Monday, November 29, 2010

Holiday Cheer!

So Thanksgiving is over.... the holiday where we remember what we are thankful for and eat a lot of cranberry sauce is immediately followed by the holiday of: What am I going to buy So-and-so for Christmas/Hanukkah/Holiday of your choice?  There will be long lines at stores, silver wrapping paper, tinny music about reindeer, fights in the parking lot over the last empty space.  Ah, maybe my view of the holidays is a bit bleak. Maybe December like Thanksgiving can be a great excuse to remember why we do the things we do, and the people around us while we are doing those things.

(play the cheesy [but heartfelt] music)

I personally am thankful for Indiana Review...and all the literary magazines out there. I am thankful because words are important. Sharing words, being moved by words, discovering new things about yourself and the world through literary works.  I am thankful that I get to be part of something so revolutionary as printing words on the page.

Like everyone out there, I could make a pitch to buy a subscription (or copy of) Indiana Review for all your holiday gift needs, but I'm not quite going to do that. I'm going to say, this:

If you are are a fan, reader, or writer and are thankful for communities supporting current literary stuffs, support by doing a few of the following:
--Send your own work out for consideration.
--Subscribe to Indiana Review or any other journal that suits your word-fancy.
--Print copies of your favorite poems by your favorite authors and send them with your holiday cards.
--Buy books at the independent bookstore in your town.
--Read out loud! to your loved ones!
--Subscribe to Indiana Review or any other journal that suits your word-fancy.

Support what you are thankful for so as to make sure it will continue to exist. Also, if your sick of waiting in lines and don't know what to get your BFF or your mother, why not give the gift that arrives in thier mailbox twice a year, no lines!


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Featured Poetry Website:

Poetry People,

For this installment of our occasional series on poetry websites, we bring you . Linebreak is a weekly online magazine featuring original poems with a special twist-- each poem is read and recorded by another working poet selected by the editors. Not only are the featured poems solid, but hearing them in a voice other than the author's can be a pleasure. 

Here are a few links to former contributors of IR featured on Linebreak:

D.A. Powell read by Geoffrey Brock

Bob Hicok read by Ash Bowen

C. Dale Young read by D.A. Powell

Traci Brimhall read by Jeff Simpson


Keith Leonard
Poetry Editor

Get Ready

IR readers,

Go to fullsize image
If you’re going to be in New York City this Thursday, November 18th, check out Gerald Stern at the Poets House at 7 P.M., for a reading and discussion of his work with Indiana Review supporter and contributor Ross Gay. It’s ten dollars general submission, seven dollars for students and seniors, free to Poets House Members.

If I was heading back to New York for Thanksgiving earlier, I’d be there. A Gerald Stern reading is always amazing.

Only T-minus 168 hours until T-Day


Thursday, November 11, 2010

But what is it?

Scan from Oletheros. Gaiman, Neil and Dave McKean. Signal to Noise. Dark Horse, reprinted 2007. (ISBN: 978-1593077525)

Comics have always intrigued me. And sequential art. And graphic novels. Or, generally, any interaction between still visuals and text (film being another creature). In the literary world, the idea of hybridization is a contentious one, and by extension, the idea of categorization. Fictional memoirs, story-poems (prose poem? short short?) -- how do we define pieces? Why do we define them?

It's been said that a piece is what the author calls it, or maybe a piece doesn't have to fit into a genre. Does it have to fit into just one, or can a piece work in multiple categories? I'm not sure.

I bring up this idea of classification because recently, I had a conversation with a poet friend about trying to create an illustrated fiction piece. He was thinking about integrating art into a poem. Neither of us were interested in writing responses to visual art that's already been created, or ekphrasis, but making something that was new, visually and textually. But we talked about the difficulty of attempting this (neither of us felt visual-savvy), and then we thought about general reactions to this specific type of hybridization. That is, to many, the act of adding art to text (illustrations or visuals to a short story or a poem or novel) is somehow equated to "dumbing it down."

The reverse is true, too. How many studio artists and teachers and historians consider comics and any type of cartooning style a "dumbing down" of art? Somehow, adding text to art is often considered a juvenile move.

Either it's illustrated prose -- why read a graphic novel when you can read a novel? -- or it's captioned art. There is something inherently "easy" about a visual/textual collaboration because the implication is that it's no longer pure visual or pure text, because most of us are used to deconstructing and analyzing and enjoying things on a certain set of aesthetics or terms. And to condescend something that utilizes both visual and text on the grounds that either element should be able to stand on its own, isn't productive.

Dear readers, what books have you come across that work both visually and textually? I've been meaning to check out William Gass's The Tunnel and Umberto Eco. Jonathan Safran Foer's Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close is a favorite of mine.


Monday, November 8, 2010

New Bluecast: Patrick Rosal

In the newest edition of our Bluecast, Patrick Rosal reads his poem "The Tradition of Pianos" which will be featured in our soon-to-be-printed Winter issue, 32.2! If you aren't subscribed to receive this issue, its not too late. Click Here.



This poem gives me goosebumps every time I hear it. Thanks, Patrick, for taking a minute to record for us your awesome poem, and the process of writing it.


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Jazzy Poetry

Poetry Peoples,
This morning was a cup and tea and moved to the rhythm of a slow jazz riff. Don't you love those mornings? Let's do a little jig to two jazzy videos from youtube for this installment of poetry on the interwebs. Relax, feel a little somber with Langston, feel a little ecstatic with Jack.

 Best wishes,


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Ain't That Peculiar

Congratulations to our Indiana Review Intern Tara Johnson winner of our tri-annual 2010 Costume Contest for her costume “Issue 22, Number 2: pencil drawn woman in mustache and glasses.”

The mustache says cool, mysterious, and maybe a tad dangerous, giving contrast to the glasses, which shows a willingness to be playful.

Much like the issue itself, which features the 1999 Indiana Review Poetry Prize Winner Nils Michals “Revolving Around Tycho Brahe” Wenceslas Square.”

The winning picture will be the facebook photo.

Congratulations Tara