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When each fall comes, I fall in lines

Presenting our Fall 2020 Issue

When each fall comes, I fall in lines
across the field. Crows pick me out
of food for weeks. Photographs
of then are lost (I tell myself
they're lost). Bare, at the mirror,
I still don't see a man, I see
what could still be lost, what kept.
Owls cry, leave darkness on my tongue.

—excerpt from "Confessions of a Former Scarecrow," by José Angel Araguz, Prairie Schooner, Vol. 94, Issue 3, Fall 2020

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.

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.

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