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"I write for the people who come before me and the people who might come after": an interview with Fatimah Asghar

The Prairie Schooner Book Prize is now open! In honor of the 2016 Book Prize season, Book Prize Coordinator Katie Schmid Henson will interview authors about the process of constructing a manuscript and bringing it to publication. This week, Katie interviews Fatimah Asghar about writing trauma, language and accessibility, and her chapbook, After, out from YesYes Books.

How many books have you published, and where?

After is the first chapbook that I have published, and it just came out on YesYes Books. I’m currently working on another project, with poems about my family and diaspora.

"Rooms full of people waiting to hear something beautiful": An interview with poet Katie Bickham

The Prairie Schooner Book Prize is now open! In honor of the 2016 Book Prize season, Book Prize Coordinator Katie Schmid Henson will interview authors about the process of constructing a manuscript and bringing it to publication. This week, Katie interviews Prairie Schooner contributor Katie Bickham, winner of Pleiades Press' Lena-Miles Wever Todd Poetry Prize for her book The Belle Mar, about dangerous syntax and her fascination with Muhammad Ali.

How many books have you published, and where?

I have one book, The Belle Mar. It came out in 2015 and is published by Pleiades Press, distributed by LSU Press.  It is the winner of the Lena-Miles Wever Todd Prize.

So You Wanna Win a Book Prize?

 

In honor of the Prairie Schooner Book Prize and the Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets, we've revived our interview series about publishing the first book. This week, Book Prize Coordinator Katie Schmid Henson talks with Bonnie Arning, author of The Black Acres, to be published in Spring 2017 as part of the Mountain West Poetry Series, about moving beyond the manuscript constructing advice you get in the MFA, and how to scare your fiancé like you mean it.

1. How many books have you published, and where?

The Black Acres is my first book length publication. Its release date is set for the spring of 2017. 

Literature in Conflict: Children's Literature in World War Two

by Keene Short

On December 7, 1941, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor prompted the United States to join the Second World War, a conflict already thoroughly encompassing the Pacific, Europe, and North Africa. The sudden political shift sparked the emergence of literature related to the war, and an outpouring of literature addressing the complex issues involved in the war. The war effort absorbed writers from all backgrounds, including children’s writers.

For example, Theodore Seuss Geisel, otherwise known as Dr. Seuss, produced hundreds of war-related editorial cartoons for a New York-based newspaper called PM from 1941 to 1943, during the bulk of American involvement in the war. Although normally a children's cartoonist, these political cartoons were directed at adult audiences. often with patriotic messages urging readers to invest in war bonds. Dr. Seuss, then, put his career on hold to support the war effort from the home front.

"Strive to remain an amateur": An Interview With David Baker

by Keene Short

Recently, poet and editor for The Kenyon Review  David Baker gave a craft talk at UNL, followed by a poetry reading. His recent poetry collections include Scavenger Loop and Never-Ending Birds. I emailed him a few questions about his work with literary journals, environmental poetry, and about what advice he has for writers about entering contests and submitting to journals.


You’ve been Poetry Editor at The Kenyon Review for some time, and the past few years have seen the addition of some new features, such as KR Online and switching to six issues a year. How do you see the role of the literary journal evolving to remain a vibrant force in literary publishing?

So You Wanna Win a Book Prize?

In honor of the Prairie Schooner Book Prize and the Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets, we've revived our interview series about publishing the first book. This week, Book Prize Coordinator Katie Schmid Henson talks with Danez Smith, author of [insert] boy, winner of the Lambda Literary Literary Award for Gay Poetry, about finding a book title that holds all your poems, and saying 'no' to poems that you really do love.
 
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So You Wanna Win a Book Prize?

In honor of the Prairie Schooner Book Prize and the Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets (open now!) We've revived our interview series about publishing the first book. This week, Book Prize Coordinator Katie Schmid Henson talks with critically acclaimed novelist Adrienne Celt about editing and plotting, and all of the *headdesk* moments that led to her first novel The Daughters, recently shortlisted for the PEN Southwest Award.

So You Wanna Win a Book Prize?

In honor of the Prairie Schooner Book Prize and the Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets (open now!) We've revived our interview series about publishing the first book. This week, Book Prize Coordinator Katie Schmid Henson talks with National Poetry Series Winner and Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellow Marcus Wicker about the process of writing and organizing his manuscript, knowing when to excise swear words in your poetry, the benefits of literary citizenship, and the best way to celebrate when you win one of the most prestigious poetry prizes in the country. 

So You Wanna Win a Book Prize?

In honor of the Prairie Schooner Book Prize and the Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets (open now through December 1st!) We've revived our interview series about publishing the first book. This week, Book Prize Coordinator Katie Schmid Henson talks with Prairie Schooner contributor and best-selling novelist Colin Channer about the process of writing his first book of poetry, Providential, out now from Akashic books.  Check out an excerpt from Providential here, at the Harvard Review online.

Literature in Conflict: Syrian Writers Abroad

by Keene Short
Syarian-born writer Mohja Kahf

The civil war in Syria has driven millions of Syrians into forced migration and diaspora, creating a large-scale refugee crisis in Western Asia and Europe. The conflict emerged after the Arab Uprisings of 2011 and early 2012, when Bashar al-Assad’s regime cracked down on the Syrian population through censorship, arrests, and eventual military tactics. However, just as the Assad regime did not wake up one morning and decide to oppress its population, the population did not wake up one morning and decide to resist. The current struggle follows decades of resistance against authoritarian regimes in Syria, and writers have always been a part of that resistance.

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