Friday, December 18, 2009

Happy Holidays!

Well, dear Blue Light Readers, the semester is ending and that means two important things: first, our latest issue, 31.2, will be arriving in mailboxes any day now--hooray!--and second, the IR staff is officially on vacation--double hooray! Thank you to everyone who made this semester so much fun!

Also, we've announced our 2009 Fiction Prize winner! Congrats to Rolf Yngve! As soon as we return in January, we will update our website with all the finalists. (We just received a holiday gift of Windows Vista on all of our office computers and apparently have lost all the software we need for website, thanks Santa?)

That's it for us until January 11th. We wish everyone a very happy holiday season and a marvelous new year!

Best, Nina

2009 Fiction Prize Winner

We are pleased to announce our 2009 Fiction Prize winner: Rolf Yngve, whose story "Efendim" will be published in our upcoming Summer 2010 issue, 32.1.

Our final judge, Ron Carlson, had this to say about the story: In the cauldron of a high seas pirate and hostage standoff, "Efendim" offers a nervous and pressurized world by way of a rolling kaleidoscope of viewpoints. The story is braced with that rarity real things, and bears a confident authority; there is something of Conrad here. This ponderous ordeal flashes at us, the life and death moments like the myriad
reflections on the water.

Congratulations Rolf!

Congratulations also to the runner-up, Roger Sheffer, for his story "Shuttle" and second runner-up, Jeff P. Jones, for his story, "The Runciter Project."

Thank you to everyone who helped make this year's contest such a success!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

You Damn Right, I've Got the Blues

The Blue Feature submission period has now closed. Daily, I’ve encountered stunning, blue work and, as melancholy as some of it has been to read, I couldn’t be more sad to call it quits. As an homage to the submission periods’ end, I thought I’d hip you all to my current blue obsession: Blues. More specifically, blues guitarist Laith Al Saadi. This Ann Arbor, Michigan artist is a guitar virtuoso, singer/song writer who is comfortable with old standards and originals alike. Everything about him—his axe, his big, smoky voice—is blue but emphatically celebratory of that feeling (think Buddy Guy’s “You Damn Right I’ve Got the Blues”). Watch the video below, listen to his thoughts on "voice" and be reminded of the Ars Poetica. Enjoy the tunes!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

2009 Pushcart Nominations!

We'd like to offer our congratulations to the writers below, whose work our editors have selected for Pushcart nominations. In alphabetical order by author last name:

“Sometimes You Break Their Hearts, Sometimes They Break Yours” by Marie-Helene Bertino, Fiction (from IR 31.2, Winter 2009)

“Aubade in Which the Bats Tried to Warn Me” by Traci Brimhall, Poetry (from IR 31.1, Summer 2009)

“Terror Birds,” by Abby Geni, Fiction (from IR 31.2, Winter 2009)

“here is the sweet hand you always turn back on yourself,” by francine j. harris, Poetry (from IR 31.2, Winter 2009)

“Cousin Mike: A Memoir,” by Daniel Nester, Nonfiction (from IR 31.1, Summer 2009)

“Pavel and Peter Ever After,” by Kerri Webster, Poetry (from IR 31.2, Winter 2009)

And thank you to all our contributors for your wonderful work!