Endowed in perpetuity by the Glenna Luschei Fund for Excellence

Listen to This, Listen to That: First Encounters

by Dan Froid

What to burn, and what to curse? It was, yesterday, the last day of April, and Walpurgisnacht, or Witches’ Night. On that night, if I remember this correctly, witches gather at the tallest peak in Germany. I could, at this point, lead you to “Night on Bald Mountain”—which by the way, concerns a different night, a different sabbath, but, truer to my sensibilities I’d rather steer you toward Marianne Faithfull’s “Witches’ Song.” Faithfull is possibly a beautiful witch. “We will form the circle, hold our hands and chant / Let the great one know what it is we want,” she intones.  “Remember death is far away and life is sweet,” she sings.

Women and the Global Imagination: Turkish Women's Poetry

by Müesser Yeniay

In our Winter 2014 issue Alicia Ostriker curated a poetry portfolio on Women and the Global Imagination, and we were so struck by its contents that we wanted to keep the dialog surronding this theme going on our blog. In her essay, Müesser Yeniay explores Turkish poetry across a large span of time, from the Ottoman period through the present day. We hope you enjoy reading. If you like what you see, please become a subscriber to Prairie Schooner today. To take part in the dialog, follow and interact with us on Twitter.

Women and the Global Imagination: Alaska Girls

by Eliana Osborn

In hopes of continuing the dialog started by the poetry portfolio on Women and the Global Imagination, curated by Alicia Ostriker and included in our Winter 2014 Issue, we've collected a series of essays on this same theme. In her essay, Eliana Osborn reflects on one of the women who most shaped Osborn's understandings of womanhood and feminism. We hope you enjoy reading. If you like what you see, please become a subscriber to Prairie Schooner today. To take part in the dialog, follow and interact with us on Twitter.

Contributor Spotlight on Jacob Newberry

by Dan Froid

Occasionally I become enamored of certain Twitter accounts—it isn’t only me, right?—taking pleasure in them nearly as if they were a weird, fragmentary novel. A sort of voyeuristic pleasure, sure, but one which the Internet offers in spades. I have, anyway, been enjoying Jacob Newberry’s tweets lately, which shift among poetic and satirical modes; which reference what music he’s listening to (Etta James, Aretha Franklin) and crack jokes about Golden Girls—my kind of Twitter account. Fortunately, Newberry is also a writer, and so we can take greater pleasure in reading his fiction, essays, and poetry.

Listen to This, Listen to That: Women Political Poets

by Dan Froid

I studied neither American history nor government in high school, not really. For enterprising students who desired to put off their vacations, my high school in northeastern Nebraska offered a rather bizarre version of summer school, a system whose existence is puzzling. A week or so after the end of the academic year, we gathered at an old, old building. I believe it had, unsurprisingly, been the school for those with learning disabilities—which not only placed them spatially far from other students, but relegated them to this dump. The building was, in fact, a dump. Only the classrooms nearest the entrance were usable; the rooms further back were riddled with mold. One door which bore the label “Janitor’s Closet” opened onto a steep staircase; the same door bore a second label, bright orange, warning that what lay beyond was hazardous: “Asbestos Hazard.” Nobody goes there now.

Women and the Global Imagination: Girl

by Ucheoma Onwutebe

In our Winter 2014 issue Alicia Ostriker curated a poetry portfolio on Women and the Global Imagination, and we were so struck by its contents that we wanted to keep the dialog surronding this theme going on our blog. In her essay, Ucheoma Onwutebe uses Jamaica Kincaid's prose poem "Girl" as an inspiration for her own meditation on the advice girls receive. We hope you enjoy reading.

Briefly Noted - April 22, 2015

Quick-to-Read Reviews

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

Vol. 4 Issue 2. April 22, 2015. Ed. Paul Clark.

Salsa Nocturna by Daniel José Older | Reviewed by Sarah Mack The Cartographer's Ink by Okla Elliott | Reviewed by Maggie Smith Vulgar Remedies by Anna Journey | Reviewed by Maggie Trapp

Alberta Clipper 4/21/15: “For Johannes Edfelt” by David Ignatow

April 21, 1977, was the opening night of Annie on Broadway. For the uninitiated, the musical centers on an irrepressible young orphan girl growing up in post-Great Depression era New York, as she searches for her parents with the help of a billionaire benefactor. Lincoln’s overcast skies and mid-50 degree F weather that day were grim indeed, but little Orphan Annie reminded the world through song that the sun would come out tomorrow. In spite of all obstacles, Annie maintains her youthful optimism, as well as an unshakeable faith in humanity.

Contributor Spotlight on Nikki Giovanni

by Dan Froid

In our new issue, we announce the winners of the 2014 Prairie Schooner writing awards. So this week, we’re taking a look at one of our past winners—and of the most distinguished living poets in America. Nikki Giovanni has published seventeen poetry collections, in addition to children’s books, essays, records, and collected conversations. Her most recent work is Chasing Utopia: A Hybrid (William Morrow, 2013). She’s also earned countless literary awards as well as many other accolades, including the keys to more than two dozen American cities, a number of honorary degrees, and an unmatched seven NAACP Image Awards, which honor people of color in literature, music, film, and television.

Listen to This, Listen to That: Fruitful Tension

by Dan Froid

My favorite fact about Enya: She has sung in ten different languages, seven of which are real. (Two of them are dialects of Elvish, the other invented for Enya by her lyricist.) My second-favorite: She owns her own castle in Ireland, fitted with maximum security precautions. I know a lot about Enya. As a deeply weird fourteen-year-old, I found myself developing a fascination with her. In the springtime—exactly this time of year, I believe—I took a Quiz Bowl trip to central Nebraska, and it was Enya all the way. I was the resident expert on literature: I had to answer questions about Ovid and the Brontës and Flaubert. Rather surprisingly, given the relative dearth of my counterparts, question sets were heavy on literature. And so, because this was a weak spot apparently endemic to regional teams, I, a freshman, was recruited to help.

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