Tuesday, June 28, 2011

From the Blue: Contributors Read and Recommend #3

In round 3 of our contributor interview series we spoke with Tyler Meier, a poet whose "One Way to Fill Up a Sky" appeared in our latest issue. Tyler’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in AGNI Online, Bat City Review, Forklift, Ohio, jubilat, THERMOS, and Washington Square. He works as the managing editor of the Kenyon Review and co-directs the Kenyon Review Young Writers Program.

What are you reading right now?

Right now, I'm 100 pages in to Jonathan Franzen's Freedom (FSG). I really think the whole thing so far is both hilarious and chillingly dead-on, and if I didn't need sleep and wasn't latently attention-challenged, I might have been sucked into reading it straight through. Franzen knows how to make a moment that flips ironic and then earnest, ironic then earnest, depending on your vantage point, or how hard the moment was flung. They are like rogue coins ripping through the wishing well of your head. Aren't irony and earnestness mutually exclusive? (If one exists, doesn't it negate the other?) How does he get them to show up in the same spot so easily and so often?

I've also been re-reading Zach Savich's The Firestorm from Cleveland State University Press. (When I typed this, I typed Firestory, which it may also be?) It's so good: the last poem "The impossibility of sleeping alone" is worth the price of admission. These are poems about precision and imprecision, about mistakes-as-maker. And while they churn and wonder, they are also suddenly gorgeous: "Spend enough time looking at the beautiful and you may think you are too." That's right, isn't it?

What else have you been reading this summer?

I also read New Impressions of Africa by Raymond Roussel and translated by Mark Ford, from University of Princeton Press. It's a gem of parathetical twists, and worth getting tangled up in. If you are having boring dreams, this will help.

Ish Klein's Moving Day is in my bag and coming up soon--I'm excited for it.

We just published some new Alice Fulton poems in the Summer 11 issue of The Kenyon Review, and reading back through Cascade Experiment has been a gift. "What I Like" is a poem I want to memorize. My two year old had moved it on the bookshelf; it took a small rescuing to find it. But I'm also really happy that my two year old chose this book to put in a secret hiding place. Fulton is a touchstone; I'm really really excited for her next book.

Which upcoming book releases are you most looking forward to?

Andy Grace's new book Sancta is coming out from Ahsahta Press soon; I'm so excited for this book. I've been a sucker for Ondaatje for a long time, and liked the excerpt from The Cat's Table in the New Yorker, so I'll be excited to see his new novel in print in October from Knopf. Heather Christle's What is Amazing, her third book, will come out from Wesleyan in the near future, and I will find a copy.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Tupelo Press 2011 Snowbound Chapbook Award

Photo by Peter Lee

Congratulations to our contributors for placing in Tupelo Press's 2011 Snowbound Chapbook Award! Lillian-Yvonne Bertram's machine gun villa, Malachi Black's Evening With An Edge Of Bone, and Jacob Shores-Arg├╝ello's Orange Revolution are Finalists, and Sara Michas-Martin's Particles Collide is a Semi-Finalist. Check out their incredible work in our latest three issues!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

From the Blue: Contributors Read and Recommend #2

Round 2 of our contributor interview series finds us talking with Dustin M. Hoffman, whose story "Lysol Fights” is in our latest issue, 33.1! Dustin has an MFA in fiction from Bowling Green State University. He is currently working on his PhD in creative writing at Western Michigan University. His work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Takahe, Palooka, Echo Ink Review, Marginalia, Black Warrior Review, Gargoyle, The Southeast Review, and Cream City Review.

What are you reading right now?

Right this second, I’m reading Nabokov’s Pale Fire, which is hilarious and brilliant.

What else have you been reading this summer?

I’ve been getting jazzy with Toni Morrison’s Jazz and my annual rereading of Baldwin’s “Sonny’s Blues.” I’m reading through my mentor and friend, Jaimy Gordon’s new novel Lord of Misrule. Also, some Vonnegut, some Atwood, some Barth, and more Nabokov.

Anything else you would recommend for our readers?

Some of my favorites:
Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man
Donald Ray Pollock’s Knockemstiff
George Saunders’ Civil War Land in Bad Decline
Daniel Orozco, everything, wherever you can find his stories

Stay tuned for the next installment of Contributors Read & Recommend.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Steve Scafidi featured on The Poets Weave

Recorded at our Blue Light Reading Series last spring, now available on The Poets Weave! Listen to Steve Scafidi read his poems, "The Ten-Letter Word for a Lucky Man" and "The Junebugs."  And "The Cake" and "Rockingchair Bookcase."


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

From the Blue: Contributors Read and Recommend #1

It's officially summer time here in Bloomington, IN and the Indiana Review staff is excited about the latest issue 33.1. With that, we began to wonder what everyone else was reading this summer, since it does seem to be a time for reading and looking forward to new works coming out in the fall. So, to celebrate the new issue and the wonderful writers it contains, we thought it would be fun to ask our contributors a few questions about what they are reading.

Our first contributor "interview" is with John Gallaher, whose piece "In Your Neighborhood Dream" appears in our latest issue. Gallaher is the author of four books of poetry, most recently Map of the Folded World, from The University of Akron Press, and Your Father on the Train of Ghosts, co-authored with G.C. Waldrep, from BOA Editions. He’s co-editor of The Laurel Review.

What are you reading right now?

I just arrived home from a week away and these three books were waiting for me:
Kathleen Ossip. The Cold War (Sarabande, 2011)
Lisa Fishman. Flower Cart (Ahsahta, 2011)
C. Dale Young. TORN (Four Way Books, 2011)
I’m reading all three at something like the same time.  I like doing that.  It makes it feel like a dinner party.  Yes, Kathy, and what do you think about that C. Dale, Lisa? 

What else have you been reading this summer?

I was really interested in what the new book by Michael Palmer, Thread (New Directions, 2011) was going to be like, as well as the new book by Dean Young, Fall Higher (Copper Canyon, 2011).  I read them while travelling.  I also read John Beer’s The Waste Land and Other Poems (Canarium Books, 2010).

What book started it all for you?

This is a fairly complex question, depending on how I think of “started it all.”  The first books of poetry I owned were back in High School, two anthologies.  The Caterpillar Anthology, edited by Clayton Eshleman.  And Chief Modern Poets of England and America, edited by M.L. Rosenthal, et al.  That probably started it all, I guess. 

The first single-author collection I bought with my own money was Robert Lowell’s Selected Poems, followed by Charles Wright’s Country Music: Selected Early Poems, and then Jorie Graham’s Region of Unlikeness.  By that time I guess I was already hooked.  But there are always new books I come across that start it all all over again.  John Ashbery’s first Selected Poems.  Martha Ronk’s Eyeshot.  Rae Armantrout’s Up to Speed. 

And then going back and reading the actual books from the modernists, rather than just their selections in anthologies.  Wallace Stevens’s Collected Poems.  Gertrude Stein’s Tender Buttons.  A big revelation was reading William Carlos Williams’s Spring & All in its original.  It’s a much more radical book than his Selected Poems would suggest. 

Stay tuned for the next installment of Contributors Read & Recommend.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Our latest issue, 33.1, Summer 2011, is out! If it's not already in your mailbox or at your local bookstore, you can order your very own copy!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Happy 71st Birthday, IUWC!

It's June, and that means Indiana University's Annual Writers' Conference is in full swing! In addition to lounging by the pool and reading our beautiful, brand-new issues of Indiana Review, we here at IR are celebrating an awesome week of events hosted by one of the oldest writing conferences in the country. This week, writers from near and far have come to Bloomington to participate in daily workshops and classes led by esteemed writers Dan Chaon, Tony Ardizzone, Patrick Rosal, Lynda Barry, Julia Story, Jill Godmilow, and Gary Ferguson. The evening reading series is free and open to the public, so if you're in the area, come join us at the Bloomington Playwrights Project tonight at 8pm to hear Lynda Barry and Gary Ferguson read from their work. Tomorrow, conference participants will have an opportunity to share their writing, and Thursday, Dan Chaon and Patrick Rosal will close the conference with what's sure to be a remarkable reading!

To find out more about IUWC, you can visit the website or listen to their feature on Indiana Public Media's Noon Edition.