The Kenyon Review will be accepting submissions during their open reading period (Sept. 15 – Nov. 1) for a special issue “to engage the possibilities, as well as the limits, of Literary Activism,” with guest editors Rita Dove and John Kinsella. “They share a belief that literary writing offers one of the most effective means for interrogating and challenging social oppression, inequality, and injustice,” writes David H. Lynn in the May/June 2018 issue. “Their goal will also include presenting a range of responses to a world whose soil and water and air are under grave threat.”
Read Lynn's complete Editor’s Notes: Literary Activism and the World We Live In.
Brevity: A Journal of Concise Literary Nonfiction blog for May features an interview between Sarah Einstein and Sven Birkerts, "On Writing, the Distractions of Technology, and Iota."
Einstein checks in with Birkerts on what may have changed in how we are impacted by technology since just 2015 and the publication of his book Changing the Subject: Art and Attention in the Internet Age.
"If you spend much of the day free-styling between platforms, what do you have to work with in the soul-making department, and what will you use to make your art, if art is what you make?" Birkerts comments.
The two also discuss how we can (if we can) regain "access to the sublime through art" and what exactly Birkerts wishes people would pay more attention to and less attention to in our daily lives.
Birkerts will be a workshop leader for the Iota Conference in mid-August, where he hopes "to use exercises and conversation to help the writers get closer to the urgency and insistence of their respective projects."
Read the full, and brief (of course), interview here.
The Common is a print and online publication of The Common Foundation, "a nonprofit dedicated to publishing and promoting art and literature that embodies a sense of place" with an emphasis of publishing new writers from around the world. Issue #15 includes a special portfolio of Arabic stories and artwork from Jordan.
Authors featured (translated by) in this issue: Mahmoud al-Rimawi and Haifa’ Abul-Nadi (Elisabeth Jaquette); Ghalib Halasa, Jamila Amaireh and Fairooz Tamimi (Thoraya El-Rayyes); Ja’far al-Oquaili, Mufleh al-Odwan and Majidah al-Outoum (Alice Guthrie); and Elias Farkouh (Maia Tabet).
TEACHERS: The Common also provides discounted classroom subscriptions, desk copy, and lesson plans to accompany the specific issue, as well as an in-person or Skype visit from Editor in Chief Jennifer Acker or a participating author. Click here for more information.
In addition to poetry and book reviews, the Spring 2018 issue of The Wallace Stevens Journal is a special issue: "Re-triangulating Yeats, Stevens, Eliot" edited by Edward Ragg and Bart Eeckhout. Content includes:
“Pages from Tales: Narrating Modernism's Aftermaths” by Edward Ragg
“Yeats, Stevens, Eliot: Eras and Legacies” an Interview with Marjorie Perloff
“Atlantic Triangle: Stevens, Yeats, Eliot in Time of War Ireland” by Lee M. Jenkins
“Crazy Jane and Professor Eucalyptus: Self-Dissolution in the Later Poetry of Yeats and Stevens” by Margaret Mills Harper
"’Where / Do I begin and end?’: Circular Imagery in the Revolutionary Poetics of Stevens and Yeats” by Hannah Simpson
"’Dead Opposites’ or ‘Reconciled among the Stars’?: Stevens and Eliot” by Tony Sharpe
“The Idea of a Colony: Eliot and Stevens in Australia” by Benjamin Madden
"’We reason of these things with later reason’: Plain Sense and the Poetics of Relief in Eliot and Stevens” by Sarah Kennedy
The Spring 2018 issue of The Bitter Oleander features an in-depth interview with European Editor, poet and translator John Taylor. Editor and Publisher Paul B. Roth delves into a variety of issues and interests with Taylor, including influences on his writing; his bout with polio and interest in mathematics in his youth; the value of "slow" travel - trains being a particular favorite mode of transportation and thought/work space for Taylor; the situation of being an American writer living abroad and the concepts of 'foreignness' and 'otherness'; and the "subtle positivity" of Taylor's writings. The interview is accompanied by over a dozen pages of Taylor's work.
"If a poem works it’s because you’ve made it such that other people might participate in making it meaningful, and this participation will always rest on another person’s understanding of the poem and its relationship to a world that is not your own. Your own understanding of the poem will evolve over time too, as you reread it in light of your changing world, just as you will find the world altered in light of the poem you wrote to understand a small uncertain corner of it. With poems, you never get to settle on a final meaning for your work, just as you never get to feel settled, finally, as yourself."
From On Poetry and Uncertain Subjects: Learning from the unknown by Jack Underwood in the May 2018 issue of Poetry. Read the rest here.
The most recent issue of Michigan Quarterly Review (Winter 2018) opens with Associate Editor Keith Taylor's "What is Found There: Poetry at Michigan," commenting on this issue's special feature. He recounts the Spring 2017 200th anniversary celebration at University of Michigan, which included a day-long conference entitled "Poetry at Michigan." This was a "continuation of two symposia done over the previous few years: one on Theodore Roethke, and the other focising on Robert Hayden and his work."
This issue of MQR has now become the even larger discussion of poets and their connections to UofM, including: Donald Hall, "an important professor" at UofM for almost twenty years; an unpublished interview with Seamus Heaney "a regular visitor for almost a quarter of a century, both before and after his Nobel Prize"; Francey Oscherwitz, and undergraduate at the university thirty-five years ago; Hannah Webster, "a recent graduate of the Zell Writing Program," who "writes about her experience with the Prison Creative Arts Project," including works from Michigan prison students; and Bob Hicock, not a UofM grad, but who lived in Ann Arbor for some twenty years, has contributed "a provocative essay on the necessary and inevitable changes happening in contemporary American poetry."
FIELD Magazine Editor David Young writes:
"As FIELD 98, our Spring 2018 issue, arrives, it's time to let you know that just two more numbers are scheduled: #99, Fall 2018, and #100, Spring 2019. Many have expressed dismay at learning that FIELD will close down, but both David Walker and I feel the need to free ourselves from the burden of editorship. Nobody thought, when the magazine began in 1969, that it would last this long and become such an institution. All good things eventually terminate, however, and fifty years and one hundred issues make for good round numbers.
"We're hoping to organize a farewell event at next year's AWP meeting. Meanwhile, we're very grateful to our fellow editors, our contributors, and our subscribers for their support and enthusiasm. Also, of course, to Oberlin College for its hospitality. It isn't easy to say goodbye. Thank you for caring and for loving FIELD all these many years."
Thank you David Young (top photo), David Walker, and all the staff, writers, and readers through the years who helped make FIELD a vital voice in our literary community.
AWP’s Small Press Publisher Award is an annual prize for nonprofit presses and literary journals that recognizes the important role such organizations play in publishing creative works and introducing new authors to the reading public. The award acknowledges the hard work, creativity, and innovation of these presses and journals, and honors their contributions to the literary landscape through their publication of consistently excellent work. The award includes a $2,000 honorarium and a complimentary exhibit booth at the AWP Conference & Bookfair in the year following the recipient’s recognition. The prize is given to literary magazines in even years; Creative Nonfiction was a finalist in both 2014 and 2016.
Creative Nonfiction founder and editor Lee Gutkind said, “It’s really nice to be recognized in this way. Creative Nonfiction’s small staff is incredibly dedicated, and does so much with so little. And thanks go to our contributors—the writers and artists whose work makes the magazine possible. Twenty-four years ago, we brought the very first issue of Creative Nonfiction to this conference, and I was so nervous … but we sold every copy. So, thanks go to AWP, too, for all their support over the years.”
Creative Nonfiction is true stories, well told. Each issue of the quarterly features original essays and illustrations; writing that pushes traditional boundaries of the genre; notes on craft; micro-essays; conversations with writers and editors; and more. Almost every issue includes a writer’s first publication, and the editorial team emphasizes a thoughtful editorial process and rigorous fact-checking as vital elements of the organization’s overall educational mission. Visit creativenonfiction.org to learn more.