THE BLOG @ TIR
December 4, 2012
We are pleased to be soon publishing the winners of the 2012 Iowa Review Awards! Look for them in our forthcoming Winter 2012-13 issue. Many thanks to all who entered and to our 2012 judges, Megan Daum (nonfiction), Timothy Donnelly (poetry), and Ron Currie, Jr. (fiction). Below, our judges discuss what stood out to them about the pieces they chose.
Winner Emily Hunt
and Runner-up Aditi Machado
On the winners:
Much of what there is to love about rhythm is beautifully showcased in Emily Hunt's poetry: its capacity to hold together a poem that's conducted by intuition and association, the way it induces a soft and especially welcome hypnosis, and its ancient power to distinguish poetry from other, more soluble kinds of language use. I've read these astonishing poems, particularly "Figure the Color of the Wave She Watched," with tremendous admiration, swells of feeling, and over and over again.
Aditi Machado's poems, like Emily Hunt's, impressed me with the apparent ease with which they articulate a kind of waking dream state. I love the slightly impersonal, bemused but cerebral tone of these poems, and how their speakers, like persons moving through an enchantment, appear unthreateningly but wholly captivated by what unfolds in front of them, as if they can sense that the solution to some great mystery is just about ready to manifest itself. I particularly admire the masterful syntax and lineation of the long last sentence at the end of the remarkable "Walk Through Eucalyptus Lane."
Winner Bernadette Esposito
and Runner-up Marcela Sulak
On the winners:
"The Principle of the Fragility of Good Things" [by Bernadette Esposito] combined research, rumination and existential inquiry into a thought provoking pastiche. I appreciated the way the author struck a balance between dispassionate reporting and deep human feeling.
"Getting a Get" [by Marcela Sulak] was sad, funny and relatable, even to those who've never gotten a get (or don't get what a get is!) I found the author charming and real, with a voice that seems to speak directly to the reader.
Winner Kyle Minor
and Runner-up Emily G. Martin
On the winners:
My tastes tend toward the dark, and "Seven Stories about Kenel of Koulèv-Ville" [by Kyle Minor] is genuinely beautiful shadow play, a fever dream of humanity caught in the grip of catastrophes both natural and man-made. It succeeds at that most difficult of narrative tricks--the nearly impossible task of creating, in a few short pages, a whole world for the reader to inhabit. One feels black magic lurking in the margins of this story. It reads like a fable, but the people who inhabit it are quite real, and their tragedies and dark humor are deeply affecting.
What a strange and wonderful story "Claude Piron Beholds his Beloved" [by Emily G. Martin] is, a kaleidoscopic, staccato narrative that at first baffles, then slowly and expertly begins to reveal its secrets, and more importantly its heart, to the reader. "Claude Piron" also enjoyed, in my mind, the distinction of having the best final line of all the stories--brief, plain, and gorgeous, a single line of text standing in beautiful relief against all that blank white page.
—Ron Currie, Jr.
November 28, 2012
“Taxidermy-ed animals back-lit in heavenly light, the everbefore and meatloaf, history’s memory and perhaps the devil himself. We at Anomalous are proud to unveil our hand-stitched creation, our curated collection of a glass-jarred world, life in stand-still for your observation.
P.S. We have no qualms about shattering glass.”
Anomalous Press recently launched its newest (seventh) issue, a range of pieces dark to light, heartbreaking to hilarious, and full of the ups and downs of language, life, and death. The non-profit, on-line literary magazine founded by editor Erica Mena was launched in March 2011, and is dedicated to the diffusion of writing in the forms it can take. Sculpted by the Anomalous team of editors spread across the country and connected by email and share drives, Issue 7 is full of unexpected experiments with the possibilities of language, a wall of glass jars for eerie wonder and microscopic examination.
The issue features translation by TIR’s very own Russell Valentino. In Pierre Menard’s Alexander Blok, Russell underscores the expansive possibility of translation by translating the same poem in multiple versions: http://www.anomalouspress.org/7/16.valentino.menard.php.
The issue also contains an interactive poetry translation by Kurt Beal, a graphic flash by Elizabeth Catanese, translation by Jen Zoble, Sandra Kolankiewicz, and Brandon Homlquest; poetry by Karen Carcia, Joshua Daniel Edwin, James D’ Agonstino, Eric Parker, Cait Weiss, Ricardo Maldonado, Elizabeth Mayer, and Mathais Svalina; fiction by Harold Abramowitz and Nalini Abhiraman; and memoir by Katie Click. The photos are courtesy of Mike Edrington’s series After Life.
November 14, 2012
Check out this award-winning video, "Poets in No Man's Land," by scholar and poet Stephanos Stephanides, a former International Writing Program symposium participant and featured writer in the IWP's "100 Words" project.
"Poets in No Man's Land" won the award for Video Poetry at the 2012 Cyprus International Film Festival and was co-produced by filmmaker Stephen Nugent.
To view Stephanides's "100 Words" video, "Home/Land," visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zVcU6C_cpKc.
Stephanides is a dean and professor of comparative literature at Cyprus University in Nicosia.
November 13, 2012
The International Writing Program at the University of Iowa recently launched Whitman Web, a multimedia web gallery featuring Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself in 52 weekly installments, alongside translations in eight other languages (Chinese, French, German, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Ukrainian), as well as photographs, commentary, discussion questions, and recordings.
Each installment of the poem will be accompanied by commentaries from distinguished Whitman scholar and University of Iowa professor Ed Folsom, who co-directs the Walt Whitman Archive, and poet, writer, and translator Christopher Merrill, director of the IWP. These commentaries, designed to orient, inspire, and challenge readers, will be translated into Persian and Russian, with translations into Chinese and other languages forthcoming. Whitman Web plans to further enhance the website with additional translations of the poem and commentaries as they become available.
Readers will also be able to listen to a new section of the poem read aloud each week in English by University of Iowa professor of acting Eric Forsythe, and in Persian by the poem’s co-translator, Iran-born Los-Angeles-based poet Sholeh Wolpe.
Photographs from the vast Walt Whitman Archive will trace Whitman through his adulthood so that, by the end of the poem, readers will see him in old age. Weekly discussion questions will be distributed via Facebook, Twitter, and other social media networks.
November 8, 2012
Words Without Borders: The Online Magazine for International Literature recently published an interview with TIR Editor Russell Scott Valentino about his work as a translator of Italian, Croatian, and Russian. Read it here. One tidbit: "Lately I’ve been thinking about translation as a kind of adoption, as when one adopts a child. You take her from her home context, love and care for her, teach her what you know, and then, when she gets big enough and, you hope, has learned enough from you to live on her own, you introduce her to the world and hope she can thrive."