Post," was selected as runner-up. To find out who the finalists were, please check out the results on our website.

Thank you to everyone who submitted work--there were some amazing stories, and we had a tough time narrowing down our choices.

And a big thank you to our judge, Tayari Jones.

Monday, December 1, 2008

December 1st, 1st snowfall

Our first snowfall hit us in Bloomington this morning. I haven't been outside since the snow stopped falling, but I can see buildings and trees through my window. The snow just barely stuck to some branches. I should have left the office about a half hour ago, but I just don't want to get out into it, beautiful as it is.

Here's something that you should want to get into--beautiful as it is. Our winter 2008 issue, 30.2, is at the printers, and it should be shipped off to stores and subscribers in this most auspicious beginning of December. If you would still like to order one, a member of our editorial staff will lovingly envelope your issue with a wintry glow before we send it off to you.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Shaken, but certainly not stirred

Last night I saw Quantum of Solace, the latest James Bond movie. But I didn't leave the theater feeling solace at all, instead I felt nothing but confusion. So confused that I often forgot to be entertained. I wondered: whatever happened to story, whatever happened to plot? Sure, the creators held to some resemblance of narrative by having Bond deal with the loss of his beloved Vesper from Casino Royale, but even that part of the storyline was difficult to follow. It was as if the writers said, "Wouldn't it be cool if..." and then stuck it all in a movie without connecting the dots. There was no cause and effect in the film--people got shot and buildings exploded and Bond flew from Italy to London to Haiti to Italy to Bolivia to Italy and back to Bolivia without any clear explanation. Even the steamy romances the Bond films are known for are subpar in this latest installment. I know, I know, you're saying, "Chad, if you wanted a movie that told a story, you should've gone to see The Secret Life of Bees (already saw it, and at least it pulled the heartstrings a bit). Yet, even the most explosion-riddled action films--The Matrix, Die Hard, the Bourne trilogy-- actually tell the audience a somewhat comprehensible story. Maybe it's the writer and editor in me that expects the same qualities from movies that I expect from good fiction. Am I asking too much? Maybe. Anyway, I don't want to spoil Quantum for anyone, so don't take my word for it--go see the movie for yourself.

You can, however, take my word about this: We'll be out of the office celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday starting Friday, so you won't hear anything from us until December 1. Have a safe and restful Thanksgiving. We hope you all have a lot to be thankful for.


Monday, November 17, 2008

Congratulations Tayari Jones!

Indiana Review extends its congratulations to our 2008 Fiction Prize judge, Tayari Jones, for being chosen as a member of the United States Artists Foundation! She and 49 other artists received $50,000 unrestricted grants. Other writers honored included IR contributors Joy Harjo and Laura Kasischke.

For more information, check out Tayari's webpage at:

Thanks to everyone who submitted to the Fiction Prize, and we hope to have the results within the next month and a half.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Favorite Words, Revisited

I recently learned that one of my favorite words, dingbat, has even more meanings than previously discussed. In addition to being found on the page, a dingbat can also be found on the street. In the world of architecture, a dingbat refers to the wood and stucco apartment buildings most often found in Southern California. They are boxy two or three story buildings built on narrow stilts with sheltered parking underneath and were popular in the 1950s and 60s.

But why the word "dingbat"? Some say it is because of their quick and shoddy construction and dingbat is used as "a general term of disparagement" (as in a dingbat is a silly or stupid person). However, others site that dingbat is actually used in its traditional typographic sense, and refers to the stylistic flourishes (metal stars, asterisks, diamonds etc) that grace those stucco facades.

* * *
Now when I come to a break in the text, instead of moving straight on through to the next scene, I'll be thinking of my far away hometown, Los Angeles, home to many a dingbat. And perhaps I'll get even more distracted and start thinking of other favorite words, like the dingbat's cousin: the googie, a.k.a the doo-wop.


Monday, November 10, 2008

Minor obsessions: "no ideas but in things"

I love poetry. And nonfiction. And fiction. And I love the artifacts those (in many ways) bodiless entities inhabit. Oh, books. There's such a pleasure in the object. The texture of paper, whether the edges are deckled or gilded, and then down to details of typeface and layout. Then there are the things that haven't yet been designed, such as scent, which most often seems to be affected by age. Going into a used book store is like a wine tasting sometimes.

Don't look at me like that. I know you're into books, too.

These days, though, I've found myself indulging in a minor obsession: interior design. And you know what I've discovered in my recent dalliance? Designers are so much like us. Collectors, lovers of exquisite objects. And they, too--almost invariably--have a soft spot for books. Because books tell stories both on the inside and the outside.

Since yesterday, when I saw the lovelies pictured here on DesignSponge, I have been coveting them. It's a major thou-shalt-not, but you're with me, right? Too bad this ten-title set of Penguin Classics is only available in the UK right now, and only through Waterstone's. Darn the shipping.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Forgive my sentimentality.

No matter your political party, no matter who you are or where you come from, you must agree that last night we made and lived history. Yesterday will be a story we tell our children. My friends and I watched the coverage on television for hours. When the Obama and Biden families stepped on stage in Chicago to greet their supporters, a soaring musical score playing in the background, one of my friends commented that it was like watching a movie with a happy ending. It was, someone else said, like a fairytale. And as Barack Obama walked off stage, I swear I saw him grab one of the American flags standing by the exit, and he let the stars and stripes run through his fingers. That, for me, was a moment better than fiction, because if it had been fiction I probably wouldn't have believed it. But, of course, that's why we read and write fiction (and poetry too), for those moments that surprise us and change us and haunt us, for the moments--big and small--that render us breathless.


Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Hey everyone. It's election day. You should go vote (if you haven't done so already).

Here at Indiana Review, we love voting. We do it all the time. We vote on which pieces will go in the journal, we vote on artwork, we even vote on when we should hold meetings. (One time we voted on what pizza we should order.) We're that into it.

Sure, there're going to be long lines today. That's what books are for. Bring your favorite copy of IR, or, if you're in a highly contested swing state, try Team of Rivals, that 950-page back-breaker of a history on Lincoln and his cabinet (It's quite good, actually). 

So yeah, get out there and vote. What else are you going to do? Read literary magazine blogs all day?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Bluecast: Christina Yu

In this edition of the Bluecast, Christina Yu reads from "Variations on an Unknown Theme," featured in our Summer 2008 issue, 30.1. Remember, if you'd like to hear previous editions of the Bluecast, just click "posts" and select the one you want to hear.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Review of Riding Westward from 30.1.

Carl Phillips. Riding Westward. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007. $12.00 paper (ISBN 978-0-374-53082-2), 53 pages.

Reviewed by Luke Hankins

Carl Phillips has long written poems that ignore contemporary American aesthetic doctrines, and that fact alone is heartening. He is entirely comfortable with abstraction, often building his poems on lofty language, and he is unafraid to “tell” as much as he “shows.” His poems speak in the tone of one speaking to an intimate about shared experience, without the kind of sarcasm we often call irony. Consequently, the poems tend to allude to experiences in a fragmentary way, as if the reader has prior knowledge of them and needs only small reminders. What is more, the reader is seldom sure where or when the situation described by one of Phillips’s poems is occurring. Because of these qualities, the poems in Phillips’s latest collection, Riding Westward, may at first confound readers who are used to so-called accessible poetry. In fact, “accessibility” is one of those contemporary doctrines I mentioned above—one which Phillips thankfully ignores. The following lines from “Erasure,” the first poem in the collection, are a good example of these qualities:

Above us, the usual branches lift unprophetically or not, depending:
now spears; now arrows. There’s a kind of tenderness that makes
more tender

all it touches. There’s a need that ruins. Dark. The horse
comes closer.

Here, we have “the usual branches,” as if they are usual not only to the speaker of the poem, but to the reader as well. We have fragments of a scene—branches lifting, darkness, a horse referred to with a definite article as if we already knew it was there—but the scene remains fragmentary throughout the poem, and we never quite know where or when we are situated. The above lines also illustrate Phillips’s propensity to “tell” as well as “show,” his refusal to shrink from making authoritative pronouncements: “There’s a need that ruins,” and “There’s a kind of tenderness that makes more tender // all it touches.” However, the tone of this poem is quite complicated, because not only are we assumed to understand this fragmentary scene, but we are presented with a speaker who makes both authoritative statements and equivocations: “the usual branches lift unprophetically or not.” In this case, the equivocation is intensified by the double-negative construction. Double negatives recur throughout the collection, working as semantic counterbalances to the authoritative tone of the poems’ speakers, as their logical clumsiness has the effect of undermining what might otherwise be effortless pronouncements.

Another potentially disorienting aspect of these poems is the fact that the titles often have nothing overtly to do with the poems or their dramatic situations. There is “Bright World,” which does not describe brightness at all, or even the world very much; there is “The Way Back,” which is about “the urge to make meaning”; there is “The Smell of Hay,” which is about memory, but mentions no situation involving either hay or the sense of smell; there is “The Cure,” which describes a dying tree, which ends up as a metaphor for history, and light falling through it, a metaphor for human lives—but no sign of a cure anywhere for the dying tree or the human lives tumbling through its branches. These are only a few examples of titles that are not linked to their poems the way we typically expect them to be, since they are not descriptive of the poems’ content. Instead, the titles function evocatively: their effect is to create mood by association. In the same way, his poems are anything but descriptive of the world or of life—they do not set out to paint a clear picture of the world or of experiences, as we have largely come to expect poems to do. Phillips’s poems are far too abstract and fragmentary to do that. But they do something equally important by letting the reader’s imagination participate more fully with the speakers of the poems. While reading this collection, one often finds oneself unconsciously repositioning oneself imaginatively in order to create, along with the poem, the story to which the poem alludes. The fact that this is effective is a testimony to the power of this collection—it is not something a lesser poet could achieve.

One way to describe Phillips’s poems is to acknowledge that they function more evocatively than descriptively. What I mean is that they are not by any means about life, which would be no accomplishment at all; rather, they are of life, out of it, and convincingly so, which is a great accomplishment indeed. His poems are informed by and allude to experience without having to entirely create or recreate experience, and this is the source of their undeniable authority. In “Turning West,” Phillips himself makes a similar distinction when he mentions “a distance like that between writing from a life / and writing for one…” (Phillips’s italics). Writing for a life might mean writing in order to have a life, to create one out of a paucity of living or being present in the world. This is decidedly not the kind of writing Phillips does. It is clear that his poems are from life. The evidence of this is the powerful effect they have on the reader who is willing to lay aside expectations for simply “accessible” poetry and who is willing to imaginatively engage, as with an intimate, in these evocative, allusive conversations.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Eyes on the Prize

A week after the Fiction Prize deadline, we're literally knee deep in submissions, and Nina and I are happily wading through them. I say this because we'll be focusing on the prize for the next couple of weeks and unfortunately, regular submissions (both mailed and on-line) may be neglected for a while. As a result, there may be a larger backlog, and a longer response time. So, we ask for your patience, and we promise to get caught up and back in the swing of things in a month or so.

In the meantime, and in honor of one of our staff getting married, everyone get up from their desks and shake it with Beyonce.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The scariest Halloween costumes are meta-costumes.

In honor of Halloween's approach, I'm going to talk about a book that weirded me out a great deal several years ago.

In my first year in college, my freshman composition teacher made us read House of Leaves, by Mark Z. Danielewski. Basically, the text is an academic manuscript about a movie that a photojournalist made of his house, and that academic text is footnoted by a guy named Johnny Truant, a tattoo artist that found the manuscript, who has his own narrative that runs through the footnotes of the book. Oh, and the photojournalist's house? It's bigger on the inside than it is on the outside.

Obviously, this book nearly made my little freshman mind explode. Multiple levels of narration, crazy typography, and a severely creepy premise. I, of course, couldn't put it down, but was nervous to look in my closet for the next week.

Danielewski's certainly an author that pushes boundaries, and I admire that. I can't even try to explain his book Only Revolutions, which was nominated for the National Book Award in 2006.

But what made me think of House of Leaves? This webcomic:

It's hilarious if you've read the book. If you haven't, it makes absolutely no sense.

So this Halloween, don't just go as a pirate--go as a costume maker who makes pirate costumes. You'll blow people's minds.


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Today's the Day

That's right -- beware the ides of October!

More importantly, beware the postmark on your submission for the 2008 Fiction Prize, judged by Tayari Jones. All entries must be postmarked October 15th in order to be considered. Read the guidelines for the contest here. Find your local post office here.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Your Sanders love are belong to us!

We've brought into this world today a new blog, one for IU alumns honoring Scott Russell Sanders. Scott Russell Sanders has been an important teacher to many of us, and he will be retiring from his position at Indiana University at the end of the spring 2009 semester.

We've created this new blog to provide a venue for folks to share--in even the subtlest ways--their appreciation to Scott, and their best wishes for him, and their regrets that we won't have him in the program much longer.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Review of Embryos & Idiots from 30.1

Larissa Szporluk. Embryos & Idiots. Dorset, Vermont: Tupelo Press, 2007. $16.95 paper (ISBN: 978-1932195521), 71 pages.

Reviewed by Cate Whetzel

In borrowing her title from Milton, Larissa Szporluk’s fourth collection, Embryos & Idiots, invokes and salutes Paradise Lost and the epic tradition by offering an alternative to overly familiar and reheated Western cosmogonic myths. What a relief! Very few collections offer an escape, however brief, to a landscape as mysterious as the kingdom of Od. Embryos & Idiots is composed of three sections or acts that balance the sacred with a healthy dose of the profane. Each act is prefaced with a neatly diagrammed program—reminiscent of a playbill—outlining the section’s dramatic scene, the characters in relation to each other, and voices we may expect to hear in the chorus.

In the beginning is Anoton, Szporluk’s principle character. We learn that in the mineral kingdom of Od, Anoton informs on his mother because he “suspects [her] of breaking the law against harboring plants and animals. He reports her; she is demolished.” In retribution, Anoton’s father cuts off his son’s head. It lands on Earth and becomes an island. In time, Anoton, sentient despite decapitation, will indirectly demolish another woman.

The opening poem “Boulders” shows Anoton’s suspicion that his mother has a live bee “trapped in the amber / nook that led to her mineral uterus.” The lines that follow are saturated with Od-forbidden images and the buzzing of a lone bee:

He had been born with that sound,
the rain of maracas, maraud of a rose, and so lived
in his mind with a wax city, silver hives

of see-through honey, chambers crammed
with princess-waste and ice, and would be
almost crazy, brushing her outer stone,

of which he had grown enamored
like a pilot of a bomb site, fingering the lever—

This is a reminder of how the forbidden becomes erotic and may refresh and exert its power through imagination; and how language may give us our desires with one hand, but will punish us with the other.

It’s an old story but the voice is new; the metaphors are glossy. Here are jealous and impatient mothers, fathers and children. Children are alternately victims and tyrants. Parents are tragic failures who need to be overthrown. In section two, in which “everything starts talking,” we hear an anonymous speaker, whose situation is analogous to Anoton’s, address his mother in “Stars and Marrow":

…I turned
my back on you and died lEike a duck
in the open, a pile of yesterday’s
nobody’s child. Strapped to my high
yellow chair, the waves that lunged
at me were carnal, but no, I didn’t
mind. There is so much good
in the worst of us, so much bad
in the best. I found succor in the devil
when the angels cooked my head.

Anoton’s fall is reminiscent of similar scenarios in Classical Greek, Hindu and Christian mythologies: the Greek Hephaestus is cast down from Olympus by parents Zeus and Hera during a family argument, resulting in a permanent limp; another Classical turn in Embryos & Idiots refers to Anoton as “Venus’s son,” the faintly incestuous, temporally crippled Eros. In Hindu mythology, Ganesh loses his head when his father Shiva fails to recognize the boy guarding Parvati’s bedroom door. In an effort to console Ganesh’s mother, Shiva replaces the boy’s head with the head of an elephant. Last in this group is the Biblical and Miltonic Satan, expelled for a definite crime: attempting a militaristic coup to rule heaven in God’s place.

But whatever similarities abound, Szporluk’s Anoton has more in common with Milton’s Satan than with any “bad son” archetypal role. Both are punished for their ambitions, but the fruit of their punishments is not a lesson learned but a new path, diametrically opposed from the world both characters have known. Satan is given Earth and the space beneath it; Anoton becomes a mountain island and consumes a girl castaway, repeating in basic gesture his original sin. In section one’s final poem “Dark Eros,” the subsumed girl, or possibly the broken mother, or even the goddess Venus, speaks to Anoton-the-mountain: “How does / it feel, she asks the old mountain, / to have no choice but to feel?” From underwater, Anoton answers her:

The past is a quasi-fetish.
I was only a child but my
obsession with you was divine.

The richness of language in this collection cannot be overstated—Szporluk loves to rake words, to break rocks, to turn the earth in each poem by breaking up the musty and the comfortable. In doing this she brings us new worlds, neat and prettily shaped on the page, but also smart, allusive and self-referential. Her poems demand a careful eye. Although I admire Szporluk’s previous collections, I admit that in the past I’ve found myself feeling along a poem’s outer wall for a latch or window, having a great time but thoroughly mystified. That’s not the case here. Here many layers and motifs set up an infinite figure eight for the dedicated reader to tread and retread. The poems in Embryos & Idiots reward the intellect without sacrificing the senses.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Podcasts and Fiction Prizes

Check out our newest podcast to hear Liza Wieland reading an excerpt of her story, "Nightingale," the 2007 Indiana Review Fiction Prize winner.

And here's a reminder to send in your fiction prize entries! You only have a week and half left before the deadline, October 15. So polish up your finest stories and send them our way. But be sure to check the guidelines on our website first!


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

On widows, orphans and dingbats...

Over the course of assembling the physical book that is the Indiana Review, I've come across a few production terms that seem to fall in a particular category: typesetting personified. You may have already heard of typeface but here are some others:

widow - a single line of a paragraph at the bottom of a page or column

orphan - a single line of a paragraph at the top of a page or column

(According to Wikipedia, "One easy way to remember the difference between an orphan and a widow is to remember that orphans 'have a future but no past,' while widows 'have a past but no future' just as an orphan or widow in life." Eep!)

There are also type families and superfamilies, which are groupings and categories of typefaces and fonts. (Perhaps there is hope for our poor widows and orphans after all!)

My all time favorite though is the term "dingbat." A dingbat is the small decorative mark, bullet, or symbol that usually marks a section break. While I would love for this term to also be a personification, it is actually onomatopoeic. In old style metal-type print shops, they would ding an ornament into the space then bat it tight to be ready for inking.

Typically IR sticks with a series of three diamonds for our dingbats but sometimes we get something a little more fun, like the jolly roger in Maureen Seaton's poem "Fractal Pirates (Five Iterations)" in issue 30.1, Summer 2008.



Monday, September 29, 2008

In the hopes of saving you some money and maybe time

... and maybe even the environment! Here are a couple thoughts:

We've had our online submissions manager up and running for almost a month now, and most folks are taking advantage of it. So far, though, we've been surprised at how many people still prefer to submit their work by snail mail. But if that's what you prefer, there's no need to stop submitting through the post. There are a couple things you might want to keep in mind, though, if this is how you want us looking at your work.

1. You don't need to submit work in a folder.
2. Neither do you need to submit work sandwiched between two pieces of cardstock, cardboard, etc.
3. Nor need you submit work in a binder (or any other binding-type device).
4. Fancy pants 100% cotton resume paper is luxurious and very impressive, but not more impressive than the written work that should be on it.
5. Expedited delivery service doesn't equal expedited consideration.
6. Unless you actually want your manuscript back, just include a SASE with enough postage for us to send our response to you.

For items 1 through 4, we are impressed by how well people protect their manuscripts. And we totally respect that. And if you all want to keep on printing your work out on resume paper, binding it, slipping it in a folder, and then sandwiching the folder between two pieces of cardboard, we welcome you to do it. But we will read the manuscript even if it's on (especially if it's on!) boring white 20 lb paper and bi- or tri-folded into a smaller envelope. Tidiness and legibility are important in putting together a submission for a magazine, but those other things aren't, really.

There's not much more to say but what's already apparent in item 5. Sometimes folks spend a whole bunch of money to send something to us overnight. Every deadline we set for submissions is a postmark deadline, so as long as the manuscript is sent on the day of the deadline, all is well.

And then there's 6. Maybe most people submitting know better than I did, but when I started sending my manuscripts out to magazines, I thought that I was supposed to pay for enough postage for my manuscript to be sent back to me. "What are they going to do with it?" I thought. Well, we recycle it. And so unless you are using returned manuscripts for your records or building art projects out of them or maybe even sending them on to other magazines to consider, just let us recycle it for you. Less paperwork. And then you only need that 42-cent stamp.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Happy Birthday, Fitzgerald!

Today, September 24, is F. Scott Fitzgerald's birthday. If still alive in 2008, this member of the "Lost Generation" would be the ripe old age of 112. The author of such classics as The Great Gatsby and Tender is the Night, Fitzgerald wrote of the the glitz, glamour, and decadence of the "Jazz Age" aka "The Roaring Twenties," even as the world spiraled toward severe economic recession (aka The Great Depression).

Many people may have the Twenties and Thirties on their minds these days because here in 2008, we seem to be coming full circle as, once again, our economy slumps and fewer people are living on any side of paradise. In what seems like a very timely fashion, Hollywood is contemplating a new film about the Jazz Age power couple F. Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda Sayre. What's ironic about this film proposal is that Hollywood, in part, led to Fitzgerald's death. Anyway, Keira Knightley may play the lovely and enigmatic Zelda, but no one has been cast yet in the role of our birthday man, Fitzgerald. Maybe Clay Aiken?

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Big Simile

So this past weekend I watched The Big Sleep, which made me think back to this summer, when I enjoyed reading Michael Chabon's The Yiddish Policemen's Union. In the Philadelphia heat, there's nothing more refreshing than a hard-boiled detective story set in the frozen reaches of Alaska.

As a poet, I love similes and metaphors, and Raymond Chandler's writing was laced with figurative language that waltzed into unexpected realms:

"The General spoke again, slowly, using his strength as carefully as an out-of-work show-girl uses her last good pair of stockings." --The Big Sleep

Chabon takes Chandler's lead. He pushes his metaphors to their limits in his reimagining of the classic detective story. And he lays his similes on thick and heavy, like jam on a piece of crusty bread. (See, now I'm even in on it.)

Here are two examples (out of many) from Chabon's novel (both from page 107):

"His full ashy beard flutters in the wind like bird fluff caught on a barbed-wire fence."


"Standing next to Zimbalist, in front of the arched stone door of the shop, a beardless young bachelor holds an umbrella to keep snow off the old fart's head. The black cake of the kid's hat is already dusted with a quarter inch of frosting. Zimbalist gives him the attention you give a tree in a pot."

I've never thought of a snow-covered hat being like a frosted cake, but I'm right there with Chabon (and I'm suddenly hungry for dessert). I've always been at a loss for explaining the fine line between making a wonderful, unexpected metaphor, and one that's just too weird to be understood. A successful one seems to gesture toward something fundamental, an unspeakable connection that's written in our blood.

My favorite simile, by the way, is from Jeffrey McDaniel's poem, "D":

"[You were] seductive, like watching an archer
untie her bow."

That's what similes can do: perfectly describe the indescribable. And if McDaniel's lines aren't a spot-on vision of the seductive, I don't know what is.


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Cheers from the crowd!

Congratulations to Rae Paris, whose story "The Girl Who Ate Her Own Skin" (Issue 29.2) will be listed as a Recommended story in the PEN/O.Henry Prize Stories 2009!

Congratulations also to Peter Selgin and Ryan Van Meter. Peter's essay "A Pre-Victorian Bathtub" (Issue 29.1) and Ryan's essay "Lake Effect" (Issue 29.2) are listed as notable essays in the Best American Essays 2008!

David Foster Wallace

Our hearts go out to the friends and family of David Foster Wallace. Laura Miller remembers him at and asks, "What will we do without him?" More information about his death can be found here.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Ooh ooh ooh, what a little windstorm can do

Yesterday, I was in my hometown in southwestern Ohio. My fiance and I were printing out menus for our upcoming wedding, and my dad was also preparing for the wedding, installing a new mirror in the bathroom, in front of which all our guests can now primp. I heard a bang. "Dad, are you all right?" He calmly answered, "I think a tree just fell on the house."

I went to the enclosed porch and looked out at the front yard. The menu printing had been taking hours, so I had no idea what was going on outside. The trees were bowing at the waist I imagine for them, and indeed, a big limb had fallen off a neighbor's silver maple and right on to the house, apparently rolling off so that it could hit my dad's car.

Over the next several hours, we played a board game, and it seemed that nearly all the limbs from our neighbor's tree were slamming on to the house. And probably a limb from our own, too. When the windstorm had mostly passed, we were blocked in to our house by all the debris in front. And, with the power having gone out, there was nothing to eat except Cheerios. At least we could sneak out a back door.

My fiance called business after business trying to find some place that was open that would sell us items for sandwiches or that would take our pizza order for pick up. But either the phone would keep ringing or we'd just get a busy signal. Finally, we found a place. Dewey's seemed to be the only restaurant left in town that had any power. All the drive there, every stoplight was broken.

In spite of all the limbs that fell on my parents' house, the damage was more limited than we probably could have expected it to be: dented siding, a few missing shingles, gutters that were now pulled away from the house. My fiance was also lucky: only an awning had been pulled off his house. And most lucky of all was the fact that none of us had been harmed.

Driving back to Indiana early this morning, I watched as the amount of debris and damage quickly lessened the farther I drove. Nearing the Bloomington exit, a couple construction signs were tipped over, and then just one stoplight was out. But my apartment has power (whereas over 200,000 of my southwestern Ohio natives may be without power for days), and I've seen just a few twigs, small branches, and leaves scattered about.

Nevertheless, there has also been some consequence here at the office. During the wind and rain, it seems that one of our outlets gave out, and oh what damage one little broken outlet can do! Our refrigerator has leaked a puddle across the floor, any messages left on our answering machine have been obliterated, and only now, after jamming all our plugs into a series of power strips, do we again have access to the Internet, and all of you. Please bear with us over the next couple days as we try to get back up to speed!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Of Octopuses and Eight-Year-Olds

I've only been the Fiction Editor for a couple weeks now, but already I've noticed particular trends in the work folks have been submitting to Indiana Review. And I'm not the only one here noticing trends. The other editors--in both fiction and poetry--have noticed certain literary fads as well. These days, everyone seems very interested in writing about the following:

1) Nomads--Stories featuring bands of wanderers trudging either the northern tundra or the wind-swept desert.

2) Twins--Usually, these twins are brothers, all grown up, and they must deal with the echoes of their troubled childhood, or one must help the other through some crisis such as a failed marriage.

3) Precocious Eight-year-olds--Often told in first person, these precocious kids are usually female characters, and are too smart and too cute for their own good. Every now and then, we get double the fun with precocious eight-year-old twins! Now, we've always received stories about children, but lately the specific age of eight seems to be popular among writers submitting to IR.

4) Neighborhoods terrorized by cats--These felines are out of control, digging through trash, mating on characters' front porches, and meowing shrilly at all hours of the night.

5) Bears--Yes, bears seem to be everybody's favorite mammal. Brown bears, green bears, and sadly, caged bears have frequently shown up in the poetry and fiction we're reading through now.

6)The Octopus--Who doesn't love octopuses (or is it octopi?). No one, apparently, because our eight-legged, oceanic friends keep swimming into our poetry slush pile.

7) Lazarus--This biblical figure is resurrected again and again in the pieces we've seen lately.

8) The End of the World--The writers out there are becoming prophets, and our futures are bleak, yet beautifully lyrical.

Now, please don't misunderstand us. These trends aren't necessarily negative at all. (Heck, I've written a twin story myself.) We've enjoyed and accepted poems and stories featuring all of these characters and themes. Still, once you notice so many people writing about similar things, you begin to wonder: Where's this trend coming from? Is it our collective conscience? Maybe it's the year--2008--and everyone has eight on their minds, leading to the fascination with the eight-legged mollusks and the youthful age of eight. Who knows, maybe next year--2009--cats will survive another year with their nine lives and poets will call out to the nine muses. Whatever the trends, we think we're ready and we're happy to read them.


Monday, September 8, 2008

Our starting lineups...

Hey everyone! I'm Ryan Teitman, IR's newly minted Poetry Editor.

I recently watched Bull Durham on DVD, so to put things in perspective, if the IR staff were a minor league baseball team, Jenny would be the gruff but loveable manager who's seen it all, Nina would be the hot-shot pitcher ready to prove herself, Chad would be the infielder with a sixth sense, Andy would be the catcher with an awesome nickname, and I would be the outfielder who keeps a piece of lettuce under his hat to stay cool during summer day games.

Some things you should know about me:
1. I used to be a Philadelphia newspaper reporter before I made my expedition to Indiana.

2. I take my job of reading unsolicited submissions very seriously. I know that submitting to a literary magazine means putting yourself on the line, and I respect everyone who slides their work into an envelope, licks the seal, and sends it off into the world. I'm going to try to get responses to you as quickly as humanly possible. But keep in mind that I am human, and giving every poem the consideration it deserves sometimes takes a bit of time.

3. My favorite cake is carrot cake.

Issue 30.2 is coming together and looking great, so keep your eye out, it's going to be a great year!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Spoiler Alert!

Now that Labor Day has come and gone and school is back in session, summer is officially over. To celebrate the end of the season I present to you, dear readers, the 100 Best Last Lines from Novels compiled by the American Book Review. (You can also check out the entire, alphabetized list of nominated last lines.)

The final 100 covers everything from classics, modernists, post-modernists, experimentalists, traditionalists, and everything in between. My favorite is #22 from William H. Gass' Willie Masters' Lonesome Wife: YOU HAVE FALLEN INTO ART - RETURN TO LIFE.


Monday, September 1, 2008

Indiana Review Submissions Manager Launched!

Tada! It's finally here. For those who prefer to submit online, you may now do so here for Indiana Review. We're still accepting snail mail submissions, and there are a number of snail mail submissions that we will need to read before we start reading the electronic submissions. But we're excited about this change.

As with other submission managers, you'll be able to keep track of your own submissions. Our submissions guidelines, however, will be just as true for the electronic submissions as for the snail mail submissions, so please do review them before you submit. In particular, when submitting to Indiana Review, please only send one submission per genre, and then wait to hear an answer before sending the next.

On your mark!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Catching up with Tim Seibles

Wednesdays continue to be a very funky day for us and we hope they are for you too. To add a little extra funk to your day, check out editor emeritus Abdel Shakur's interview with poet Tim Seibles (author of Buffalo Head Solos, Hurdy Gurdy, Body Moves, and Kerosene) over at Misstra Knowitall. Tim expounds on the funkiness of Bullwinkle, Blade, and Barack, as well as the inspiration for his poem included in our Funk feature (issue 30.1).

Monday, August 25, 2008

Review of The Water Cure from IR 30.1

Percival Everett. The Water Cure. St. Paul, Minnesota: Graywolf Press, 2007. $22.00 hardcover (ISBN 978-1-55597-476-3), 216 pages.

Reviewed by Jackson Brown

It’s a novice reader’s faux pas, but even the most seasoned critic could lose sight of the distinction between narrator and author in Percival Everett’s novels. Everett has a knack for straddling that line just enough to make his Black male narrators read like variations of himself. Erasure, one of Everett’s previous novels, is widely acknowledged as having autobiographical elements, its plot involving a Black writer’s struggle to successfully define himself outside of a stereotypical literary persona. Moreover, Everett’s bio on Erasure’s dust jacket could double as a description of the book’s narrator: a California-based professor who enjoys fly-fishing and woodworking. In Everett’s latest book, The Water Cure, his Black male novelist/narrator, Ishmael Kidder, represents authorial self-definition gone awry. The story serves as Kidder’s personal account of how he has captured, tied up, and is torturing the man he suspects of raping and murdering of his eleven-year-old daughter. In this case, the narratorial/authorial distinction is clear, at least until one turns again to the dust jacket, featuring a photo of the author, Everett, hovering protectively over his own infant son.

A similarly multifaceted plot undergirds the novel’s multifaceted narrator. When not physically or psychologically tormenting his victim in the basement, Kidder entertains his literary agent, Sally, upstairs. Kidder’s double life is compounded with his recent tragedy and his lingering sense of loss from walking out on a stale marriage. By the end of the novel, Kidder’s left wondering whether any of it—his career, his anger, his solitary existence—is worthwhile. Everett manages to keep all these balls aloft in the narrative air, but the effort is so conspicuous that the juggling act itself becomes more prominent than the plot. The torture narrative is vaguely resolved. Frequent gaps in the book’s fragmentary structure make the narrator seem shadowy—more “there” than “here.” And throughout the novel, Kidder can’t decide what he wants to talk about: ancient philosophy, the Bush administration, semiotics, or the weather. What’s even more displacing is that Cure directs all its high-academic and far-ranging banter unequivocally at the reader, at “you.” Be assured: if Everett’s novels have a reputation for being cerebral, The Water Cure indeed follows suit, and aggressively so. While Everett intentionally conflates his voice with his torturer/narrator’s, the muddy second-person narrative conspires to displace us, the readers, into the position of the torture victim.

That’s not to say that Cure’s author/reader, torturer/victim dynamic creates an unpleasant experience—no more unpleasant, at least, than it’s meant to create. Though guided along by a violent, grief-stricken narrator, at no point does the novel feel outside the control of a capable storyteller. Everett’s humor and ear for dialogue keep the narrative afloat, so to speak, in places where it might, in less able hands, drag. Take for instance Kidder’s exchange with a JCPenny’s sales associate when he sallies out from home to purchase new instruments of torture for his victim—full-length mirrors:
“Why do you need two?” she asked.

“An experiment,” I said. […] “I’m interested in various angles of incidence and refraction,” I lied to her, leaning an elbow onto the counter. I then went on, “Do you know what the Venus effect is?”


[Kidder goes on to explain.]

“Okay.” She didn’t want to talk anymore. [Her voice’s] truckish quality was replaced by one of, not annoyance, or boredom, but of a hushed, tight-lipped, subdued alarm.


I then went to the drugstore and bought the largest hand mirrors they had.

When the clerk there asked me what I needed all those mirrors for, I told him that I was vain and left it at that.

What emerges from Cure’s unconventional plotline is a nuanced and raw depiction of troubled interiority. In an attempt to logically justify his brutal actions and disassociate himself from the greater American barbarism his victim comes to represent for him, Kidder translates his situation into word problems and algebraic equations, neither of which he can successfully work out on the page. Likewise, language frequently breaks down throughout the novel: Kidder resorting to pen sketches in moments when he finds his anguish ineffable—words devolving into garbled phonetics, as if spoken through water. Despite Kidder’s alternate intellectual posturing and narrative flippancy, he—and perhaps Everett as well—straps himself down in the basement right along with us, helpless as he relentlessly deconstructs his own project, with merely the act of expression offering hope for salvation.

Everett’s latest work is nothing if not ambitious. Unabashed in its critical commentary on America’s own special brand of ruthlessness and unflinching in its gaze at its own authorship, The Water Cure can’t be called a success in its resolution so much as successful at its own dissolution, highlighting the problematic relationship between language and our national and personal pathologies.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Review of I Carry A Hammer In My Pocket For Occasions Such As These from 30.1

Anthony Tognazzini. I Carry A Hammer In My Pocket For Occasions Such As These. Rochester, NY: BOA Editions, Ltd, 2007. $14.95 paper. (ISBN 978-1-929918-90-4), 142 pages.

Reviewed by Christopher Citro

In his 1928 Dada short feature Ghosts Before Breakfast, Hans Richter creates a world where it's impossible to simply wake up, get dressed, and have breakfast. A necktie will come to life and crawl about on one's head. One's hat will lift off and join a flock of other hats flying around, just out of reach. This is a world in which Anthony Tognazzini, author of I Carry A Hammer In My Pocket For Occasions Such As These, would comfortably sip his morning orange juice.

Published by BOA Editions in their American Reader Series, Tognazzini's debut collection is the well-respected poetry press's first foray into fiction. This lush hybrid of short shorts and prose poems mixes fifty-seven stories of differing lengths a la Lydia Davis. These are stories with one foot in the mundane everyday world and the other in the fantastic and grotesque—with objects and characters swooping unexpectedly between like hats through the morning air.

The collection begins, appropriately, with a section entitled "Ever Since This Morning." Here, images of awakening after late nights and shaky dreams blend with the sharp colors of a new day. Again and again the quotidian world is invaded by chaos and absurdity. The theme comes most alive in dialogue, when everyday, terse utterances bump against ones more appropriate to hothouse Victorian versifying, calling to mind such American surrealists as James Tate and Russell Edson. In the story "In Love With Nowhere To Go," a man awakes hung-over to find all his furniture stacked in the kitchen. He remembers he's in love with a woman named Jane, and then inexplicably heads out to visit a drive-thru liquor store called "Stop and Sop."

The microphone at the drive-thru was designed as a plastic beer bottle.
"Hello," I said.
"Murf, murf," said the lady.
I told her she'd better articulate herself or else.
She said, "From this blanket of ashes, our Life, springs not one but a thousand dancing angels, their hearts dappled flags of moonlight, their wings slim and silvery."

After this poetic exchange, the man drinks two bottles of whisky while driving, blacks out, and returns home the next morning. Remembering that he's in love, he crawls into his couch, balanced on the kitchen counter, and falls asleep. Having come full circle—by way of cars, liquor, vomit, and toothpaste—we have about as coherent a portrait of a day in the life of a young man in love as one could wish. In the end, the absurdity seems more than the means to an end, it's the end itself—a psychological point acute in its refusal to deliver anything resembling a tidy analysis of the foibles of love.

In section two, "Second Thoughts," characters react with sudden violence to the various interruptions of their routines, as in the Daniil Kharms-like title story, in which a speaker is asked for a loan and responds by reaching for his hammer. We meet couples attempting to survive "love's ever-ragged disequilibrium," such as in "Accident by Escalator," in which a man gets pulled into an escalator and permanently flattened to a grooved pancake. His girlfriend puts up with this for a while but ultimately leaves. Thankfully, along comes a new girlfriend—"a doormat named Rebecca."

In the third section's "Gainesville, Oregon—1962,” Tognazzini's absurdist axe reveals a rotten core to an otherwise tranquil, suburban family. We start in a safe, "Leave it to Beaver" world and end with underage group sex, a drug-overdosed mother in a coma, a liquored-up neighbor boy dead in the shrubbery, and a dispirited father pulling up the drive after first having run over the family cat. This violence—the rending of reality that characterizes most of the stories in the book—can at times feel forced, and the sexuality sophomoric, but the overall effect is one of revelation. And also joy—these stories are fun as hell to read, full of humor, lyricism, and playfulness.

The stories of the final section, "Gift Exchange," culminate, surprisingly, in resolution and rest (often in the form of a nap)—in rebirth even—though always in a world haunted with mystery and loss. The book ends, as do so many of the stories, with the breakdown of simplistic understandings into a less comforting, but more realistic, recognition of the danger and chaos that underlie everyday life. In the story "Same Game," an adult on his weary way to work in the morning is thrown a ball by a child playing in the street.

"You look sad. Where are you going?"
"To work," I told her. "Everyday I take the bus, same time. See my briefcase. It's an adult thing. When you grow up, you'll see. It's not sad. You ride the bus, work, come home atnight. Like that." I tossed the ball back, "You?" I asked. "Where're you going?"
The built-in reflector on the girl's sneaker gleamed. She said, "I'm going to be brave in
ways you won't recognize." Then she pocketed her racquetball and ran away from me.

One can almost hear the hats swooping overhead, chasing the rising sun.

Monday, August 11, 2008

What a steal.

We gave you a heads up a couple months ago, but now's the time to know: former editor Danit Brown's collection of short stories, Ask for a Convertaible, is finally here, and it's a steal on Even more economical (given you have the hardware) is the version for Kindle.

The book already has a reader review over there, and you can also read a write-up on the book over on The Ann Arbor News's blog.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Remember this guy?

So even though our funk contest is over, we did leave one thread hanging. We never revealed the answer to Contest Four, our funked up Where's Waldo. For those of you who have found themselves lying awake at night, tossing and turning, haunted by visions pink shoes and purple spandex, rest easy. We got you covered.

The man in question is in fact a member of Parliament/Funkadelic and the picture was taken from their album cover, Gold. He also appears in our Summer 2008 issue (30.1) . (Check him out on page 114.) We're very honored to feature in this issue previously unpublished artwork by the four artists who designed the Parliament/Funkadelic covers: Pedro Bell, Ronald Edwards (aka Stozo the Clown), Diem Jones and Overton Llyod.

Big thanks to all who participated in our contests. You made our July funktastic!


Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The month of Funk is over, and we have our last winners.

Congratulations to Michael of Minneapolis, Minnesota and Angie from Tallahasee, Florida.

1. What two elements did Jericho Brown want to include in his poem "All That Crawls beneath Me"?
2. What is the relationship between these two elements in the poem?

1. Jericho Brown wanted to include roaches and Chuck Taylors in his poem.
2. The youngest roaches laugh at the speaker's Chuck Taylors.

Thanks, everyone, for your participation in these five hump days of Funk contests!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Contest Five: Wednesday is the New Twos-day

Welcome back to the fifth and final funk contest! Because we didn't have a winner last week, we're going to have two winners this week. So here it is: the first two correct answers get a free copy of our Summer 2008 issue. In the spirit of doubling your funk pleasure, this one's a two-parter.

Are you ready for this?

1. What two elements did Jericho Brown want to include in his poem "All That Crawls beneath Me"?
2. What is the relationship between these two elements in the poem?

It's all about speed, people. Send your answers to inreview at indiana dot edu

Monday, July 28, 2008

As Jerry Blank would say, "I'm sad."

It seems as if we might have made last week's contest a little too hard. But you've all known your Funk so well, we really had no doubt someone would be able to answer correctly.

To make it up to you, we're going to give away two issues this Wednesday, the last contest in these Five Hump Days of Funk. The first two people with the correct answer will each get a free copy of Indiana Review 30.1 (summer 2008).

Also to make it up to you, we've posted a peace offering bluecast: Jericho Brown reading his poem "All that Crawls beneath Me," which appears in the Funk feature.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Contest Four: Like a Funky Where's Waldo

We're back with our fourth funk contest of the month. Today's challenge: Who is this funky, funky man? (pictured at left) He appears on a funk album, can you tell us which one?

The first to email us (inreview at indiana dot edu) with the correct album name will receive a free copy of our summer 2008 issue!

As if you weren't getting enough Funk this month.

So, the Funk contest will be up a little later today, but while you're waiting, you should check this out: editor emeritus (in Kyle Dargan's words) Abdel Shakur has an interview up on Post No Ills. Dargan asks the questions, and Shakur offers some really thoughtful and interesting answers. Definitely worth a read.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Talking Book

Our third winner this month is Noah from Pittsburgh, PA who correctly identified the drummer of this song --Superstition by Stevie Wonder on the album Talking Book--as none other than Stevie Wonder himself! Not only did Wonder write, arrange and produce Talking Book, he is also credited with the vocals, guitar, keyboards, synthesizer, bass, drums, and percussion. All at 22 years old!

Noah's been looking for our Funk issue in bookstores. If you haven't been able to find us, we've got a handy dandy list the stores that carry us on our website. You can also order us online. Or you can win our next contest...

Another funk contest is just around the corner so stay tuned. Until then, please enjoy this 1972 performance of Superstition on the show that taught me how to read, Sesame Street. (Check out the kid in the red sweater rocking out, that's totally how I learned to dance!)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The One

We're back, with another Wednesday contest on Funk! We also have another audio clip for you (published in our Bluecast, to the right). We think you'll probably guess this tune in no time, but maybe you're not as familier with its drummer?

First person to respond with the name of the drummer wins a copy of IR summer 2008. Send your entry to inreview at indiana dot edu.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Mother Earth is pregnant for the third time.

Our next winner this month is Jesse from Elizabethtown PA. Jesse answered our first name-that-tune question correctly. The artist is Funkadelic/Parliament, and the song is "Maggot Brain." Jesse, raised on Funk, already has a copy of our summer 2008 issue and so has chosen to send the prize to someone else as a gift.

If you already have your own copy, don't let that keep you from participating in our next contest, which will be posted this Wednesday. Do what Jesse did!

Regarding the song: listen to the whole thing, folks, if you got means. It's stunning.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Contest Two: Name that Tune

Welcome back to our second contest in this month of Funk. Today we're asking you to name that tune--a selection is posted on our Bluecast (to the right). Please write to us (inreview at indiana dot edu) with both the name of the artist and the title of the song. First one with the right answer wins a copy of our summer 2008 issue!

(I hadn't heard this song until Abdel introduced me to it, and now it's one of my all-time favorite songs. -Jenny)

Monday, July 7, 2008

Speaking of the issue with the Funk feature...

When I fall in love with a song, I just have to hear it over and over again. I'm sure I'm not the only one. I punch that repeat button on whatever music machine is playing my song, and then just let go. There was a pretty great mix of a Kylie Minogue song years ago that I couldn't get enough of. "Come into My World," layered over a Fischerspooner track. That Andre 3000 Polaroid shaking song I loved, too. Recently, I sing along to "Kaho Na Kaho" when I get the chance ("ye anken bolti hain, o sanam o sanam"--I'm still working on it). What on Earth does this have to do with our Funk feature?

In case you missed last Wednesday's comment by Christopher, we should let you know that "Unrequite" by Stephanie Taylor, a poem featured in Indiana Review summer 2008, got some more play on Poetry Daily last Sunday, July 6.

Go on and read it already. Again and again, if you want.


Funk direct

The first winner in our series of contests this month is Brooklyn of Carmel, Indiana. Brooklyn's e-mail arrived in our inbox lightning fast with the correct answer to our question: In which 1985 movie did the Godfather of Soul, King of Funk, Hardest Working Man in Show Business, ultra-funky James Brown appear?

The answer is none only than Rocky IV. Congratulations, Brooklyn! And thanks so much to everyone else who participated in the contest. Stay tuned for another question this Wednesday, for another chance to win a free copy of the summer 2008 issue.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

On your mark...get set...Funk!

It's giveaway time!

Question of the day:
The Godfather of Soul, King of Funk, Hardest Working Man in Show Business, ultra-funky James Brown appeared in which 1985 movie?

Be the first to email us ( with the correct answer and receive a *free* copy of our summer issue 30.1. How funky is that!

Winner will be announced Monday, July 7. Next giveaway will posted Wednesday, July 9.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Five Hump Days of Funk

For those of you from the Midwest, or for those of you that just visit, you know that July here is a time of great lu-fuki*. So we're celebrating with an Indiana Review 30.1 (summer 2008) giveaway each Wednesday of the month.

Here's how it's going to work: on Wednesday, we'll ask a question, you'll answer it an an e-mail to us, and we'll select a winner based on response accuracy first, and then on response speed. The following Monday, we'll announce who gets the copy of the issue.

The first contest is this Wednesday, July 2. We're looking forward to sharing the Funk with you!

*"strong body ordor" and "positive sweat," from the Ki-Kongo