by Win Bassett
In an effort to be a charitable citizen of the independent publishing community, we’d like to give a little love to our contributors, friends, and fellow members each week!
* Roger Reeves is the winner of the 2014 Levis Reading Prize for his poetry collection, King Me (Copper Canyon Press, 2013).
* Two poems from Tarfia Faizullah’s Seam appear in Beltway Poetry Quarterly.
* GRIND’r Liz Gray reviews Eliza Griswold’s I Am the Beggar of the World for Harvard Review.
* Amy Woolard is a talented poet and one heck of an essayist. Check out her latest blog post:
There are days when I think nostalgia will be the death of me, and there are days I try to bring about the death of nostalgia—mostly as self-defense. As protection from heart-annihilation. The writing of poems, for me, is my greatest weapon in my personal war of attrition against nostalgia. In poems, I get to live outside of time. With rare exception, I don’t use time-specific markers in my poems, even when there are plenty of things described. There are houses and rooms and cars and clothes. Certainly a modern setting—electricity & all that. My poems are more of a translation—of what my sleep sees, of what my lungs see, of what my spleen or my liver or my gut sees, even. To use what my eyes see would feel far too literal to me.
Amy was also named as one of two finalists/honorable mentions for the 2014 Ploughshares Emerging Writer’s Contest!
* Rose McLarney’s “Story with a Real Beast and a Little Blood in It” is featured at Poetry Daily.
* Tennessee poet Susan O’Dell Underwood and her husband have started a small independent publishing company, Sapling Grove Press.
* Aaron Belz interviewed at antler:
Sometimes I picture myself reading my poetry, and what I see is not too great. It’s a guy, now in his forties, stifling laughter and weeping occasionally. Then, I picture the man watching himself reading his poetry, and I feel sorry for him. Has he nothing better to do? I think art is a way to feel excited about colors, shapes, scenes, forms, that ultimately leads to feeling sorry for oneself. Everyone who looks at art is glum. They seem serious, earnest, like significance itself rests on them. They tend to wear dark clothes and nerdy glasses. I don’t know why they do it, but looking at art is definitely a self-fulfilling prophecy. “Is it even a poem?” My answer is, I don’t know. It’s what I do.
* I can’t recommend Josh Robbins’s Praise Nothing (U. of Arkansas Press, 2013) highly enough. An insightful review by Michele Poulos appears at 32 Poems.
* INCH contributor Roxane Gay interviewed in NY Times Magazine:
It was on the narrative in higher education about students being bad writers. I think that narrative is a fetish among faculty, not a reality. They fetishize the idea of bad writing, and they are more interested in the lore of bitching about students’ writing than they are in actually evaluating students’ writing as it is. But complaining can be a way of bonding.
* I’m excited to see North Carolina native Matthew Wimberley’s poems in the latest online issue of PANK!
* Watch this delightful short film based on Rochelle Hurt’s “Poem in Which I Play the Runaway”.
* See Oliver de la Paz’s book trailer for Post Subject: A Fable (U. of Akron Press 2014).
* The featured presenters at the 2015 AWP Conference include friends Roxane Gay and Adrian Matejka!
* Luke Hankins was interviewed about his new press, Orison Books.
* Ansel Elkins was profiled in The New Yorker about her recent Paris Review residency:
In May, Elkins applied for a different kind of residency, one organized by the Paris Review and the Standard East Village, a sleek hotel. The gig offered free lodging “to a writer who has a book under contract and needs three weeks of solitude in downtown New York City.” A few weeks later, Elkins was at a friend’s house, “picking ticks off the dog and throwing them in the fire, and I stopped to check my e-mail, and I won!” Her reward: for most of July, she would inhabit a twelve-foot-by-fourteen-foot bedroom on the tenth floor of the hotel, within blocks of Cooper Union, a homeless shelter, and several massage parlors and sake bars. Breakfast and coffee would be complimentary; lunch, dinner, and alcohol would not.
* The Best New Poets 2014 list was announced this week!
* The list of finalists for the 2015 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowships includes friends Hannah Gamble, Emilia Phillips, Danniel Schoonebeek, and Wendy Xu!
Win Bassett‘s nonfiction has been published online in The Atlantic, the Paris Review, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and Guernica. His fiction and poetry have been published or are forthcoming in The Southern Poetry Anthology, Image, PANK, and Pea River Journal. He’s a former assistant district attorney and serves on the PEN Prison Writing Program Fiction Committee. Follow him on Twitter @winbassett.