Endowed in perpetuity by the Glenna Luschei Fund for Excellence

September 2015

"An Ecstatic, Cerebral Jab": Q&A with Chigozie Obioma

by Paul Hanson Clark

One of the new members of UNL's Creative Writing Faculty is having quite the month. In addition to getting settled into teaching classes in Lincoln, Chigozie Obioma was also shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize for his book The Fishermen. I emailed Obioma a few questions about his book, literary journals, and how he's adjusting to life in Nebraska. Enjoy!


Can you tell us about your book?

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 2015 Sillerman prize winner Mahtem Shiferraw about shaping her first collection of poems, winning the Sillerman, and what's next.

1.     Describe the process of making the manuscript. How did you conceive of the poems together?

Alberta Clipper 9/29/15: “Well, Millstone, Cistern, Cliff (1892)” by Steve Lautermilch

by Kara Cosentino

September 29, 2009, is a date that rocked the world. In Samoa, an 8.1 magnitude earthquake sparked a tsunami that produced waves as high as forty-six feet. In Lincoln, Nebraska, meanwhile, it was a calm and sunny seventy degrees. One year later, a poem called Well, Millstone, Cistern, Cliff by Steve Lautermilch appeared in Prairie Schooner, depicting a storm after a drought, another time of disaster. –Kara Cosentino

 

for Paul Cezanne

The cistern has run dry. Now the stone well,
shaped rock and unshaped, collects sound, and what
is beyond sound, the crackle of wrinkled stems
curling to flame. Watercolor scratched,
scraped to bare stock—trees, saplings, twigs.
Roots and brush, windfall limbs and fallen trunks.

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 and expanded it to include writers who are working toward publishing their first books. In this interview, Book Prize Coordinator Katie Schmid Henson talks with Prairie Schooner Contributor Naoko Fujimoto about shaping her first collection of poems.

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

None!

2. Describe the process of constructing your first manuscript.

Prairie Schooner and Pseudonyms

by Kwame Dawes

Prairie Schooner will not publish work by Yi-Fen Chou, or any other known pseudonym used by the poet Michael Derrick Hudson. The editors at Prairie Schooner were not aware that "Yi-Fen Chou" was a pseudonym for Michael Derrick Hudson when we published his work under the name Yi-Fen Chou, but once Prairie Schooner became aware of the actual identity of the poet a few months ago, Prairie Schooner confirmed the facts with Michael Derrick Hudson and has taken the position that the circumstances and rationale guiding Hudson's use of a pseudonym would not warrant our publication of his future work under such a pseudonym. In principle, Prairie Schooner has no objections to the use of pseudonyms, but we require disclosure of their use to the editor before publication. For the record, Prairie Schooner first published work by "Yi-Fen Chou” in 2009.

Alberta Clipper 9/1/15: “Art and Craft” by Diana O’Hehir

by Summer Bethune

Eighteen years ago on September 1st, the whole world appalled at the news that Diana, Princess of Wales, a well-loved British icon celebrated for her charity work, had been killed in a car accident. Investigations revealed that the driver, Henri Paul, was drunk and speeding at close to 120 mph when the accident occurred in the Place d’Alma underpass in Paris, France.

That day in Lincoln, the temperatures remained comfortably between 66 and 84 degrees. Until that evening when scant thunderstorms began around 10 p.m. and the sky cried down upon the city, perhaps in mourning with the rest of the world.