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Briefly Noted - August 2014

Quick-to-Read Monthly Reviews

Monthly book reviews in brief from the staff of Prairie Schooner and associates.

Vol. 3 Issue 5. August 2014. Ed. Paul Clark.

Return to My Native Land by Aimé Césaire (trans. John Berger and Anna Bostock) | Reviewed by Daniel Larkins Folly by David Axelrod | Reviewed by James Crews The Youngest Butcher in Illinois by Robert Ostrom | Reviewed by Jeannie Vanasco

"Weave It, Braid It, Make It Into A Collage": Judith Ortiz Cofer on Creative Nonfiction

by Sarah Fawn Montgomery

The August 1st deadline for the Prairie Schooner Summer Creative Nonfiction Contest is fast approaching. The entry fee is $18 and gets you a one-year subscription to Prairie Schooner. Winner receives $250 and publication in our Spring 2015 issue. The contest is open to all types of creative non-fiction essays, up to 5,000 words. A few additional guidlines: your entry should include a cover letter with the submission's title and your contact information, your name and contact info shouldn't appear anywhere on the manuscript, and, finally, multiple submissions are encouraged, but an entry fee must be paid for each submission. Click here to submit.

Briefly Noted - June 2014

Quick-to-Read Monthly Reviews

Monthly book reviews in brief from the staff of Prairie Schooner and associates.

Vol. 3 Issue 4. June 2014. Ed. Paul Clark.

Conversations by César Aira (trans. Katherine Silver) | Reviewed by Jeannie Vanasco The Keys to the Jail by Keetje Kuipers | Reviewed by Gabrielle Bates The Dark by Sergio Chejfec (trans. Heather Cleary) | Reviewed by Jack Hill

It's Just a Little Prick

An Interview with Peter Goldsworthy, Conducted by Ryan Van Winkle

Peter Goldsworthy is an Australian man-of-letters with a wide-range of accomplishments and accolades. He's a novelist, a poet, an essayist and (where does he find the time?) a doctor. In a sprawling, in-depth, conversation recorded at the Clunes Booktown Festival in Australia we talked about the variety and scope of his work. The excerpt here is a small fraction of the insight, humour and sheer story-telling prowess on display in our original interview.

Ryan Van Winkle: The Scottish poet Norman MacCaig always claimed writers who did both tended to write novels to make money, but always felt poetry was the “real thing”. Do you have a particular loyalty?

How A Book Happens with Amina Gautier

by Kristi Carter
Amina Gautier

1. You won the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction in 2013 for your collection Now We Will Be Happy, what were you doing when you heard the news that you had won? How did you feel?

Briefly Noted - May 2014

Monthly book reviews in brief from the staff of Prairie Schooner and associates

Monthly book reviews in brief from the staff of Prairie Schooner and associates.

Vol. 3 Issue 3. May 2014. Ed. Paul Clark.

On Ghosts by Elizabeth Robinson | Reviewed by Jack Hill The Phoenix: New & Selected Poems by Judith Skillman | Reviewed by Bonny Barry Sanders Darkness Sticks to Everything by Tom Hennen | Reviewed by James Crews

'Poems are a Lightning Rod'

An Interview with Paula Meehan, conducted by Ryan Van Winkle

Paula Meehan is an extraordinary poet from a country reknowned for extraordinary poets. She is attuned to the tragedy, turmoil, and suffering of people both close to her and far away. Her work boldly stares down and seems to absorb trauma while remaining startling upbeat, caring, and even optimistic. We began this excerpt from my Scottish Poetry Library podcast by talking about her home in Ireland.

A Celebration and A Goodbye

by Benjamin Curttright

Last Wednesday, Prairie Schooner staff, submitters, and subscribers gathered at the UNL International Center for Quilt Studies, for what was in some ways a celebration and in others a goodbye. The occasion: the publication of Fetish by Orlando Ricardo Menes and Domesticated Wild Things by Xhenet Aliu, winners of the 2012 Prairie Schooner Book Prize. The presenters: Menes and Aliu, composers Casey Kettler and Rachel Whelan, photographer Josh Fiedler, and Prairie Schooner Editor-in-Chief Kwame Dawes.x

orlando ricardo menes and xhenet aliu

(Xhenet Aliu and Orlando Ricardo Menes before the reading)

Dealing with Literary Rejection: Tips from Sarah Fawn Montgomery

Every writer experiences rejection. Yet we tend to suffer in silence, nursing our egos and refreshing our inboxes for news of the next editorial decision. Is there a better way to approach this inevitability of literary life? The answer is yes! Here are some tips for preventing, and getting over, the rejection blues.

Billy Ireland and Cartoons That Affect Change

by Richard Graham

Outside of basic intelligence, there is nothing more important to a good political cartoonist than ill will.
Jules Feiffer

If you can make a man laugh you can spit in his eye.
Billy Ireland

When we think about cartoons affecting change, we probably think of the most famous American editorial cartoonist, Thomas Nast - known for his successful campaign to bring down the corrupt politician William “Boss” Tweed of Tammany Hall. One of Nast’s most notorious cartoons portrayed a Tammany tiger mauling the symbol of Liberty in the Roman Coliseum, with Tweed as the Emperor Nero and the caption, “What are you going to do about it?” While this is a great example of a cartoon affecting change, recently I was reminded that there are many cartoons that exemplify the lasting power and influence of this supposedly “simple” medium.

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