Nicola Mason continues her YouTube series on the Five Cs of Good Copyediting. This week: Conciseness.
Nicola Mason continues her YouTube series on the Five Cs of Good Copyediting. This week: Conciseness.
Given President Trump’s proposed budget and its implications for (or, rather, complete slashing of) the National Endowment for the Arts, we here at The Cincinnati Review are joining others in the writing community to state officially that we stand in solidarity with the NEA.
We would also like to acknowledge our own ventures made possible by the NEA’s generosity. With a FY2014 grant for $10,000, The Cincinnati Review was able to: devote two issues (11.2 & 12.1) to publishing literature in longer forms; produce our tenth-anniversary centerpiece, Moth, a 56-page, full-color graphic play written by Declan Greene and illustrated by Gabe Ostley; and begin an archival project that has us digitizing back issues for classroom use, to bring The Cincinnati Review and the work of its contributors into broader readership and conversation.
Beyond our own award, we’ve benefited from individual grants made to our staff members, editors, and contributors, as well as colleagues in the University of Cincinnati English department. As consumers of art, we’ve enjoyed the fruits of the NEA’s grants to other local organizations, including the Ballet, Opera, and Symphony Orchestra, and various museums and theater companies. Even ArtWorks Cincinnati’s mural program, which pairs teens with professional artists to paint murals throughout the city, has received crucial backing from the NEA.
These projects and many, many others both here and nationwide pump money into local economies and sustain communities in immeasurable, intangible ways. The NEA is a lifeline for those who create art and those who appreciate it, especially in smaller and more rural areas. By adding our voice to the chorus, we hope to encourage you, our readers and friends, to contact your representatives in Congress and express your support for the NEA.
Find more information and a sample script here at The Literary Network site.
Continuing in the spirit of sending good vibes to our contributors, we are happy to announce our nominees for the Best New Poets anthology: Paige Lewis’s “Jayne” and Jen Schalliol’s “The Open Mouth” (both in issue 13.1).
Best New Poets is an annual anthology of fifty poems from emerging writers who haven’t yet published a full-length book. Poets are nominated by writing programs and literary magazines (like us!), or they can enter an open competition after the first round of nominations. The book is distributed nationally as a University of Virginia Press title and produced in cooperation with Meridian, a semiannual literary magazine from the University of Virginia. Natalie Diaz is the guest editor this year. Check out the BNP site to find out more.
About our nominees:
Paige Lewis is an Assistant Poetry Editor at Narrative Magazine. Their work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Journal, Ninth Letter, and elsewhere.
Jen Schalliol, a Chicago native and Pushcart nominee, received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her chapbook, Means of Access, was printed through The Kenyon Review, and her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Salt Magazine, Landscapes, decomP, Gapers Block, RHINO, Farrago’s Wainscot, and elsewhere.
Copies of 13.1 can purchased here.
Congratulations to our nominees – and good luck!
Due to trends discussed recently by our esteemed Senior Associate Editor Matt O’Keefe, we especially welcome literary nonfiction submissions. So if you’ve got a lyric essay, travel narrative about your last trip to Mongolia, flash-style memoir, personal essay told via bullet points, or nonfiction hybrid form, send it our way; we’d love to see it!
Poets and fiction writers, we’d love to see your work too–just don’t miss the deadline . . .
Find your way to your Submission Manager here.
Over the next few weeks, I plan to share interviews with #poetsofinstagram, that is, poets who have chosen the social media site Instagram as the forum to share their work. Interviews range from poets who work with erasure/blackout poetry and found poems, to poets who combine their own artwork with their text. These interviews will focus on the writing itself as well as the sense of community to be found among poets on social media.
For this first interview, @nomadic_words shares with us a few poems as well as insights into craft and style of her poetry on Instagram. I was drawn to the work of nomadic_words for its lyrical play. Each poem works on the level of its own inner logic, building with the same engines as aphorisms and proverbs. Beyond wordplay, these lyrics seek to establish a sense of emotion in a brief space.
José: Can you tell us a little bit about your introduction to poetry and the journey to where you are today?
nomadic_words: My introduction to poetry was, unsurprisingly, in the classroom. I enjoyed my creative writing English lessons more than others as it was an hour every other week I could sit and express myself more at school. I wrote my first real poem for a national poetry competition that was being advertised around school with the theme of journeys. It wasn’t really something I took seriously, but thought I’d try it and that afternoon sat on my aunt’s doorsteps writing out a poem inspired by Joseph Turner’s “Steam-boat off a Harbour’s mouth.” I didn’t win, but I put a lot of where I am now down to that day where I thought I’d try my hand at something new. My poetry has undergone a fair transformation since then, but if I’m publishing a poetry book this year I know exactly how it started and for that I’m grateful.
José: When did you get started with your Instagram account?
nomadic_words: I actually only started it in September! I’ve been accumulating poems properly over the past two years, writing pieces—or sometimes pieces of pieces—and only really started venturing onto social media with it around a year ago. Whatever your creative passion, it’s nerve-racking to go public, so I would occasionally drop poems on my personal Instagram as a way of dipping my toe into the water. After a few months I felt it was time to give my work more identity and made nomadic_words and now here we are.
José: Who or what influences you?
nomadic_words: My journey through life influences me and I find I’m writing the most when things aren’t so easy; when life makes you rethink the assumptions and ideas you have about people, yourself, love, and the world. It’s kind of a strange comfort, finding something good in the bad and it’s my way of documenting my thoughts and feelings as and when they come. Reflecting on these experiences is what makes you grow, I just do it through writing and it really makes it worthwhile when someone you’ve never met before reads it and identifies with the feeling.
José: In three words, how would you describe your poetry?
José: What ideas of craft do you find yourself working with, both in terms of linguistic expression and visual presentation?
nomadic_words: I tend to keep my vocabulary and structure fairly simple; these are my thoughts and most of the time I jot them down in the notes on my phone before the phrase fails me. From there, if necessary, I can flesh it out into its final form. If I have to keep coming back to a poem I usually abandon it because I think it speaks for something about the power of the message. I like to use a lot of enjambment as this can be used to create a play on words or change the path of the poem. Sometimes we rush through things and end up missing the detail between the lines and I love subtleties, it’s fairly metaphorical of life, I feel.
José: What would you say is the most challenging aspect of writing for Instagram? What do you find most positive about it?
nomadic_words: The uncertainty of not knowing whether what you’re about to post is going to be understood or received by people was the biggest for me, but I think as a result of this there’s definitely a tendency across Instagram writing to write what you think people want to read or feel, but most of the time I find it’s glaringly obvious when the poem has been put together for a general audience looking to identify with any quote. There is a lot being said about a little and sometimes nothing at all, which is a real shame to see. However, Instagram is great for bringing poets together, just check out one of the many hashtags such as #poetsofinstagram and you have a whole feed of people putting out their work which is lovely. From there, people who would’ve never discovered your work sometimes stumble across poems which put into words everything they wish they could say or reflections they didn’t even realize were worthy of recognition. You sometimes get messages from people on the other side of the world telling you your work made them feel some type of way and there are really no words to describe that feeling, it’s ineffable.
José: What advice do you have for anyone interested in writing poetry (for Instagram or in general)?
nomadic_words: This is your work, a product of everything that has made you you, so take pride in it, take your time, be honest with yourself, and never, ever, adulterate your voice because you don’t think it’s powerful enough to be heard by someone else out there. Somebody else speaks your language and they may need to hear what you have to say. I’ll be honest, I haven’t read as much poetry as I would’ve liked to, but inspiration comes from everywhere—my first poem was inspired by a painting, my second, a dream, my third, a daydream . . . you get the picture. Find what inspires you and be open-minded to what that may be; you might just tap into something totally new. Finally, I cannot stress the importance of making sure you write down anything that crosses your mind and makes you wonder; I’ve sometimes found odd phrases and sentences I’ve jotted down complement each other perfectly. So don’t be afraid to be messy behind the scenes!
José: What are you future plans in terms of writing projects?
nomadic_words: I’m very excited to be publishing my debut book this year! It’s at the editing stage and it feels right to do it now. It’s a big milestone for me and something I want to share with the world as other peoples’ work has inspired and helped me through tougher times. Stay tuned!
Follow @nomadic_words to keep to up to date with her work.
Also, be sure to check out José’s current Instagram poetry project, @poetryamano, which focuses on handwritten poems.
Thanks to everyone who stopped by the Cincinnati Review booth at this year’s AWP! The conference passed in a blur of old friends, new faces, and wonderful conversations. We also got to meet some of our contributors, including Aaron Coleman, whose poem “Very Many Hands” won this year’s Seventh Annual Robert and Adele Schiff Award in Poetry and will appear in issue 14.1.
Thanks to all those who came out to listen and support at Monster Mags of the Midwest last night. As Jane Austen would say: it was a veritable crush. A reminder that we are once again running our famed AWP 3-for-1 deal. Stop by our, Mid-American Review’s, or Ninth Letter’s table to get an annual sub to all three journals for a mere $33!
Nicola Mason: An announcement on the heels of a week of change (on the heels of a week of change, on the heels of a week of change). After time in the trenches and a great deal of self-searching, Becky Adnot-Haynes has decided to step down as managing editor. She loved many things about the job—largely the parts having to do with reading/writing/editing. What she found less thrilling were the parts having to do with red tape/bureaucracy/meetings, which left all too little time to do the rewarding work of connecting with your rewarding work. It was, of course, hard for Becky to let go and hard for us to let her go. She will remain a close friend and passionate supporter of the mag. Stepping into the breach will be another eminently and wonderfully accomplished writer and editor, Lisa Ampleman. Lisa is the author of a book of poetry, Full Cry (NFSPS, 2013), and a chapbook, I’ve Been Collecting This to Tell You (Kent State, 2012). A graduate of the PhD program in English & Comparative Literature at UC, she served as assistant and associate editor of The Cincinnati Review from 2011–13, then taught part-time and worked as a freelance writer and editor. Of becoming our new managing editor, Lisa says, “I look forward to taking the torch wielded so ably by Nicola and Becky and to working with the talented staff of The Cincinnati Review to uphold the strong tradition of this phenomenal lit mag. It’s an honor to be handed the fabled blue pencil. To put it quite simply: this is my dream job.”
It’s our pleasure to announce that, as of next week, Becky Adnot-Haynes will be moving into the Managing Editor position here at CR. She’s replacing Nicola Mason, who’ll turn her attention to launching the book-publishing arm of the journal, to be called Acre Books. More soon on Acre. For now, let’s tell you a bit about Becky, who’s been an asset to the mag for many years. She began reading as a volunteer way back in 2009, came on staff in 2012—working as Assistant Editor, then Associate Editor, in our snug little office—and while earning her PhD in fiction published The Year of Perfect Happiness in 2014 (winner of The Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Short Fiction). After graduation, Becky worked in advertising, honing her writing and editing skills. Now she returns to 369 McMicken Hall to champion literature once more. When we forced her to make a statement, she had this to say about her “dream job”:
“The Cincinnati Review is one of the most awesome literary magazines around, and I’m honored to join its ranks. I look forward to upholding the magazine’s commitment to publishing fresh, diamond-sharp prose and poetry, and to working with the staff to continue to usher it forward. Thanks, CR, for having me!”
. . . for a bit of hinky (un)fun.
So you didn’t think 2016 could suck any more? Well, it’s time for another round of the tortures of the damned—our holiday round of hink pinks. For background and another set of these puzzles, see our August contest.
Again, as stolen from the master, Dylan Hicks of The Paris Review, a definition and rules: “Hink pink is a word game in which synonyms, circumlocution, and micronarratives provide clues for rhyming phrases. In the standard explanatory example, an ‘overweight feline’ is a ‘fat cat.’ Hink pinks on that babyish level aspire to lend vocabulary building an air of fun, but more sophisticated puzzles are sometimes mulled over on road trips, in trenches, and in other settings where boredom and tension might be mellowed, to paraphrase Dryden, by the dull sweets of rhyme. . . . A puzzle of disyllabic components is a hinky pinky, followed with decreasing dignity by hinkily pinkilies, hinklediddle pinklediddles, and hinklediddledoo pinklediddledoos. Even with longer puzzles, however, the goal, almost a mandate, is for each syllable to rhyme perfectly, though this perfection might depend on idiosyncratic stress.”
So—“Candle heist” (hinky pinky) would be “Taper caper.”
“First-year in a painterly inferno” (hink pink) would be “Bosch frosh.”
“Fawlty player’s sternutation” (hink pink) would be “Cleese sneeze.”
“Multitalented Jackson has mastered spotted Pacific salmon, too” (hinky pinky) might yield “Bo knows cohoes.”
Rhymes must generally be perfect, with the exception that an s—usually possessive—is allowed at the dead center. For example, “Undomesticated Donald’s Niagara plunge” would presumably be “Feral Trump’s barrel jump.”
Below are another sixty. As always, the first two people to submit forty correct answers get either a one-year subscription or a one-year extension of subscription . . . plus a free copy of the first title from our brand-new publishing imprint, Acre Books, A Very Angry Baby: The Anthology—due this spring.