Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Sex, lies, and poetry...

Poetry has scandals too! That's right--it's not just for politicians and celebrities anymore. This week Ruth Padel resigned from her post as Oxford University's Professor of Poetry. Apparently she contacted journalists about the sexual harassment claims against front-runner Dereck Walcott and encouraged the press to write about his shortcomings. Oxford is going to re-hold elections for the post. Padel served just nine days as the first-ever woman to hold the position.

And here I thought that literary scandals only involved faking your memoirs...

And on a completely different note: only 5 days left to enter the 1/2 K prize!


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

We are pleased to announce our 2009 Poetry Prize Winner. But first I'd like to thank final judge was Natasha Trethewey. Ms. Trethewey’s most recent collection Native Guard (Houghton Mifflin 2006), won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry. Her work has appeared in several volumes of Best American Poetry. Thank you, Ms. Trethewey, for reading and selecting our winner! And without further ado:
2009 Indiana Review Poetry Prize Winner

“First Shift at the Hawk’s Nest Tunnel Project”
Tom Christopher


“Greenwood Resident the Afternoon After the Riot”
Tom Christopher

Robert Peake

Keep your eye out for Tom Christopher's poem and other finalists' poems in our Winter Issue Vol. 31.2. Congratulations again to Tom, and thank you to everyone who entered the poetry contests.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Today in History + Withdrawing a Submission

On May 20, 1932, Amelia Earhart flew her first solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean. She took off from Harbour Grace, Newfoundland and, although originally intending to land in Paris, after 14 hours and 56 minutes of strong, icy winds and mechanical problems, she landed in Culmore, Ireland. Earhart was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic (yay Amelia!). Five years later, she and her navigator, Fred Noonan, disappeared during their round-the-world flight.

Here at IR, we know a thing or two about disappearances. As writers ourselves, we are no stranger to how it feels to submit work--either through snail mail or online systems--and no matter how often I do it, once that envelope/Word file leaves my hands, I feel like I'm facing something like a great unknown. Who knows if my submission will even make it to intended destination!

All this is to say, we feel your pain. We know that we're a little behind in our response time to your submission, but we promise that we are doing our utmost to get back to you as soon as we can. One pitfall to not being able to read a submission as soon as it hits our mailbox is that the story/essay/poem might get picked up by another journal. If that happens, congratulations! We always knew that you were awesome! Also, please send us an email as soon as you know. The email should look something like this:

Dear IR,
The poem/story/essay that I sent to you on [date] by [snail mail/your online submissions mangaer] has been [taken by another journal/beamed up into space/eaten by my dog] and I would like to withdraw it.


The information that you send us (genre, date submitted, and snail mail vs online) helps us locate your submission quickly so that we are not searching for you in all the wrong places.

If you submitted online, you can withdraw your fiction or nonfiction piece yourself. For poetry, we still ask you send us a version of the email above. And don't worry about withdrawing just one poem from your submission--the rest of your work will still be considered.


Monday, May 18, 2009

Lightning and hellos and deadlines, oh my!

Hello! It's my first time blogging here so let me introduce myself.

I am Alessandra, the new Associate Editor. I am excited to be settling into to my new desk, learning the ropes and the happenings around here. One of the things I am still getting used to is Indiana Summer rainstorms. Just last week I was jumping out of my chair nearly every 5 minutes due to the thunder and lightning. I swear thunder is louder in Indiana.

I've also been enjoying reading the submissions again. Speaking up submissions there are two important announcements:

1) We'll be closing Poetry and Non-Fiction submission on June 1st 2009 -- so if you've been hanging to your submissions, hesitate no longer--mail or click and send us your work!

2) June 1st also marks the deadline of our 1/2k prize with Final Judge Lydia Davis!!! Click here for the guidelines. Contests are so exciting. You too can join in the party!

I have been thinking about starting my Quote of the Day collection, so in honor of QoTD I leave you with the inspirational musings of Teddy Roosevelt:

Far and away the best prize life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

As David Bowie said, Changes...

Hello Blue Light readers!

As you have probably garnered from our previous posts, IR has changed its guard once more. I'll be moving up to editor and welcoming Alessandra, Marcus, Catalina, and Lana into the office. I cannot thank our 2008/9 editors--Jenny, Ryan, Chad, and Andy-- enough for all of their hard work and dedication. I learned an incredible amount this past year as associate editor from these guys and I will miss them dearly.

I'm looking forward to another year of fantastic fiction, poetry, non-fiction, and all that's in between! (Speaking of which, don't forget that our 1/2K Prose Poem-Short Short deadline is June 1st.) Thank you to all of our submitters, subscribers, and well-wishers: we couldn't do it without you.

All my IR love, Nina

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

In the pink even though the end is nigh.

Well, for me it is, as regards my tenure at the magazine. Just another couple days and the editorship will slip out of my grasp.

Editing IR has been amazing; working with Associate Editor Nina Mamikunian, Poetry Editor Ryan Teitman, Fiction Editor Chad Anderson, and Nonfiction Editor Andy Cartwright has been amazing. All together, it's fair to say that this has been the best professional experience of my life. And although I'm looking forward to having more time for my own reading and my own writing, I'm already missing the magazine.

For three years now, I've had the pleasure of reading the manuscripts submitted. Competition for inclusion in IR is pretty rigorous, so not everything we enjoyed reading gets printed. But do know we enjoy reading the submissions. That's one of the things I'll miss.

But in a few weeks, I'll have the pleasure of reading the summer 2009 issue, 31.1. Today I sent off the list of this issue's subscribers to one of our distributors. First, however, I reviewed the thousands of names and addresses to make sure the magazine would make it to all you generous subscribers. Even though that proofreading was a little mind numbing, it was also delightful because of the miniature discoveries found in the mailing list:

Issues are going to writers I've worked with, writers I've read, both. Issues are going to the libraries on the campuses of colleges I've attended, and issues are going to people who live on streets on which I've mosied or caught busses. Issues are going to people who live just a stone's throw (if you have a really, really good arm) from my parents' house. And issues are going to people in the same zip codes where I've worked in offices. Issues are going to my house--and I'm looking forward to the subtle community of reading the magazine with you all this summer.

Then again in the winter, that the subtle community will reemerge, when the new editorial staff has begun to settle in; I can't wait to see what they do, what we'll all be reading together.


Monday, May 4, 2009

School's (Almost) Out for the Summer!

It's the end of the semester for us here at Indiana Review, and that means transition, transition, transition! Spring seems to be here to stay (knocking on wood), our Summer issue, 31.1, is at the printers, so we're focusing on 31.2, and we've got a new batch of editors. Speaking of which, congrats to our new senior editorial staff:
Nina Mamikunian steps up as Editor
Alessandra Simmons, Associate Editor
Marcus Wicker, Poetry Editor
Catalina Bartlett, Fiction Editor
Lana Spendl, Non-fiction Editor

As for me, I'm looking forward to spending time outdoors and, in between searching for an elusive J.O.B., diving into my summer reading list. My list includes, but isn't limited to:
Paradise by Toni Morrison
Refresh, Refresh by Benjamin Percy
The Sweet Hereafter by Russell Banks
Philadelphia Fire
by John Edgar Wideman
by Jeffrey Eugenides
Terrarium by Scott Russell Sanders
Women in Love by D.H. Lawrence

Please, tell us what's on your reading list for the summer?