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"So You Wanna Win A Book Prize" w/ Gbenga Adeoba

by Jamaica Baldwin

Our final "So You Wanna Win A Book Prize" interview of the season is with poet 'Gbenga Adeoba, the 2019 Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets Winner. This is the last of a series of illuminating conversations between PS Book Prize Coordinator Jamaica Baldwin and writers who have played the book prize game and won! There are only 2 days left to submit to the Raz-Shumaker Prairie Schooner Book PrizeClick here for full details. Read on for Baldwin's conversation with 'Gbenga Adeoba. Click here to buy Adeoba's Prize-winning collection Exodus.

Walk It Like You Talk It: #fivewordfridays

a series of vocabulary-based prompts

by Ashley Strosnider

Tackled the exercise below? Come up with something brilliant or hilarious? Tweet us a favorite line or phrase @theSchooner!

My mom describes horrible things as “dreadful.” One of my friends calls excellent things “dynamite.” Neither of these feels quite right in my mouth, but I’m still charmed when they say them. Many of my favorite people to talk to have their own go-to vocabularies, their own distinctive ways of talking. (Of course, it’s entirely possible that everyone does, and I just don’t talk to everyone, so I wouldn’t know.) But it’s true on the page, too. Good writing, as the saying goes, just hits different. Some poems simply sound like “oh, of course she wrote this.” And when some characters open their mouths, I wouldn’t mind if the dialogue went on for pages and pages.

Sorry to Miss Y'all at #AWP20

but you can still get some great deals at bookfair prices

Prairie Schooner and the APBF will have a significantly reduced presence at this year’s AWP Conference in San Antonio, as most of our staff will not be traveling.

"So You Wanna Win A Book Prize" w/ Tjawangwa Dema

by Jamaica Baldwin

For the next several weeks, visit the blog for illuminating conversations between PS Book Prize Coordinator Jamaica Baldwin and writers who have played the book prize game and won! We're currently seeking submissions for the Raz-Shumaker Prairie Schooner Book Prize. Click here for full details. Read on for Baldwin's conversation with Tjawangwa Dema. Click here to buy Dema's Sillerman Prize-winning collection The Careless Seamstress.

Cast a New Light (or, why Kwame banned "gloaming": #fivewordfridays

a series of vocabulary-based prompts

by Ashley Strosnider

 

Tackled the excercise below? Come up with something brilliant or hilarious? Tweet us a favorite line or phrase @theSchooner!

 

Last week, one of our new interns was reading submissions, and he stopped and said, “I just read two poetry submissions in a row with the phrase ‘a jealous moon.’ What are the odds?” Unfortunately, the odds are not so long.

A few years back, our Editor in Chief, Kwame Dawes, shared a tweet a day in a series he called “Memos to Poets,” and he called out a few words he was seeing too often.  

#13: This just in: “Gloaming” has been banned from poetry, especially Irish themed poems

So You Wanna Win A Book Prize?

An Interview with Venita Blackburn
Author Venita Blackburn is pictured in profile, wearing black-framed glasses and a black hoodie, with her left hand on her forehead

by Jamaica Baldwin

For the next several weeks, visit the blog for illuminating conversations between PS Book Prize Coordinator Jamaica Baldwin and writers who have played the book prize game and won! We're currently seeking submissions for the Raz-Shumaker Prairie Schooner Book Prize. Click here for full details. Read on for Baldwin's conversation with Venita Blackburn, who won the PS Book Prize for her story collection Black Jesus and Other Superheroes.

Welcome to #fivewordfridays

a series of vocabulary-based prompts
white text that reads #fivewordfridays on a bright orange background

by Ashley Strosnider

Tackled the excercise below? Come up with something brilliant or hilarious? Tweet us a favorite line or phrase @theSchooner!

Good writing strives toward many things—often it’s momentum, stakes, and surprise. Ideally, when you’re writing carefully (or at the very least, when you’re revising!), you’re aware of the language of your work, instead of only the content of the idea or the narrative thrust, and you’re making careful, interesting, and economical selections to keep a poem or a story moving, and to keep a reader moving along with it. You brilliant writer, you, of course you choose your words wisely.

So You Wanna Win A Book Prize?

An Interview with Luisa Muradyan

by Jamaica Baldwin

Exciting news! The PS Blog is back from hiatus. We're kicking things off with a revival of our fun and useful "So You Wanna Win A Book Prize?" interview series. For the next several weeks, visit the blog for illuminating conversations between PS Book Prize Coordinator Jamaica Baldwin and writers who have played the book prize game and won! Don't forget, we're currently seeking submissions for the Raz-Shumaker Prairie Schooner Book Prize. Click here for full details. Read on for Baldwin's conversation with Luisa Muradyan, who won the PS Book Prize for her poetry collection American Radiance.

"Private Stories of Desperate, Protracted Love": an Interview with Dessa

by Ilana Masad

Dessa is a writer and musician of incredible reputation. Her new book, My Own Devices, was released this month. Our nonfiction editor Ilana Masad asked Dessa some questions about the book and her work. Read on...


Hi Dessa! First of all, thank you so much for doing this interview. It's an honor. I have some general-ish questions and some more specific questions about the book, you as a writer, etc. so here we go:

1. Music and words--especially rapping and words--go hand in hand. Still, I wonder whether there are different sets of writing muscles for writing lyrics, for writing poetry, and for writing memoir and personal essays. Was the process of writing this book unique? How?

Songwriting demands particular attention to phrasing—the very same sentence can sound either poignant or cringe-worthy, depending on the cadence. 

"Searching for normal, when what I really needed was kindness": an Interview with Sarah Fawn Montgomery

by Ilana Masad

Starting Quite Mad: An American Pharma Memoir by Sarah Fawn Montgomery—out today with Mad Creek Books, an imprint of Ohio State University Press—was difficult. It’s always somewhat nerve-wracking to approach a book that deals intimately with an identity and subject-matter that is close to your heart, and so as a mentally ill person, reading books about madness tends to have a great effect on me. And boy howdy, did this one have an effect. Weeks after finishing it, I’m still thinking about it often, daily, and that haunting quality is part and parcel of what makes the book so incredible.

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