Endowed in perpetuity by the Glenna Luschei Fund for Excellence

How A Book Happens with Allison Seay by Kristi Carter

Click below to listen to Allison Seay read her poem "Sick Room."
Allison Seay

This is the first installment of our new series in which Kristi Carter, our Book Prize Coordinator, speaks with a variety of book prize winners to discuss what goes in to the preparation of a manuscript, how winning affects the life of the writer, and the life of the book.

To submit your fiction or poetry manuscript to this year's Prairie Schooner Book Prize contest, click here.

Today, we're featuring her interview with Allison Seay who won the Lexi Rudnitsky First Book Prize 2012, for her debut poetry collection To See the Queen (Persea Books).

How many times was the manuscript submitted for contests and publication? Were there any exciting milestones prior to winning the Lexi Rudnitsky First Book Prize?

Selecting the Essential Story: A Literary Conversation with Brad Watson

Interviewed by James Madison Redd

Brad Watson was born in Meridian, Mississippi. He teaches creative writing at the University of Wyoming, Laramie. His first collection, Last Days of the Dog Men, won the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His first novel, The Heaven of Mercury, was a finalist for the National Book Award. Aliens in the Prime of Their Lives (W.W. Norton, 2010) is his most recent collection, which was a finalist for the 2011 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction and received the Award in Fiction from the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters. In 2013 Watson was honored with an Award in Letters from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He is at work on a new novel.

Redd: You were a reporter for many years. Do you have a journalist’s mentality when you begin to research a topic?

Briefly Noted – February 2014

Monthly book reviews in brief from the staff of Prairie Schooner and associates
Hand-Drying in America

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

Vol. 3 Issue 1. February 2014. Ed. James Madison Redd and Paul Clark.

Hand-Drying in America by Ben Katchor | Reviewed by Claire Harlan-Orsi The Obstinate Snail by Rachid Boudjedra (A Short-shrifted Review) | Reviewed by Jack Hill Chord Box by Elizabeth Lindsey Rodgers | Reviewed by Hugh Sheehy

Reflections on "A War Portfolio"

by Cathy Dobson

First, I want to thank Brian Turner and all the staff who worked on A War Portfolio to make it a part of the Winter 2013 issue of Prairie Schooner. I’d also like to thank the writers and poets whose work is featured in the volume.  I hope my words seem humble, because I feel humble in the face of the subject, the talent, the effort that this work represents.  The voices in these pages have challenged me as a reader, influenced me as a writer, and I know that I have grown as a human being in the experience of them.

Some pieces in the issue haunt me.  I don’t even have to pick up the volume to remember them.  I don’t know what I can write to explain or describe my response to “Child Bomb.”  Pedro Serrano found the words to tell this story, but I find none I can use in reply.

The Storyteller Firangi: An Interview with Professor Jonathan Gil Harris (Part 1)

by Nabina Das
Jonathan Gil Harris

I first met Prof. Jonathan Gil Harris in January of 2013, when it was bitter cold in Delhi, and not sunny enough to meet outdoors. I found my way inside the food court of the opulent and sprawling Ambience Mall in Vasant Kunj, having first got lost in the meandering alleyways of the garish superstores, showrooms and malls, all strung together on the piece of land flanking Jawaharlal Nehru University. Prof. Harris was patiently waiting for me at a coffee shop and I was embarrassed, for I was late beyond the polite limit, but something about his flaming hair was heartwarming, as was his disarming smile. I realized that unlike many academics I’ve encountered, our “Gil-sahab” (“Call me Gil, after KPS Gill,” he had quipped.

The Taste of Your Own Tongue in Your Own Mouth

by Ryan Van Winkle

As 2014 begins, I wanted to share this excerpt from my podcast with Jane Hirshfield. She was kind enough to invite me into her home near San Francisco, and we had a sprawling conversation that hardly exhausted itself by the time I had to leave. Since that day I’ve held Jane's New Year ritual in my mind, as well as the poems she shared, which I'll always associate with her home and her generosity as a human and a poet.

RVW: Tell me a little about your widely read and celebrated poem “Tree.”

Editors of South Asian Literary Zines & Mags

by Nabina Das

Traditional editors loom large on the literary scene, and their role as gatekeepers is still seen with some reverence as well as consternation. With the expansion of cyber literary forums, literary zines, e-books, and the social media, I looked around to find a bevy of smart eager editors (who are writers too) steering zines as well as print journals that don’t always cater to the mainstream. The editorial practices of these people are not too different from their traditional counterparts.

Interview with Kevin Simmonds

A Crooked Letter Special Feature
Kevin Simmonds
Kevin Simmonds is a writer, musician, and performance artist originally from New Orleans. Mad for Meat (2011) is his debut collection of poetry. He is the editor of Collective Brightness: LGBTIQ Poets on Faith, Religion & Spirituality and Ota Benga Under my Mother’s Roof. He also wrote the music for the Emmy Award-winning documentary HOPE: Living and Loving with HIV in Jamaica. Most recently, he wrote the music for Emmett Till, a river, a Japanese noh-inspired theatre work debuting at Theatre of Yugen on November 7, 2013.

Crooked Letter Year in Review

James Redd's Mississippi Authors Conversation Series
James Madison Redd
I wash ashore in Lincoln a few times a week in the company prairie schooner. I’m the Schooner’s Southern messenger, receiving email and transcribing spoken word from Mississippi writers, many of whom I’ve been lucky enough to meet – recently, Richard Ford and Natasha Trethewey. I seek conversation with contemporary writers whose feet have pressed the rich soil of the Mississippi Delta, caressed the warm sands of the Gulf Coast, or crushed a bed of Pine Belt needles. My passion for music, spirituality, the oral tradition, family, and the past have blown me easily through this year and on to another.

We Can Talk About These Things

World Wide Poetry Studio Interviews Alvin Pang
Alvin Pang
Alvin Pang is a Singaporean poet whose latest book, When the Barbarians Arrive features new and selected poems. I, of course, wanted to talk to him about his satirical, shrewd, and energetic poems (and in the full podcast you will hear that) but we also had an enlightening digression about his work as an editor and advocate for Singapore's diverse poetry scene. I had no idea!


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