Endowed in perpetuity by the Glenna Luschei Fund for Excellence

February 2016

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. You'll get our Winter Sports issue–– guest-edited by the excellent Natalie Diaz!–– which is the inspiration for this blog series! Anyways, enough commentary.

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.

I’m really interested in the work you do at Divedapper—it’s publishing some of the most exciting, thoughtful interviews I’ve read recently. Can you talk about what made you want to start the site, and how, if at all, the interview process has changed your conception of yourself as a writer and artist?

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.

3:33 Sports Short #2 // The Overnight

by Miles Doyle

Whenever I have trouble sleeping, which seems to occur more regularly with age, I turn on the local sports station here in New York—WFAN, Sports Radio 66, the FAN. In place of rest and reinvention, I listen to men and women with biographies polished down to poetry—Bruce from Bayside, Lisa from Whitestone, Ira from Staten Island. To a person, they obsess about strategy and statistics, turning points and missed opportunities, anything that might help them make sense of events completely out of their control.

The overnight, as the five-hour slot is called, is made up entirely of hyperbole and hard lines. An athlete is celebrated or condemned based solely on the latest box score; he is, according to these disembodied voices, only as good as his last at-bat, the previous possession.

3:33 Sports Short #1 // Three Poems for Super Bowl Champ Peyton Manning

Welcome to the first installment of our 3:33 Sports Shorts blog series. Here in the Prairie Schooner office we had our fingers crossed for a Broncos loss so thhis blog post could be titled "Three Poems for a Loser" but alas. Anyways, we're going to be posting a new short post on the theme of SPORTS every day at 3:33 p.m. Some notes: 1) the two "somewhat sonnets" for Manning were written before last night's game, so please consider some of the commentary within to be historical in nature 2) we're still looking for 3:33 Sports Shorts submissions 3) the reason we are doing this is to hype our Winter Sports Issue which can be yours if you become a subscriber today. Now, without further ado...

Religious Experience
Tayler Heuston

"I write for the people who come before me and the people who might come after": an interview with Fatimah Asghar

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 Fatimah Asghar about writing trauma, language and accessibility, and her chapbook, After, out from YesYes Books.

How many books have you published, and where?

After is the first chapbook that I have published, and it just came out on YesYes Books. I’m currently working on another project, with poems about my family and diaspora.