Spring 2016 Issue of Prairie Schooner Now Available!
The Spring 2016 issue of Prairie Schooner is now available! It’s an important one because it begins Prairie Schooner’s ninetieth year of publication. The first issue was released in early 1927, and the magazine has been going strong ever since, making us on of the ten oldest literary journals in continuous publication in America.
This issue begins with the annual awards announcement for work published in the last volume. This includes Lawrence Foundation Award-winner Ezra Olson and his story “Marco Polo” (Fall 2015) and Charif Shanahan winning the Edward Stanley Award for four poems in the Summer 2015 issue. Natalie Diaz, guest-editor of the Winter 2015 sports issue, received the Hugh J. Luke Award for her essay “A Body of Athletics.” In total, eighteen authors representing all four issues are recognized across the genres of poetry fiction, and creative nonfiction. The awards, given annually to some of the best work published in the preceding year, total more than $8000 dollars.
The Spring 2016 cover, a minimalist yet striking digital print on Japanese paper by Dutch-born and Lincoln-based artist Trudie Teijink, is titled “Breeze Play.” Her work explores “the conflict between our everyday activities, and the fleetingness of our existence,” which can easily be seen in the clothes hanging to dry against an empty background.
This issue features several particularly timely works. “The Maldives” by Cuban-born Achy Obejas concerns a woman able to leave her cramped life in Cuba thanks to her father securing a visa through US asylum laws. Margaret Randall’s “When Justice Felt Like Home” harkens back to an older Cuba, one that is still “indelibly embossed” on the Royal Palms and Sierra Maestra of the island. Reading these works just after President Obama visited Cuba in March sparks a new desire for this old Cuba to find a way to live in the present world.
Similarly, Joannie Stangeland’s “Poem to Chibok, Nigeria” – written to the mothers of the girls abducted from their school in 2014 by terrorist organization Boko Haram – is especially affecting to read just after the two-year anniversary of the kidnapping. Also featured in the Spring 2016 issue are Elise Juska’s “The English Teacher,” about a woman who discovers that a former student has committed a terrible crime; Michael Fulop’s poem about an unusual musical family; and four book reviews that close out the issue.
In this issue, Prairie Schooner continues its dedication to publishing diverse voices with varying experiences from around the world. To discover these and other great contributors, check out our newest issue. To subscribe or simply purchase the Spring 2016 issue, visit http://prairieschooner.unl.edu/store.