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

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

With Great Sadness

We received word that poet Aleda Shirley passed away earlier this week after a long battle with cancer.

She was the author of three collections of poetry, Dark Familiar (Sarabande Books, 2006), Long Distance (Miami University Press, 1996), and Chinese Architecture (University of Georgia Press, 1986), which won the Poetry Society of America's Norma Farber First Book Prize. She received, among many other awards, fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Kentucky Arts Council and the Mississippi Arts Council.

More information about Shirley can be found here. A review of Dark Familiar by former IR poetry editor Hannah Faith Notess can be found here.

She will be greatly missed.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Numero uno

Every once in a while, people ask (and sometimes Indiana Review staff even gives a talk on) how to get published. Of course, every magazine's staff might respond in a way that's ever so slightly different. However, there are three big things, I would say. Let's do this countdown style:

Number three: just keep sending your work out. We get to read a lot of stuff here, and we like a whole lot more of it than we can really publish. I've read work that our editors have chosen to pass on appear in the pages of some really nice journals. We're all just people reading your work--not quality-tabulating machines. So don't necessarily take a rejection as a sign that what you sent was no good. (On the other hand, it wouldn't be wise to assume that a rejection results merely from a matter of taste, either.) Of course, if you're sending your work to a lot of places at once, you'll want to make sure you notify everyone else once a piece gets picked up for publication somewhere.

Number two: read the magazine. A number of magazines might have this listed as numero uno. And it definitely helps to have an understanding of what kind(s) of material you might find in a particular journal. Indiana Review, we believe, represents an array of voices, styles, themes, etc--so sometimes the most we can say is that what we like is what's good. Read the magazine. You'll see what we're talking about.

Number one: read the guidelines. Read the guidelines and follow them. The staff of some magazines might just chuck your whole submission if you don't. For the most part, we try to be a little more understanding than that, but it makes our jobs harder when those who submit don't follow the guidelines. That's not something I'd imagine a submitter would want to be remembered for. And we do remember.

The importance of number one becomes ever clearer during a contest. We do our best to track down writers whose entries are missing pieces, but there's a lot of correspondence going back and forth during a contest. Making sure you've followed the guidelines will give both you and us a little peace of mind.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Today in History

On June 18, 1815, Napoleon Bonaparte was defeated at the Battle of Waterloo. What's this got to do with anything literary related? For one, it resulted in the proliferation one of the greatest palindromes in the English language: Able was I ere I saw Elba.

Aftermath of the battle included Napoleon's exile to St. Helena, half a century of international peace in Europe, and a handy example of metaphor/synecdoche/metonymy: Napoleon lost at Waterloo (part for the whole)...Johnny met his Waterloo...etc.

Also, enjoy the ABBA (palindrome!):


Monday, June 16, 2008

Aw, shucks.

So we got word this morning from Abdel that one of the first reviews of the Funk issue is in. You can read the review over here. The young man who wrote it is Rion Amilcar Scott, someone we got a chance to meet at AWP this year, and that was a delight. (He'll tell you a little about our meeting himself.)

If you want to check out the Funk issue yourself, you can find nearby bookstores here or even order one to be mailed straight to your doorstep here.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Greetings from the Mothership...

The summer issue of Indiana Review is out now and if you don't got a copy, you got to get yourself one. Besides top-notch work from Gary Soto, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Denise Duhamel, Liza Wieland, and T. Geronimo Johnson, this issue also has a funk feature.

What, pray tell, is a funk feature? Well, dear reader, you're going to have to get you a copy of the issue to really find out, but for now let's just say that the funk feature is poetry, fiction, and art with a funk aesthetic. Terrance Hayes, Aracelis Girmay, Patrick Rosal, Rachel Eliza Griffiths, Tim Seibles, Jericho Brown, and Ed Pavlic contribute some of the funkiest poetry ever assembled, Honoree Jeffers offers a story all about Mad Dog 20/20 (Duce Duce!) and then there's the art, which is off the hook!

Now, there's a lot of incredible work in the art section, by Thomas Sayers Ellis, Krista Franklin, Scott Chernis, and Noel W. Anderson, but we we're especially lucky to receive previously unpublished art from the four artists who designed the covers for Parliament-Funkadelic. Yeah--all of them. It is off the hook. To get your copy, try our online ordering.

I'm officially done at IR, but since this issue is my baby (as I was so astutely reminded by one of my favorite poets, Marcus Wicker) I'm going to talk more about the issue on my blog,

Also, keep your blue light on because we'll be updating our podcasts with podcasts of authors from the funk feature (actually, Aracelis Girmay and Patrick Rosal are already up). In the mean time, if you haven't already, you need to be checking in with the Indiana Review blog (The Bluelight) to here authors reading some of their work.


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Hey New York, whatcha doing this weekend?

CLMP presents the 9th annual Lit Mag Marathon Weekend in NYC June 14th and 15th.

From their press release:

The Magathon
New York Public Library's Periodicals Room, 5th Ave. at 42nd St.
Saturday, June 14th from 4–6:30 PM

The Magathon kicks off the weekend with a celebratory “marathon” reading. Editors representing journals of different sizes and styles will present favorite selections from their latest issues. Readers include editors from American Book Review, Cider Press Review, Confrontation, Eclipse, Fairy Tale Review, The Georgia Review, Haight Ashbury Literary Journal, KNOCK, Lapham's Quarterly, Literal Latte, Mad Hatters' Review, n+1, Opium Magazine, Painted Bride Quarterly, Parnassus: Poetry in Review, Salt Hill, The Southern Review, Storyscape Journal, and Zeek.

9th Annual Lit Mag Fair at Housing Works

Housing Works Used Book Café, 126 Crosby Street in Soho
Sunday, June 15th from 12–5PM

Lit fiends can take home armfuls of lit mags discounted more than 50% at only $2 a copy! Choose from hundreds of magazines from all over the country and hobnob with many of the editors who’ll be there in person to meet and greet.

Proceeds go to Housing Works, a nonprofit organization serving homeless people living with AIDS, and to The Council of Literary Magazines and Presses, a nonprofit organization serving independent literary publishers.

While IR won't be there in person, we will be there in spirit. And in print. Stop by and check us out!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Last day to enter

It's here at last, the final day to enter Indiana Review's 2008 1/2 K Prize. Remember that all entrants receive consideration for publication as well as a one-year subscription to IR, and remember also that the winner gets a thousand smackers and, of course, publication in IR. Russell Edson is our esteemed final judge, and you can find all the details you need to submit here.

The postmark deadline is today, June 9th, and since fair's fair and all, online submissions will close at 8:00 pm EST (when most post offices will be closed in that fair land to the west).

The submissions our judges have read are remarkably strong this year. You all are making this judging thing difficult.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

It is in Bloomington that our scene lies.

It was a dark and stormy night, and morning, and afternoon, except for the occasional interval of daylight that baked the puddles to steam. We've been having a lot of T-storms and tornado watches here in the Midwest, lately. It's been a little scary, but you hang out in the basement with your friend, or sweetie, or brother, and talk about the last time you endured those sirens--sirens you usually only get to hear once a month when tested. When it happened yesterday, I was with my fiance, showing my brother and sister-in-law our very fascinating basement, with its mid-century garage-sale finds and giant jars filled with basmati, dried peas and lima beans. My sister-in-law's most feared natural disaster is a tornado, and so we all sat down to talk about other near or far misses, like it t'weren't no big thang.

Well, this weather reminded Nina of a line most of us have learned is a little tired for beginning a story: "It was a dark and stormy night." But since most of us probably learned this line from Snoopy, typing away atop his red dog house, not nearly enough of us have encountered the unabridged version of the famous first line: "It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents--except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness." This beaut was penned by the infamous Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, for whom a wonderful contest has been named. Entries are only one, long and windy sentence long.

The contest website hasn't been updated for a little while, so I hope the contest is still going strong. To read the top entries from 2007, check it out here.


Monday, June 2, 2008

Poetry Submissions closed June1st to Sept 1st

It's official: Our poetry submissions are now closed for the summer. We will begin accepting work again on September 1st.

So while we catch up on our summer reading and bury ourselves in Mt. Submissionmore, here're some fun summer activities while you're waiting for Sept. 1st to roll around:
  • make lemonade
  • go swimming
  • catch up on your sleep
  • check the IR blog
  • have picnics with friends
  • start a kickball league
  • check the IR blog again
and of course, the most important...