Author: Cincinnati Review

Reading. Period.

We’ve got some good news and some bad news: Submissions to The Cincinnati Review are up, which is great. The staff is the same size, which is good. But our response times are slower, which is terrifically upsetting to everyone, especially us. Something’s gotta give. And we’ve decided to make that unlucky something . . . the calendar. Sorry, calendar. Henceforth, our reading period will be September 1 through March 1. So, three weeks until the floodgates open, three weeks to write and revise. And don’t forget this year we’re debuting a weekly online feature, miCRo, consisting of flash...

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“Mnemosyne”: An Art Song Project

Poetry Editor Don Bogen: As I mentioned when we published the score of Carrie Magin’s setting of Todd Hearon’s poem “Mnemosyne” in our Winter 2017 issue, this particular commission brings our series of art songs full circle, since the project began four years earlier in a course on music and poetry Carrie taught at the University of Cincinnati.  Last year Carrie found Todd’s sonnet from our Winter 2012 issue and set it for baritone and piano.  Its first performance was at Interlochen Arts Camp in summer of 2016, with Ian Greenlaw singing and Brianna Matzke at the piano.  You...

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Multimedia Experience of “Albuquerque”

In Issue 14.1, we featured a stunning poem by Jessica Ankeny, “Albuquerque.” To accompany the text of the poem, we’re pleased to present this multimedia experience, with Ankeny reading the poem and some photos of images from it. https://www.cincinnatireview.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Albuquerque.m4a     Cotton seeds:   A New Mexico sunset:   The “old...

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“Albuquerque,” by Jessica Ankeny

I. It could be snow, the way it floats, or ash from ancient volcanoes awake and exploding. But instead it’s seeds wrapped in something like down, released by the thousands from cottonwood trees. If they land near water they grow but mostly they don’t. The sun starts to set and the air turns the color of a calm fire, as if there were such a thing. Fire is always growing or dying, and I love to feed it until it licks beyond what I can reach, then I kill it or it might take everything. II. My brothers and sister catch the seeds like fireflies. They ask if it glows in their hands. They’ve only seen the bright bugs on TV, where happy kids hold them and watch the light flickering, contained. And Mother waits for Father to come home. Maybe she just got back herself. Maybe she didn’t. Maybe he won’t. III. I watch the white spots slide across the achingly orange sun and catch one or don’t, and see the old volcanoes, so far away it would take a hard day of walking to get partly there; they slither into darkness. And the mother mosquitoes gather blood for their eggs, and the stars wake, and the crickets creak their noise to bring the females to them. But I will be different. And the spiders wake and weave...

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E-books Now Available—This Week for $1!

We are thrilled to announce that we have e-book versions available for sale for The Cincinnati Review‘s two most recent issues—13.2 and 14.1! We’re especially happy about that because Issue 13.2 sold out and is now unavailable for sale in print. Buy a copy of either in our online store. We plan to keep digitizing our back catalogue and to make e-book subscriptions available sometime in the future. The e-book price will be $5, but for this first week (through Friday, July 28), you can snag a copy for $1. Just use the coupon code “EWOW” at checkout. (Forewarning:...

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A Playlist for “Second Best”

Kelly Kathleen Ferguson helped us think about the “second best” (figure skaters, runners, but especially drummers) in her essay of that title in Issue 14.1. We loved reliving our memories of the music mentioned in her piece and are glad to share with you a companion playlist to accompany her essay (read an excerpt here): Kelly Kathleen Ferguson: In my essay “Second Best,” I grapple with my time as a drummer in a rock band, and how drummers Pete Best (the Beatles) and Chad Channing (Nirvana) haunted me, since they were fired and replaced right before their former bands...

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excerpt from “Second Best,” by Kelly Kathleen Ferguson

. . . Pete Best was going to be a teacher before Paul McCartney persuaded him to join the band’s Hamburg tour. There they played four shows a day, seven nights a week. Between sets they slept next to the toilets behind the cinema screen of the Bambi Kino theater. When the Beatles returned to Liverpool, Best’s mom helped launch them to local fame. She ran the Casbah, which gave the band a much-needed venue for shows. They practiced in her basement and she cooked them dinner. A small mob of followers formed, many of them hysterical girls hurling panties. Their favorite, a dreamy James Dean type, was Pete Best. Labels began taking interest.   Like everyone, I grew up with the Beatles, but it was Kurt Cobain’s war cry that knocked me flat. His open-souled anguish freed the silver tape from my mouth, allowing me to voice all the suburban angst I’d been hoarding my entire life. The Pete Best of Generation X was Chad Channing, the drummer for Nirvana before Dave Grohl. Like Best, Channing paid his dues with the band for two years, hauling his drums over three US tours and seventy thousand miles. He played when the band came down with the flu and drank forty-ouncers so they could pass out in the van. He endured a brutal European tour, thirty-six shows in forty-two days....

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One Week to Go!

Poets, wordsmiths, scribes, people of letters: This is your one week’s notice! We are accepting entries for our fabulous Robert and Adele Schiff Awards in Poetry and Prose through next Saturday, July 15. For only $20 per entry, you could win $1000 (two prices will be awarded: one for poetry and one for prose). On top of that, you receive a one-year subscription for each entry, and all submissions will be considered for publication. Need I say more? See our guidelines for the contest here, and send us your poetry and prose through our online submission...

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Unearthing Absence

We love that contributor JP Grasser’s poem “excavate” is featured on Poetry Daily today! To complement the poem, here’s his reflection on its origins: JP Grasser: I’ve spent the last three years trying to understand the nature of griefwork, its seeming paradox: You strive to dig up loss, dust it off, and bring it into the light. Put it on display. Frame it, bind it, make of it an objet d’art. But absence is not a thing you can hold and you cannot remove removal from the ground where it’s buried. And it is work—the slow process of sifting through each discrete...

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Documents with the Seams Showing

We’ve noticed an interesting trend here at The Cincinnati Review as we continue to read the poems, stories, and essays uploaded to our submission manager before the March 15 deadline: When we open up Microsoft Word files, we sometimes find ghosts of previous drafts lurking there in electronic form. In these cases, there’s a bright red line somewhere in the margin, and if we change the settings from “Simple Markup” to “All Markup” in the track changes panel, we’re able to see the things you wrote and deleted while you had the track changes feature engaged, as well as...

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