Archive for May, 2013
Californians, hark! On June 6, our esteemed poetry ed., Don Bogen, returneth to Berkeley. Don is a Cal graduate himself, and he is skulking back to what he terms “the scene of the crime” to host yet another event in our Greetings from Cincinnati series. For those unfamiliar, this is a stealth operation whereby we infiltrate cities near and far (mostly far) to stage surprise literary gatherings that are sort of like poetry explosions, only without the fire and smoke and, actually, without the element of surprise—because we are telling you about it now.
Our Berkeley edition will take place at Mrs. Dalloway’s Bookstore, which must be an amazing place, because every time we google it, McAfee warns us it is a DANGEROUS SITE. Well, poetry explosions do happen there. Or one will happen, anyway, on Thursday, June 6, at 7:30 p.m. We leave you with a list of the combustible contributors that will be poetically present that fine eve:
Geoffrey Brock is the author of Weighing Light: Poems, the editor of The FSG Book of Twentieth-Century Italian Poetry, and the translator of several books from Italian. His versions of twelve poems by Patrizia Cavalli appeared in CR 9.1 (Summer 2012), and two of his own poems appeared in CR 2.2 (Winter 2005). He teaches at Arkansas.
Randall Mann‘s third poetry collection, Straight Razor, is forthcoming from Persea Books in October 2013. His work has appeared in the Winter 2011 and Winter 2013 issues of CR. He lives in San Francisco.
D. A. Powell is the author of five books of poetry. Prizes for his work include the Kingsley Tufts Award, the California Book Award, and, for his most recent book Useless Landscape or A Guide for Boys (Graywolf, 2012), the National Book Critics Circle Award. He has poems in the Summer 2008 and Summer 2010 issues of CR.
Mira Rosenthal is the author of The Local World, which won the Wick Poetry Prize, and the translator of two volumes by Polish poet Tomasz Rozcyki, most recently his sonnet cycle Colonies. She has received fellowships from the NEA, the PEN Translation Fund, the Fulbright Commission, and the ACLS. Her work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including Ploughshares, Harvard Review, Slate, A Public Space, and The Cincinnati Review (Winter 2009, Winter 2011). She is a Wallace Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford.
Kathleen Winter’s poems appeared in CR in 2007, 2008, and 2010 (Issues 4.1, 5.2, 7.2). Her book Nostalgia for the Criminal Past (Elixir Press, 2012) won the Antivenom Poetry Prize, as well as the 2013 Bob Bush Award from the Texas Institute of Letters for Best First Book of Poems. Winter’s poems also were published by Tin House, The New Republic, Agni, and Field. She teaches at the University of San Francisco.
We’re sad to say goodbye to our hardy, super-duper volunteer Lisa Summe—who just graduated with an MA in creative writing from UC and is headed to Virginia Tech for an MFA in the fall. Our loss is their gain. The office won’t be the same without her brightly colored clothing, strong work ethic, and trenchant remarks on veggie burgers. (Which one tastes like a hockey puck? Which has the best blend of vegetables? How great is corn?)
Before she goes, though, this future Hokie wanted to share one last thought: why she likes Erin Belieu’s poem “Olentangy River,” which appears in Issue 10.1, due out next month.
Lisa Summe: From the start of Erin Belieu’s “Olentangy River,” one is aware of the striking lack of punctuation. Ultimately, the poem is one long sentence broken up by a series of colons. More interesting than the absence of traditional punctuation, however, is the way Belieu uses spaces to effect separation and emphasis in a way that commas and semicolons cannot. These spaces slow the poem at all the right moments, turning it into a potent pile of little fragments, each one raw and deliberate, each one needing the weight Belieu confers on it.
The form beautifully enhances the poem’s content: the fragments convey the speaker’s desire for and obsession about a past love: ” you’ve never been imagined as / I imagined you: today with a wife sleeping / in Ohio and babies down the hall.” The self-awareness and vulnerability of this consciousness, together with universal longing and sadness conveyed in the poem’s details, drew me in. The speaker reminisces about nights driving past the former love’s house, nights the speaker calls inevitable because “there was you there / somewhere sleeping or toasting bread or / staring tired at TV and ending lost: always lost.” What are our old lovers doing without us? Regular things, perhaps, like making toast. Or not. How does our understanding of how they moved on vary from reality? We will never know.
Jessica Hollander (Issue 8.1) won the 2013 Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction. Her book, In These Times the Home Is a Tired Place, will be published by UNT Press in 2014. Katherine Dunn was the judge.
Dawn Lonsinger (Issue 5.2) won the 2012 Idaho Prize for Poetry for her book Whelm, which will be published by Lost Horse Press. (The judge for that contest was Nance Van Winckel, whose poems appeared in issues 6.2 and 8.2, and her art in 9.2.)
Christopher Merkner’s story “Last Cottage” appeared in Issue 7.1, as well as in Best American Mystery Stories 2011—and now it will appear in his first collection of stories, The Rise and Fall of the Scandamerican Domestic, available in January 2014 from Coffee House Press. Here’s our appreciation of the story.
We’re honored to have published these writers’ work!