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3:33 Sports Short #9 // Hustle

by Julia Shipley

Don't be a shrinking violet, her field hockey coach still yelps from the sidelines of her memory. Don’t be… that shout, still chiding her inclination to contract when the world ongoingly asks, insists, demands: expand!

Then, too, she remembers coach’s warm reward for aggression, or, was it only assertion?

Insertion: when she wasn’t shrinking, oh, how she whacked that solid ball—heavy as a lead egg—at the pad-covered goalie, how she rushed toward that shut door of a girl, (Go! Don't be....), how she took her stick and flicked and tucked that stone bolus behind the goalie's squeezed knees. 

Every game, it seemed, was about forcing a protective female to accept something she didn't want, again and again.

3:33 Sports Short #8 // Tribal Bands

by Justin Brouckaert

This Christmas, my parents bought me a watch that tracks steps and monitors heart rate, syncs the data to an app. I trek around my city trying to take pride in stairs climbed, calories burned, badges earned, but usually the numbers feel empty. I feel like I’m posing in a world I don’t belong to—or worse, like I’m pretending to be someone I left behind long ago.

*     *     *

One night during my first winter running seventy miles per week, I found myself at a party in a smoky basement with one good friend and a swarm of strangers.

“This guy,” my friend introduced me, “he loves running. Running is his life.

One man asked why I wore my running watch upside down, the face on my wrist’s underside. I told him it was easier to hit the lap button, a quicker flick to check my pace.

'The strange spinning that is...grief': An interview with Lisa Fay Coutley

The Prairie Schooner Book Prize is now open! In honor of the 2016 Book Prize season, Book Prize Coordinator Katie Schmid Henson will interview authors about the process of constructing a manuscript and bringing it to publication. This week, Katie interviews poet and Prairie Schooner contributor Lisa Fay Coutley about confessional poetry, the public, collective joy of hearing you've won a book prize in an airport, and about her book Errata, which won the Crab Orchard Series Open Competition in 2014.

How many books have you published, and where?

3:33 Sports Short #7 // Drone Dads: Killing It on the Youth Soccer Field

by Jen Karetnick

Forget the clueless but cheerful soccer mom with her SUV hatchback spilling uniforms and her ponytail threaded through her sequined ball cap. We’ve got a more recent phenomenon out on the youth soccer field: the “Drone Dad” (DD).

What’s a DD? He’s the guy who pilots up and down the sidelines, conferencing with his kid at every opportunity. He may or may not know what he’s talking about. He may or may not have played or coached before. But he’s usually countermanding everything the real coach wants the player to do.

Alberta Clipper: 2/16/16: “It’s late, Miss China” by Emmanuel Moses

White Rose Memorial

Winter: Though it is cold and snowy and arguably the worst season of the year (admit it, the elation of sweater weather can only carry you for so long), winter paves the way for new beginnings. In Nebraska, this can be easy to forget. Especially in February, when the winds blister your skin and the slush in the streets is a brownish-black as dark as your soul at 7:30 a.m. on a Monday morning when it’s two degrees outside and the doors to your car are frozen shut. On February 16, 1943, the average temperature in Lincoln, Nebraska was 41 degrees. In Munich, Germany the average temperature was slightly less, dipping down into the thirties. But despite these bleak temperatures, the paths for new beginnings were being paved in Germany.

3:33 Sports Short #6 // On Dave Mirra's Death

by Nathan Sindelar

This week's first 3:33 Sports Short is a meditation on the death of BMX superstar Dave Mirra at the age of 41. It comes courtesy of Nathan Sindelar, a current graduate student at Creighton University, and a former Prairie Schooner intern. The internship program is a big part of the work we do here at Prairie Schooner. We're lucky to get a new crop of talented young people to help out every semester, and we're excited to see what interesting directions their lives will take them. Very happy to be publishing Nathan today. If you want to read more great sports writing, become a subscriber, and we'll mail you our Winter Sports Issue. We're running a belated Valentine's Day special this week. Four issues for $25, and each subscription includes a handwritten Valentine from someone on our staff.

3:33 Sports Short #5 // Baseball and American Spiritual Life

by Diane Cameron

The first thing I learned about baseball is this: If you raise your hand a man will bring you food. I learned this at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh, and in my first year as a fan I spent most of the game facing the wrong way. Raise my hand, get ice cream, raise my hand, get popcorn, raise my hand, get peanuts. It was 1958.

Later, I understood it was a game.  On summer afternoons I’d beg my brothers to take me to the ball park. I was falling in love with baseball.

If baseball has taken hold of you too, you know it’s about more than your team winning.  Sport, like religion, offers consolations: A diversion from our daily routine, heroic examples to admire, and a sense of conflict in which nobody dies. 

3:33 Sports Short #4 // The Lithe Adolescence

by Jennifer Fliss

So far in the 3:33 Sports Shorts blog series we've run pieces on Peyton Manning, running, and the strange zen of late-night call-in sports talk radio. Today we've got a piece on gymnastics. Do you have an idea for a piece? Want to get involved? Consider sending us a few hundred words on the subject of your choice. Another way to support the work we're doing is to become a subscriber.

Kaveh Akbar on the "illicit luck" of a daily poetry practice

 

The Prairie Schooner Book Prize is now open! In honor of the 2016 Book Prize season, Book Prize Coordinator Katie Schmid Henson will interview authors about the process of constructing a manuscript and bringing it to publication. This week, Katie interviews poet and editor Kaveh Akbar about the ecstatic joy of poetry, the art of the interview, and constructing a first manuscript with intention.

3:33 Sports Short #3 // Running is a Kind of Drowning

by Jonathan Crowl

I was sixteen, I crossed the line third. I was so exhausted I shit myself.

I kept sprinting past the finish line, tripping over a rope that funneled runners into a long chute. My best friend’s mother, a nurse, helped bring me back to the team tent. A teammate said “Oh” and pointed behind me: My white jersey had come out of my shorts, stained in brown. I tucked in the shirt. We haven’t talked about it since.

*

This was not as bad as when my friend collapsed from heat exhaustion, and while receiving treatment on the ground grew an erection.

*

When I pooped myself, I’d just run the race of my life. The experience taught me something I wouldn’t have admitted, and probably didn’t realize: I no longer wanted to try my hardest.

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