We thought we’d give you a little homework for the winter break. If you’re waiting for just the right home for your poems and stories about hipsters or heartbreak or radiation, good news: We’re announcing our upcoming themes for The Literary Review 2013 and beyond. Of course, you should interpret these themes very broadly: Topsy Turvy could mean so many things.
Winter 2012/13: Invisible Cities
Spring 2013: Scenester
Summer 2013: Cry Baby
Fall 2013: Topsy Turvy
Winter 2013/14: The Effect of Gamma Rays
Spring 2014: Retribution
Now, you might be saying, jeez, I submitted something 312 days ago that would fit so perfectly into the Gamma Rays edition, and not a word has been murmured to me about it by those pesky editors. To which we say, sorry, and, there are really good reasons for the slow churn of the wheel here at TLR. You can read all about them in an earlier post here, which explains how things work at our almost all-volunteer staff — namely, that every single submission has to be read by more than one person (so a rejection isn’t merely the capricious no of one reader).
You can submit your work electronically, right here.
For those of you who don’t know about our “newsless” newsletter, READ MORE, let us enlighten you. Twice monthly, we choose a selection from an upcoming issue and mail out a delicious morsel of literature for your online reading pleasure — gives you a few minutes’ respite from the celebrity pages of HuffPo. It’s also a great way to get to know our taste and become familiar with our oeuvre. Past contributors include Michiah Bay Gault, Christine Sneed and Krzysztof Jaworski.
If you want to subscribe, click here.
Of course, an even better way to get to know us is to subscribe to our quarterly magazine itself. That you can do right here.
…because you know how those bards drink
This week’s Read More is the poem “The Sestina Has Been Drinking” by Steve Davenport, originally published in our Machismo: A Field Guide issue (TLR, Winter2010).
As a special treat, Steve has given us recording of him reading the poem aloud:
But “The Sestina Has Been Drinking” is a popular poem. (Alas, we didn’t discover it.) Steve also sent us this link to a song version by Jessica Dimond and a band of merrymakers (Elko West).
Steve Davenport, Associate Director of Creative Writing at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and editor of a literary magazine in his own right, has graced our pages with a number of poems. Recently he’s been stretching his literary legs, writing his reminiscences on Inside Higher Ed about the horror show of his dissertation years — of which there were two more than there should have been, due to a deep commitment to the art of procrastination.
But Davenport managed to finish, move on and keep pen to paper. His newest book, published this year, is Overpass, and continues some of his poetic experiments, including yodel sonnets. The book centers on what he calls American Bottom — the Illinois floodplain — and follows Overpass Girl, “a breast cancer victim whose overpass allows drivers to pass over the damaged or diseased land that extends east (depressed industrial area that runs from Alton down past East St. Louis) of what St. Louisan Jonathan Franzen refers to in The Corrections as St. Jude, Land of Hopeless Cases.”
Stay tuned for a forthcoming Read More from Davenport.
If anyone has proven that brevity is indeed the soul of wit, it’s James Richardson. He graced us with his concise and insightful aphorisms in Volume 54, Issue 4: The Rat’s Nest, in which he noted the following truth:
“No one in human history has ever written exactly this sentence. Or anyway these two.”
Well, we’re not the only ones to recognize his talents. Richardson is now a recipient of a 2013 NEA grant in poetry. Hopefully that $25,000 will buy a lot of single-sentence wonders.
Read more of Richardson’s aphorisms here.