Monday, April 27, 2009

1/2 K Prize

So the sun's back out again, the weather's warmer, so you know what that means...prose poems and flash fiction! Our 1/2 K Prize is coming up in June, with a prize of $1000 and publication, judged by Lydia Davis. So send us 3 pieces of prose (be they prose poetry, flash fiction, or micro-essays) before June 1. For your $15 entry fee, you'll also get a 1-year subscription to Indiana Review. And remember, all pieces are considered for publication. Please visit and follow the prize submission guidelines carefully. So kick off your summer by putting your line breaks into storage (along with those heavy sweaters).

Monday, April 20, 2009

We Know Where You Live

Here at Indiana Review, we receive submissions from a lot of places with the most interesting, evocative, funny, and sometimes, even unfortunate names. Here are some of our favorites:

Surprise, Arizona
Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina
Medical Lake, Washington
Copperopolis, California
Bland, Virginia

Now we want to hear from you all. If you're from a place with snazzy or memorable name, go ahead and let us hear it.

Friday, April 17, 2009


Indiana Review would like to congratulate the 3rd year MFA students on their thesis readings! Last night featured readings from Kelly Kennedy, Dustin Nightingale, Chad Anderson and Chris Johnson.

Tonight's readers are: Luke Hankins, Roxana Cazan, and Jenny Burdge.

Saturday night features Elizabeth Hoover, Kate Russell, Christopher Citro and Danny Nguyen.

The program begins at 7 in the Grand Hall of the Neal Marshall Black Culture Center on Jordan Avenue near Third Street.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Thanks-congratulations-good luck

Today was the deadline for magazines to put forth their Best New Poets 2009 nominees. Indiana Review is pleased to announce that our nominees are "Red Riding Hood to Grandmother," by Shanan Ballam (featured in 30.1, Summer 2008), and "Losing Bedrock Farm," by Pilar Gomez-Ibanez (our 2008 Poetry Prize winner, featured in 30.2, Winter 2008).

Congratulations and good luck to our nominees! And thanks to all Indiana Review contributors. There was much fine work to choose from, which made our decision a difficult one.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Last day to postmark your fiction submissions!

Hello, Indiana Review readers and submitters! Today we sent the final files for Indiana Review 31.1 (our summer 2009 issue) to the printer. We're so excited about the magazine. It is jam-packed with fiction and poetry and nonfiction, with a special section featuring prose poems and short shorts. We put so much great work in this issue, it ended up being our largest issue in four years. It includes work from Trinie Dalton, Campbell McGrath, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Ander Monson, our 2008 1/2 K and Fiction Prize winners, and a lot more. We cannot wait for it to come back from the printer's. Here's a sneak peak at the cover on the left! If you'd like to order a copy, or even a subscription, you can do so here.

Also, a little reminder: as we mentioned a couple weeks ago, fiction submissions close today. Any work postmarked with today's date will still be considered.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Was That True?

The awkward and hilarious (awklarious?) comedian Mike Birbiglia, who has transformed his true stories about amazing (and dangerous) sleepwalking adventures into a successful off-Broadway hit, "Sleepwalk with Me," often tells this story:

"All the stories that I tell in my show are true. And a lot of times, people will come up to me after the show and they'll be like, 'Was that true?' and I'll be like, 'Yeah' and they'll say, 'Was it?' And I don't know how to respond to that. I guess I could say it louder, you know, like, 'YEEEAAAAHHH!' and they'd be like, 'It's probably true; he said it louder.'"

As a nonfiction writer and editor, I come up against this problematic issue of questionable "truth" nearly every day. "Truth" in its various philosophical forms is a common buzzword among all of the genres. But, only in nonfiction is truth, in its "factual" form, a make-or-break proposition. With public debacles like the one surrounding James Frey's "A Million Little Pieces," where fact is utilized almost as a weapon (perhaps rightly in some cases) to strike down the work outright, the stakes for truth in nonfiction can leave a writer in a state of nervous paralysis, where it's safe to avoid risk, imagination and experimentation; or alternately, the nonfiction writer, like Birbiglia, is forced into a position of defensiveness, mirroring the anger of the "mislead" public back to them in turn.

This conception of truth as merely factual is utterly restrictive, ignoring the swirling, random quirks of personality and memory, the felt experience of living as an imaginative human being. In a class presentation a few days ago, a perceptive student asked me if I've ever had to reject a piece because the narrative was so unbelievable, the narrator so unreliable, that I couldn't possibly pass it off as nonfiction. In my time as editor here, this has never been a major issue for me. Sure, there have been "unreliable" narrators and "unbelievable" stories, but I've always chalked this up to the belief that on some level, especially on the level of remembering, we are all unreliable in the stories we tell about ourselves--and boy, do we all have stories to tell. This is not to say that outright lies should be permitted; I think we can all agree that propping up your life experience to add drama or marketability--and this seems to have been Frey's most unforgivable "crime"--should be denounced. But, it's equally important to acknowledge a truth in memory and experience that exists not against "factual truth" but rather outside of it in a realm that is much more human...even if we have to yell a bit to have our side of the story heard.

P.S. Thank you to everyone who supported our 2009 Indiana Review Poetry Prize. We are busy reading away at all of your submissions, and we expect to be able to publicize the results by mid-June. Also, be on the lookout later today for our 2009 AWP Conference photos, posted to our Facebook page.


Monday, April 6, 2009

T. Geronimo Johnson

Hey folks! Winter has returned to Bloomington today with cold and rain and snow, so we're reminiscing about summer. Check out our newest podcast! T. Geronimo Johnson reads an excerpt from his novel Hold It Till It Hurts from our Summer 2008 issue. You can also check out other pieces in this issue here. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Time to Get Your Poetry On

In honor of National Poetry Month, we have a few links for you to help you celebrate:

Sign up to get a poem delivered to your email inbox every day: And put a poem in your pocket.

Poetry and Politics:
From their website:

100 Poems, 100 Days

The day before the inauguration we sent out a call to poets we admire to write poems that respond, however loosely, to the presidency, the nation, the government or the current political climate. More than one hundred American poets responded immediately. The first 100 poets were each assigned one of President Obama’s first hundred days in office, and each will write a poem reflecting on the state of the nation and the world on that day. A new poem is posted every day.

(This project was started by Rachel Zucker and IR contributor Arielle Greenberg. There are also poems by contributors Kevin Prufer, Nin Andrews, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Erika Meitner and more!)

Also, ask your mayor to make it official.

From all of us at IR, we wish you a very happy National Poetry Month.