Endowed in perpetuity by the Glenna Luschei Fund for Excellence

"Inhabiting three different landscapes at once": An Interview with Laura Woollett

by Sarah Fawn Montgomery

The winner of the 2015 Summer Nonfiction contest, judged by Rigoberto González, is Laura Woollett, for her essay "Working Girl." Prairie Schooner Assistant Nonfiction Editor Sarah Fawn Montgomery asked Laura a few questions, resulting in a brief but wide-ranging discussion that touches on adolescence, brevity, Joyce Carol Oates, Vogue, The O.C., Nietzche, memory, and more. Enjoy!

Your winning essay, “Working Girl,” explores female adolescence using irony and humor to move the story beyond mere teenage angst. The piece accomplishes this task in just a few short pages. What roles did compression and brevity play in your writing process? How do they work with—or perhaps because of—the subject matter?

Coda to Interview with Kate Southwood

In which interviews never end because conversations never end. Last week, Book Prize Coordinator Katie Schmid Henson interviewed novelist Kate Southwood about the process of writing and publishing her first book, the critically acclaimed Falling to Earth. After the interview, the conversation kept going. Here's a little bit more from the generous Kate Southwood about negotiating her roles as mother and writer.

Can you say a little bit more about the periods of time when you were not-writing, but still working on the composing process? How do you balance the work of parenting with the writing work that you do?

Alberta Clipper 10/13/15: “Listening to the Paint” by Rachel Dacus

by Summer Bethune

On October 13, 2012, Gerhard Richter, a German visual artist, set an auction record price for artwork sold by a living artist with his painting Abstraktes Bild. It sold for $34 million, but that record held only until 2013 when his piece, Domplatz, Mailand sold for $37.1 million in New York. Finally, Abstraktes Bild exceeded the record again in February 2015 when it was sold again, this time for $44.52 million in London.

“With a Bit of What I'm Sure the Kids Don't Call ‘Tude’”: Q&A With Justin Taylor

by Keene Short

Justin Taylor is the author of one novel, The Gospel of Anarchy, and two short story collections, Everything Here is the Best Thing Ever, and, most recently, Flings. He recently read here at UNL from Flings, which felt fitting, since Prairie Schooner published the title story in Summer 2012. I emailed Justin a few questions about his book, and about story collections as a genre. Enjoy!

So You Want to Submit to a Literary Journal

by Keene Short

Let’s say you’re an aspiring writer. You’ve just polished up a short story, a handful of poems, a nonfiction essay. Maybe your friends have critiqued it, or you’ve just revised it after receiving a mentor’s feedback. Certainly you should send your hard-written work to a literary journal, to a dozen literary journals. But many aspiring writers let the temptation to see their names in print, to see their work published, overpower the effort they put into actually submitting it. Here is a short list of tips for newcomers to the messy business of submitting to a journal.

Briefly Noted - October 7, 2015

Quick-to-Read Reviews

Reviews in brief from the staff of Prairie Schooner and associates.

Vol. 4 Issue 4. October 7, 2015. Ed. Paul Hanson Clark.

Excavation: A Memoir by Wendy C. Ortiz | Reviewed by Alyssa Martino Trespass by Thomas Dooley | Reviewed by Anna Saikin Things We Lost in the Fire by Vuyelwa Maluleke | Reviewed by Katie Schmid

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 Prairie Schooner contributor and novelist Kate Southwood about the process of writing her manuscript, acquiring an agent, and bringing her first novel to publication.

"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.


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