Endowed in perpetuity by the Glenna Luschei Fund for Excellence

"An Ecstatic, Cerebral Jab": Q&A with Chigozie Obioma

by Paul Hanson Clark

One of the new members of UNL's Creative Writing Faculty is having quite the month. In addition to getting settled into teaching classes in Lincoln, Chigozie Obioma was also shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize for his book The Fishermen. I emailed Obioma a few questions about his book, literary journals, and how he's adjusting to life in Nebraska. Enjoy!

Can you tell us about your book?

So You Wanna Win a Book Prize?

In honor of the Prairie Schooner Book Prize and the Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets (open now!) We've revived our interview series about publishing the first book. This week, Book Prize Coordinator Katie Schmid Henson talks with 2015 Sillerman prize winner Mahtem Shiferraw about shaping her first collection of poems, winning the Sillerman, and what's next.

1.     Describe the process of making the manuscript. How did you conceive of the poems together?

Alberta Clipper 9/29/15: “Well, Millstone, Cistern, Cliff (1892)” by Steve Lautermilch

by Kara Cosentino

September 29, 2009, is a date that rocked the world. In Samoa, an 8.1 magnitude earthquake sparked a tsunami that produced waves as high as forty-six feet. In Lincoln, Nebraska, meanwhile, it was a calm and sunny seventy degrees. One year later, a poem called Well, Millstone, Cistern, Cliff by Steve Lautermilch appeared in Prairie Schooner, depicting a storm after a drought, another time of disaster. –Kara Cosentino


for Paul Cezanne

The cistern has run dry. Now the stone well,
shaped rock and unshaped, collects sound, and what
is beyond sound, the crackle of wrinkled stems
curling to flame. Watercolor scratched,
scraped to bare stock—trees, saplings, twigs.
Roots and brush, windfall limbs and fallen trunks.

So You Wanna Win a Book Prize?

In honor of the Prairie Schooner Book Prize and the Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets (open now!) We've revived our interview series about publishing the first book and expanded it to include writers who are working toward publishing their first books. In this interview, Book Prize Coordinator Katie Schmid Henson talks with Prairie Schooner Contributor Naoko Fujimoto about shaping her first collection of poems.

1. How many books have you published, and where?


2. Describe the process of constructing your first manuscript.

Prairie Schooner and Pseudonyms

by Kwame Dawes

Prairie Schooner will not publish work by Yi-Fen Chou, or any other known pseudonym used by the poet Michael Derrick Hudson. The editors at Prairie Schooner were not aware that "Yi-Fen Chou" was a pseudonym for Michael Derrick Hudson when we published his work under the name Yi-Fen Chou, but once Prairie Schooner became aware of the actual identity of the poet a few months ago, Prairie Schooner confirmed the facts with Michael Derrick Hudson and has taken the position that the circumstances and rationale guiding Hudson's use of a pseudonym would not warrant our publication of his future work under such a pseudonym. In principle, Prairie Schooner has no objections to the use of pseudonyms, but we require disclosure of their use to the editor before publication. For the record, Prairie Schooner first published work by "Yi-Fen Chou” in 2009.

Alberta Clipper 9/1/15: “Art and Craft” by Diana O’Hehir

by Summer Bethune

Eighteen years ago on September 1st, the whole world appalled at the news that Diana, Princess of Wales, a well-loved British icon celebrated for her charity work, had been killed in a car accident. Investigations revealed that the driver, Henri Paul, was drunk and speeding at close to 120 mph when the accident occurred in the Place d’Alma underpass in Paris, France.

That day in Lincoln, the temperatures remained comfortably between 66 and 84 degrees. Until that evening when scant thunderstorms began around 10 p.m. and the sky cried down upon the city, perhaps in mourning with the rest of the world.

Briefly Noted - August 26, 2015

Quick-to-Read Reviews

Reviews in brief from the staff of Prairie Schooner and associates.

Vol. 4 Issue 3. August 26, 2015. Ed. Paul Clark.

The Stranger's Child by Alan Hollinghurst | Reviewed by Dirk van Nouhuys Hemingway on a Bike by Eric Freeze | Reviewed by Ryan Borchers Bird from Africa by Viola Allo | Reviewed by Ryler Dustin

Jürgen Becker: An Introduction

by Okla Elliott

Jürgen Becker was born in Köln, Germany, in 1932. He is the author of over thirty books—including drama, fiction, and poetry—all published by Suhrkamp,  Germany’s premier publisher. He has won numerous prizes, including the Heinrich Böll Prize, the Uwe Johnson Prize, the Hermann Lenz Prize, and the Georg Büchner Prize, the highest honor a German-language author can receive.

Alberta Clipper 8/18/15: “The Telephone of the Dead” by Goldie Goldbloom

By: Kara Cosentino

August 18, 1955, Hurricane Diane (not to be confused with Diana) ravaged Wilmington, North Carolina, killing 184 people, destroying 813 homes and damaging over 4,000 others, and leaving $754 million worth of damage in its wake. The effects of this terrible weather battering the east coast didn’t reach as far as Lincoln, Nebraska, where August 18th was a scorching hot day, at 97 degrees. Fifty-five years later, The Telephone of the Dead by Goldie Goldbloom appeared in Prairie Schooner. The story follows a woman who loses her husband in a horrible lightening storm and the husband who refuses to let his memory be forgotten. –Kara Cosentino

Women and the Global Imagination: The Center of the Universe

by Nancy Jooyoun Kim

In our Winter 2014 issue Alicia Ostriker curated a poetry portfolio on Women and the Global Imagination, and we were so struck by its contents that we wanted to keep the dialog surronding this theme going on our blog. In her essay, Nancy Jooyoun Kim explores the experience of being a writer who is often derided by peers for not being universal enough. We hope you enjoy reading. To read more on this theme, visit our blog and buy or Winter 2014 issue (print or ebook). To take part in the dialog, follow and interact with us on Twitter.


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