Archive for the ‘Literary News’ Category

Literary News: VIDA and Pushcart

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

VIDA, the organization that tallies gender inequality in book reviewing and literary journals, has just published their 2013 count, and we’re happy to report that although The Cincinnati Review isn’t perfect, we are relatively gender equal.

The Breakdown: In overall gender balance for 2013, we had 73 pieces by women and 84 pieces by men. Our poetry tally was almost 50/50, with 56 poems by women and 57 poems by men. Our fiction count came in a little less equal with 6 stories by women and 9 stories by men, but for nonfiction we had one essay by a man and 2 by women. For our reviews, we featured mostly female book reviewers (6 to 4), but we reviewed mostly works by men (3 female and 13 male). However, in our 2014 Winter issue, we have an special review feature dedicated to debut short story collections by women (Jamie Quatro, Kate Milliken and Marie-Helene Bertino). Check it out.

The Cincinnati Review believes that VIDA is doing important and necessary work, and we support their mission for gender equality in publishing and reviewing. You can see the infographs here.

More Pushcart Nominations: We both love and hate nominating pieces for the Pushcart Prize. With our allotment of a mere six selections, there are so many excellent stories and poems that we must leave unheralded. That’s why we’re thrilled to announce more Pushcart Prize nominations from the Pushcart contributing editors. They’ve nominated three more poems from CR’s 2013 Winter issue:

Ruth E. Dickey, “In My Wallet”

Regina DiPerna, “Death, Naked”

Alan Feldman, “A Message from My Mother”

Congrats to these worthy poets and thanks to the editors for nominating these marvelous poems.

About Suffering They Were Never Wrong

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

We’re thrilled that Pulitzer Prize-winning poet C. K. Williams is spending this week in Cincinnati. As the Elliston Poet for the 2013-14 academic year, Williams gave a master class yesterday on “First Drafts, Last Drafts,” illuminating the nuances of his exhaustive revision process. In line with old masters like Horace and Alexander Pope (Horace recommended that poets withhold their work from publication for ten years), Williams equated his practice with the act of being physically beaten—repeatedly—and confessed to spending twenty years on a single piece. As proof, Williams offered several scrawled-on drafts of poems that eventually became “Newark Noir” and “Wall,” both from his most recent collection, Writers Writing Dying (2012). Most striking was the formal recasting Williams performed in each draft, how a meditative lyric like “The Economy Rescued by My Mother Returning to Shop,” for example, began as a brief prose memoir and eventually settled into the sprawling, Whitmanesque lines Williams has become famous for.

C. K. Williams is the author of eleven books of poetry, including Writers Writing Dying (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2012); Wait (2010); and Collected Poems (FSG, 2007). The Singing won the National Book Award in 2003; and his previous book, Repair, was awarded the 2000 Pulitzer Prize and the Los Angeles Times Book Award. His collection Flesh and Blood received the National Book Critics Circle Award. Williams has also published a memoir, Misgivings: My Mother, My Father, Myself, in 2000, and has published translations of Sophocles’ Women of Trachis, Euripides’ Bacchae, and poems of Francis Ponge, among others. A prose book entitled Williams, On Whitman, was released in 2010 from Princeton University Press. He is also the author of two books of essays: Poetry and Consciousness (1998) and In Time (University of Chicago Press, 2012).

Williams will read his poetry at 4:00 this afternoon in the George Elliston Poetry Room, located in Langsam Library 646. This reading is free and open to the public. We hope to see you there.

Wick Winner

Friday, February 7th, 2014

Our own Brian Brodeur has just learned his chapbook “Local Fauna” won the 2013 Wick Poetry Chapbook Prize judged by Peter Campion and will appear from Kent State University Press next year. Big congrats, Brian!

Welcoming Whelm

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

We just received our lovely copy of contributor Dawn Lonsinger’s Whelm, which won the Idaho Prize for Poetry Prize in 2012 (selected by Nance Van Winckel). Dawn writes that “Whelm is part wildness and part witness, part love song and part lament, an elegy to former times and selves that admits fear of a future where humanity, community and strangeness are lost to manmade systems. It is also an ode to oddity and intricacy. The poems attempt to understand how difficult it is to be a thinking, feeling, speaking being in a largely impenetrable world—both wordless and written over with various conflicting narratives.”

Contributor News

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

We’ve received some delightful news from contributor Katherine Bode-Lang, who just learned her poetry manuscript “The Reformation” has been awarded the 2014 APR/Honickman First Book Prize. All three of the poems published in our pages are included in the collection, which will be available for purchase in September. The selection was made by Stephen Dunn. Congrats, Katie!

Alice Munro’s Nobel Prize: We Called It

Friday, October 11th, 2013

Alice Munro has been named the winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature. Way back in 2006, The Cincinnati Review featured three reviews of her collection The View from Castle Rock. Did our prescient Managing Editor Nicola Mason call it early for Munro, knowing that a mere seven years later, she would win the big one?

She is claiming “yes.” In fact, she bet on it and has been gloating since yesterday. Assistant Editor Sara Watson bet big on Phillip Roth, and will be forking over part of her UC stipend to buy office pizza every other Friday. Assistant Editor Brian Brodeur thought Haruki Murakami was a shoo-in, and now has to shave his precious New England beard. Associate Editor Brian Trapp thought the day would belong to Bob Dylan, and now has to sing in a whiny, gravelly, late -Bob Dylan voice “Blowin’ in the Wind” whenever Nicola claps twice. If they’d read the reviews in CR 4.1, they would have known: Don’t ever bet against Munro. In her twelfth collection, she mines her own ancestral and personal history to create fiction that spans centuries and comes closest to her own life. Here are brief excerpts of what our astute reviewers had  to say:

Dika Lam: Though Alice Munro doesn’t immediately come to mind as a spinner of costume dramas, I believe her work already carries the weight of historical record—born of another era entirely, when it was scandalous for a girl to ride a bike past the age of thirteen, when ladies didn’t smoke, when one had to burn sawdust in the furnace for heat (as the cash-strapped Laidlaws do in “The Ticket”). Though The View from Castle Rock opens and closes with images of graveyards, it is far from moribund, reminding us that fiction, no matter how closely aligned to real life, is as compelling as anything promoted with the authority of memoir.

Scott Kaukonen: Perhaps the writing of such stories is an attempt to validate that family history, that personal history, but writing it as fiction, gives us—as writers, as storytellers—the freedom to reach for something more. We seek significance, meaning, understanding—of those early settlers, of our fathers and mothers, of ourselves—and it is in stories that we work this out. It’s a refusal to leave the stories untold, the lives unacknowledged, as though those lives—our lives—had nothing to tell us.

William Pierce: But this hypothetical revue, this story-by-story lineup, would eventually reach the second half of the book. And there I’d drop to my knees. The stories of part two—those germinating from details of Munro’s life—show a major figure of world literature at work. They stand among the best Munro has written, and to comment on them, to point out a few of their strengths and shocks and techniques, feels like standing by the ocean and attempting to describe why the water calls to us and how the waves curl. They spark the writer in me, wow the editor, and shrink the critic to a healthy irrelevance—all without depressing me in the least, though they balk at nothing.

Our Contributors, Knocking It Out of the Park

Monday, May 6th, 2013

We’ve heard some good news this spring about our contributors!

Joshua Weiner (Issues 2.2 and 9.1) won a Guggenheim fellowship. You can read his commentary on the poem “Outrageous Fortune” here.

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!

Best of Cincinnati

Friday, April 5th, 2013

Thanks to CityBeat magazine! They named us Cincinnati’s Best Lit Mag in their annual round-up of the staff’s favorite arts and nightlife in the Best of Cincinnati edition. We’re honored to be in such good company: Some of the other categories included Best Way to Score Free Alcohol Without Unwanted Sexual Advances (Mayday’s monthly whiskey-soaked spelling bee), Best Way to Pretend You’re in a Band Without Having to Learn an Instrument (Sexy Time Live Band Karaoke at Northside Tavern) and Best Wall of Cheese Curls (that one went to Jerry’s Jug House in Newport. So close.)

We’re also glad to be part of such a vibrant literary community; in addition to the cheese-curl walls and karaoke, Cincinnati boasts the fantastic and innovative Forklift, Ohio (whose editor, Matt Hart, is headlining our Word Without End event next weekend) and staff members of Smartish Pace, as well as the fabulous literacy nonprofit WordPlay, which operates in the spirit of Dave Eggers and Nínive Calegari’s 826 National tutoring centers.

Thanks, CityBeat! (You can read what they said about us here.)

Contributor Congrats

Friday, March 29th, 2013

We’d like to give a shout out to Cincinnati Review contributor Karina Borowicz. Her new collection, The Bees Are Waiting, was selected by Franz Wright for the Marick Press Poetry Prize and has just been named a Must-Read Book of 2013 by the Massachusetts Center for the Book. The collection contains her poem “The Globe,” which was published in CR 6.1. Congrats, Karina!

News from Our Contributors

Saturday, February 16th, 2013

Congratulations to our contributors who’ve gotten good news lately!

Book News:

John A. Nieves (8.2) won the Elixir Press Annual Poetry Award Judge’s Prize for his first book, Curio, which will be published in early 2014.

Jon Pineda (9.2) won the 2013 Milkweed National Fiction Prize for his first novel, Apology, which will be published this summer.

Award News:

Brian Conn (9.2) won the 2013 Bard Fiction Prize for his novel, The Fixed Stars: Thirty-Seven Emblems for the Perilous Season (Fiction Collective 2, 2010). The prize includes $30,000 and a one-semester appointment as writer-in-residence at Bard College.

Rochelle Hurt (8.2) and Dana Koster (7.1) were awarded Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Prizes, and Rebecca Dunham (8.1) and K. A. Hays (3.2, 5.2) were named as honorable mentions.

Fellowship News:

Steve Kistulentz (9.1) received a $4,000 Literary Arts Fellowship from the Mississippi Arts Commission.

Roger Reeves (9.2) and Jake Adam York (6.1) both won NEA fellowships in poetry.

We’d also like to take this opportunity to join the chorus of those mourning the loss of York, an excellent poet and member of the literary community.