THE BLOG @ TIR
November 5, 2013
Congrats to former contributor Jason Ockert, who has just released his newest collection of short stories, Neighbors of Nothing (Dzanc Books). We haven't read it yet, but if the stories are anything like "Max," which appeared in our Spring 2011 issue and was a finalist for the national Shirley Jackson Award, we can't wait to score a copy.
Neighbors of Nothing examines characters who find themselves searching for new identities in worlds they no longer recognize. In "Piebald," parents assume the identity of their dead son; in "Everyday Murders," the sole survivor of a violent crime attempts to confront an online entrepreneur who sells football-style serial killer jerseys. Through odd, compelling, and sometimes futile gestures, these characters struggle against guilt and grief and the seemingly endless stretch of days. Influenced by absurdism and the southern gothic, Neighbors of Nothing offers intelligent and heartrending insights into the complex human struggle to exist with purpose.
November 1, 2013
Congratulations to all the winners of 2014 Pushcarts, especially The Iowa Review's own
- Ayşe Papatya Bucak for her story "Iconography," about a Turkish student's enigmatic hunger strike (Fall 2012),
- Sabine Heinlein for her essay “A Portrait of the Writer as a Rabbit,” which tells the story of the author's immigration to the U.S. through the lens of her kinship with rabbits (Spring 2012), and
- Molly Patterson for "Don't Let Them Catch You," about a latchkey kid navigating the dangers both real and imagined of her suburban neighborhood (Winter 2012/13).
Read their work in the 2014 Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses anthology—or, you know, The Iowa Review.
October 9, 2013
The 5th annual Iowa City Book Festival begins this Thursday, October 10, and runs through Sunday the 12th. On Saturday, October 12th, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., we'll be joining a score of booksellers (Prairie Lights!), publishers (Strange Cage!), and presses (Ice Cube!) on the ped mall in downtown Iowa City for the festival's bookfair.
Stop by and chat with our editors and score discounted copies of our new and recent issues or our fancy letterpress broadside featuring Alison Harney's poem "Hooked." Also, free Iowa Review pens!
The schedule, in brief:
Friday, October 11: A marquee event at Iowa City’s historic Englert Theatre that will include an author reception for participants.
Saturday, October 12: A full day of programming that includes readings, panel discussions and demonstrations related to writing and book arts, all held at venues around downtown Iowa City. Bookfair on the pedestrian mall, at College and Dubuque Streets.
Sunday, October 13: "A Day in the City of Literature” that will feature readings and activities at more than two dozen businesses and locations throughout the Iowa City area.
August 29, 2013
The Iowa Review is pleased to announce that Kyle Minor’s “Seven Stories About Kenel of Koulév-Ville” will be featured in The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2013, edited by Dave Eggers. Kyle’s story was featured in TIR 42-3 as the winner of the 2012 Iowa Review Award in fiction.
Read more about The Best American Nonrequired Reading anthology here. The collection will be available for purchase in October.
August 20, 2013
Sometimes poetry gets left out. Novels become movies or television shows, essays become documentaries, and the world knows about them. To be blunt, the only truly bestselling poets are dead. Even avid readers of The Iowa Review can probably name only a few poets off the tops of their heads, and topping that list would likely be people like Emily Dickinson and Robert Frost.
As a class project for Iowa's undergraduate creative writing track in poetry, a few of my classmates and I set out to bring poetry into the community of Iowa City and the larger community of the internet. We went out into the streets of Iowa City with a video camera, asking people two things:
One: Tell us your favorite poet, and why.
Two: Describe your relationship with poetry in one word.
Many came up with things like “distant” and “Robert Frost, because he was the only one I read in high school.” But one young woman cited Virgil and went on to describe how Virgil’s poetry changed the world.
Check out the videos:
Favorite Poet: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6CKyhfJ_muw
But we did more than just ask the people of Iowa City what they thought about poetry. We also interviewed two up-and-coming poets, and put those interviews on YouTube as well. Nikki-Lee Birdsey and Chris Schlegel are both graduate students in the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Nikki-Lee is from New Zealand and is poetry editor for The Iowa Review. Chris is from Pennsylvania and teaches upper-level undergraduate poetry classes at the University of Iowa. And neither of them is about to give up writing just because the world doesn’t know much about contemporary poetry.
Here are those two videos:
Nikki-Lee Birdsey: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bp0Y3FYiGyQ
Chris Schlegel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OlXUXhh3Rqs
There’s a bit of a disconnect between the poets people name on the spot and the poets writing today. My classmates and I hope that these videos will do a little bit to change that. Two modern poets are now out in the world of the internet, answering the same questions the students of Iowa City are, and coming up with very different answers. I hope these videos have shown you that the distance between poets and the rest of the world is not so great that we can’t cross it.
Kate Kraabel is a senior English major at the University of Iowa and a summer intern at The Iowa Review.