Endowed in perpetuity by the Glenna Luschei Fund for Excellence


"Discovery makes the recollection worthy of being recounted": An Interview with Jerald Walker

by Jordan Charlton and Kasey Peters

Our very own Jordan Charlton and Kasey Peters recently spoke to Jerald Walker about the art of the essay. Walker is the author of the award-winning How to Make a Slave and Other Essays. He will also be judging our Summer Creative Nonfiction Contest. Click here for full details on how to submit.

Jordan Charlton and Kasey Peters: In conversation with Joy Castro, as part of the Writing Brilliant Essays series here at UNL, you said that your own essays tend to begin with something that troubles you and that you seek to understand something from multiple perspectives. Can you describe how you approach that pursuit? How do you inhabit multiple perspectives in your narratives, and why do you think that's important?

"Monsters are replaced by monitors": an interview with Jaylan Salah

by Carol Smallwood

Award-winning writer Jaylan Salah is a poet, translator, content expert, and film critic.Workstation Bluesis a collection from the cubicle for white-collar workers worldwide passing the time between meetings and computer screens. The poems blur: monsters are replaced by monitors, flame-throwers by LED lights, and swords by client comments. Cristina Deptula, executive editor of Synchronized Chaos Magazine,http://synchchaos.comcommented: “With energy and spunk, Jaylan Salah celebrates imagination, beauty, and most of all, freedom through her poetry and prose.” 

Smallwood: What is your educational, literary background and when did you begin to write prose and poetry?

"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.

"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.

"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.

“A daily handful of wonder and awe”: A Debut Poet Roundtable, Pt. 2

Last we heard from our debut poets, they were discussing tardigrades! In the second and final part of this roundtable, five former members of Prairie Schooner’s editorial team—Sarah A. Chavez, Crystal S. Gibbins, Marianne Kunkel, Michelle Menting, and Hali Sofala-Jones—discuss the intersection of their first full-length poetry collection and the current American climate, some simple and bold self-marketing strategies, and what they’ll write next. Thanks for tuning in!

MK: How do you see your book fitting into this particular time in history? We’re all self-identifying women poets, but our identities are broader and more multi-faceted than that. Twenty or 50 years from now, what will your poems witness about the world in 2017-18?

“What I long for... never actually existed”: A Debut Poet Roundtable, Pt. 1

Last fall the PS blog ran a Debut Fiction Roundtable, and we think it’s time for poets to have a turn! Following that model, five former members of Prairie Schooner’s editorial team—Sarah A. Chavez, Crystal S. Gibbins, Marianne Kunkel, Michelle Menting, and Hali Sofala-Jones—chatted back and forth through email to discuss their experiences sending their first full-length poetry collection out into the world. This is the first half of their conversation, focusing on the theme of lack versus loss as well as practical research tips. Stay tuned for part two!

Marianne Kunkel: Although our books are all quite different, a common thread I see in them is lack—lacking life experience, professional success, connection to ancestors, home, environment, language, etc. Was it cathartic to write these poems? Do you think the lack you wrote about is something that can ever be resolved?

"Approach everything with humility": an interview with Patricia Engel

by Mac Wall

Patricia Engel is the author of The Veins of the Ocean and her story, "La Ruta," was featured in our Spring 2018 issue.

For our readers who only know you from what’s been published about you in the Prairie Schooner, is there anything from your life that tends to have an outsized influence on your writing? What you read, where you live, how you spend your day? 

First, I want to say that I’m delighted to be published in Prairie Schooner. It’s a magazine I’ve long admired. To your question, everything influences my writing, from conversations I have or overhear, images I take in through landscapes, art, or from my imagination; my heritage, fragments of my identity, my relationships, nature and its exploitation, books I read, music I hear, my hobbies, fantasies, and obsessions. 

"In a way all stories are about mental health": an Interview with Molly Quinn

by Gayle Rocz

Molly Quinn’s writing has either appeared or is forthcoming in The Iowa Review, Kenyon Review Online, and Post Road. She was recently published in our Spring issue with the short fiction story, “Babies in the Water.”

Gayle Rocz: Your short fiction story, "Babies in the Water," is based around the relationship between a grown, unstable, and distant daughter, Kim, and her mother who is suffering from dementia. Their relationship is rather strained because Kim believes her mother intentionally poisoned her as a child. How did this scenario present itself to you? What were some influences that helped you create this situation between these two characters?


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