Endowed in perpetuity by the Glenna Luschei Fund for Excellence

Contributor Spotlight on Vandana Khanna

by Dan Froid

Vandana Khanna’s poems are full of mythological imagery, but they also refer to airplanes, city markets. Her poems are lovely and intense. Her current project, as she tells The Missouri Review, “re-imagines iconic stories central to Hindu mythology. Here, gods and goddesses fight with each other, refuse their destinies and examine their faith and their doubt within the ever-shifting landscape of the poems.” A suite of five of Khanna’s poems, fitting into this project, appears in our latest issue (Spring 2015). Check out that link to read another of those poems, “The Goddess Reveals What It Takes to Be Holy.” And for now, here’s “Because you forgot me, I am weird in the world”:

Listen to This, Listen to That: Facts and Fictions

by Dan Froid

“I wanted to write a beach read for smart people,” Joy Castro says of her novel Hell or High Water. She explains in “Facts and Fictions,” Episode 17 of Air Schooner, her intent to create a book that’s not only fun to read but intellectually stimulating, full of complexity. Her novel takes place in post-Katrina New Orleans, centering on a reporter who investigates sex offenders who went off the grid after the hurricane. Castro tells us, “I did a lot of historical research about the city of New Orleans. The stolen Africans who lived under the different regimes [which] all had slavery norms.” She also investigated issues of rehabilitation and recidivism for sex-offenders.

Lost Writer Wednesday

Bertram Lewis
Bertram Lewis Letter

This post is part of our Lost Writer Wednesdays blog series, an eight-week series and companion to NETNebraska’s Lost Writers of the Plains radio programming. Each week, we’ll spotlight long-forgotten writers once published in the early days of Prairie Schooner. For the full multi-media experience, download the iBook in the iTunes store.

by Sean Stewart

Bertram Austin Lewis spent his undergraduate years at Wiley College, a historically black university. His transition to the then predominantly white environment at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln must have had a dramatic effect on him. He soon began working to address the disparity between the races in the scholarly community of the 1930s.

Alberta Clipper: 3/31/15: “The Sweetest Journeys Home Are in the Mind” by Dan Jaffe

In the spring of 1959, the Dalai Lama fled the Tibetan capital of Lhasa, beginning a trying journey over the treacherous terrain of the Himalayas in search of safety. On March 31st, he crossed the border into India, where he was welcomed with refuge and asylum. Meanwhile, on that same day in 1959, Lincoln, NE, was hit with strong thunderstorms and high winds topping out at 20 mph while the editors at Prairie Schooner worked tirelessly on the Spring Issue, which included work by one of Nebraska’s own, Dan Jaffe.

Brave New Reading List: Never Let Me Go

by Brita Thielen
Never Let Me Go cover

You might have heard the controversy surrounding novelist Kazuo Ishiguro’s latest book, The Buried Giant. People seem confused about what it is supposed to be – fantasy, allegory, literary, or all three – and while many reviewers praise and seem to respect the book, few claim to love it. I mention The Buried Giant only to say that if you have never read Ishiguro’s work and have been turned off by these reviews, you should really pick up a copy of his last published novel, Never Let Me Go (2005; Vintage Books).

[WARNING: This post contains a SPOILER regarding the central plot point of the novel (sorry, but I can’t think of a way to talk about the book without mentioning it). Continue reading at your own risk.]

Contributor Spotlight on Emily Schultz

by Dan Froid

Emily Schultz’s first novel, Joyland was published in 2006 by a small press (ECW). In 2013, Stephen King also published a novel called Joyland. Because his book was initially published in paperback only—not as an ebook—several readers bought Schultz’s book by mistake. As a result, Schultz received a few negative Amazon reviews but, on the plus side, a spike in sales and a sweet royalty check. Schultz chronicles how she spent the royalty money at Spending the Stephen King Money. Schultz got car repairs, a Macbook Air, and some new books out of the deal.

Listen to This, Listen to That: Family Matters

by Dan Froid

“I’ve had this sort of ongoing romance with the subjunctive . . . to imagine this possible future that didn’t look like anything you’d seen in the world around you.” That’s how Julie Marie Wade describes her interest in memoir in “Family Matters,” Episode 18 of Air Schooner. I like that: the romance of the subjunctive. That’s a real pleasure of the imagination, or a real nightmare, to set up a scenario and follow it to its furthest conclusion. Family matters present surely the biggest daydreaming minefield: it’s so easy to go back to petty conflicts, or strained relationships, or whatever, and conjecture other possibilities. In the episode, we hear Sharon Olds do this, too, in “I Go Back to May 1937,” which for me is essentially an episode of The Twilight Zone.

Lost Writer Wednesday

Dorothy Thomas
Dorothy Thomas at Typewriter

This post is part of our Lost Writer Wednesdays blog series, an eight-week series and companion to NETNebraska’s Lost Writers of the Plains radio programming. Each week, we’ll spotlight long-forgotten writers once published in the early days of Prairie Schooner. For the full multi-media experience, download the iBook in the iTunes store.

by Alex Douglas

Born in 1898 in Kansas, Dorothy Thomas grew up as one of ten children to a simple minister and his wife. After the death of her father, Thomas and the rest of her family relocated to Nebraska where she took the role as breadwinner for her family and obtained her teaching certificate at the age of sixteen. It was through her position as a teacher that Thomas was able to come up with the storyline of “The Steckley Girls,” launching her somewhat controversial career of writing.

Contributor Spotlight on Chantel Acevedo

by Dan Froid

Like the narrator of her newest novel—like Chantel Acevedo herself—Acevedo’s grandmother was a storyteller. Acevedo explains in a feature from the Latin Post that her grandmother inspired Acevedo to tell her own stories and showed her how to use the language of narrative. The Distant Marvels (Europa Editions), Acevedo’s newest novel, comes out in April. It follows Maria Sirena, a storyteller by trade: she tells stories aloud as her fellow workers labor in a cigar factory. After becoming sequestered with seven other women following Hurricane Flora, one of the deadliest hurricanes in history, Sirena threads the story of her own life with the tale of Cuba’s history in an effort to entertain her fellow survivors.

Listen to This, Listen to That: Stranger Fiction

by Dan Froid

Yesterday I ate some chocolate, Dove-brand dark chocolate with almonds. I opened the purple foil and popped it into my mouth; beneath the chocolate lay a secret inscription. “Feed your sense of anticipation,” it read. What? Feed my what? Feed my sense of anticipation. Presumably the chocolate wrapper urges me to give myself something exciting, or, better, something both exciting and vaguely luxurious to which to look forward, like, presumably, more Dove chocolate. Or feed, indeed, my already anxiety-prone mind with…more anxiety? Sounds terrific. I’ll accidentally send a gossipy message to the subject of the gossip. I’ll delay working on a paper until the night before it’s due. I’ll take the wrong exit off the highway a half-hour before I’m due to arrive somewhere. And then I’ll think: How do I get out of this mess? I’ll certainly anticipate something.


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