Endowed in perpetuity by the Glenna Luschei Fund for Excellence

October 2012

Two Questions for Alicia Ostriker

Blog Editor Claire Harlan Orsi interviews Ostriker on 3 AM inspiration, poetic personifications and more!

Alicia Ostriker’s fifteenth collection of poetry is The Book of Life: Selected Jewish Poems 1979–2011. Her most recent prose collection is For the Love of God: The Bible as an Open Book. She teaches in the Drew University Low-Residency MFA Program in poetry and poetry translation. Six of her poems appear in the current issue of Prairie Schooner.


War and Peace: A Reader's Chronicle

Dispatches from Blog Editor Claire Harlan Orsi

Guess what? I read War and Peace! If this were any other book, I wouldn’t be able to get away with simply narrating an account of the mundane occurrences that filled my life during the reading of said book. But because this is War and Peace, all bets are off. Having earned “the right” (who bestows these rights?) to self-indulgence around page 1200, I will now treat my faithful blog reader(s) to a blow-by-blow account of—not my thoughts about the book itself, no, that would be a different, more dignified blog post entirely—the process of reading Tolstoy’s world-changing classic. All dates below are from the fateful Summer of 2012.

Creative Nonfiction Contest Winner!

Natalie Vestin

Congratulations to Natalie Vestin, winner of Prairie Schooner's inaugural Creative Nonfiction Contest! Contest judge Steven Church read over 500 excellent submissions, and had this to say about Vestin's winning essay, "How to Own a Building":

"Like the introverted architecture it evokes, the voice and structure of 'How to Own a Building' draws you in, pulling you down into a deeply essayistic, intellectually and emotionally gratifying exploration of the ways in which we own and are owned by the shells we construct around us. Never sentimental, solipsistic or melodramatic, the essay dips a toe into the powerful currents of 9/11 without letting the rest of the essay get carried away, demonstrating the aesthetic restraint and grace that defines true art."

Best American Notables!

Congratulations to these PS Contributors, whose work was recognized in the 2012 Best American Series

Melodie Edward’s story “The Bird Lady” (PS Summer 2011), a notable for 2012 Best American Short Stories

Nancy McCabe’s essay “Threads” (PS Fall 2011), a notable for 2012 Best American Non-Required Reading

Gregory Blake Smith’s “Punishment” (Spring 2011), a notable for 2012 Best American Mystery Stories

Nancy McCabe’s essay “Threads” (Fall 2011) a notable for 2012 Best American Essays

"I Just Write What I Want to Read"

An Interview with Novelist Michael Kardos

This interview is the second in the Crooked Letter Interview Series hosted by Prairie Schooner’s Southern Correspondent, James Madison Redd. On September 12th 2012, he met with novelist Michael Kardos in Starkville, Mississippi. The following is an excerpt from their meeting.