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Sabina Murray | The Caprices

Sabina Murray’s story, The Caprices, appeared in NER 20.3:

Fenckell Paper MillsThis could be any village street. The packed dirt could cover any country road and the dust that rises in billowing sheets, lifted by the lazy hands of the dry season, could menace any provincial town. It is three o’clock in the afternoon, but no children wander back from school. The Chinese shopkeeper’s door has been shut for nearly a year, but no matter, since the children will not bother him for moon cakes, sweet wafers, and candied tamarind. A kalesa driver sits idly by his cart; his horse, unperturbed by the state of affairs, dozes behind blinkers, flicking rhythmically with his tail, one rear hoof casually cocked to bear no weight. In response to a fly, the horse shakes his head, jangling gear and whipping his mane from side to side. The fly rises up, buzzing at a higher pitch.

What you are witnessing is war.

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NER Poetry Editor Recognized by PEN Award

We are excited to announce that our very own Rick Barot is the recipient of this year’s PEN Open Book Award for his poetry collectionChord.” The PEN America Center, which works to ensure the freedom of expression through writing, awards this prize each year to a work of literature published by an author of color. Past winners include Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Juan Felipe Herrera.

Barot-Photo-e1406144371919Rick Barot has published three books of poetry: The Darker Fall (2002) received the Kathryn A. Morton Prize, and Want (2008) won the 2009 Grub Street Book Prize. His most recent book, Chord (2015), is on the shortlist for PEN’s Open Book Award, a recognition for a book-length work by an author of color. Since 2014, he has also served as the poetry editor for NER, after contributing as a reader for many years. Rick lives in Tacoma, Washington, and is the director of the M.F.A. Program at the Rainier Writers Workshop, Pacific Lutheran University.

Rick Barot was recognized besides Ta-Nehisi Coates, Mia Alvar and Toni Morrison at a ceremony in Manhattan. Congratulations to Rick and all the other prize winners!

NER Poets Celebrated by 2016 Guggenheim Fellowship

We are excited to announce that three NER poetry contributors have been chosen as recipients for this year’s Guggenheim Fellowship: Rick Barot, Jericho Brown, and Sally Keith. These poets are part of a group of 178 artists, writers, and scholars chosen from a pool of nearly 3,000 applicants.

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Rick Barot has published three books of poetry: The Darker Fall (2002) received the Kathryn A. Morton Prize, and Want (2008) won the 2009 Grub Street Book Prize. His most recent book, Chord (2015), is the winner of PEN’s Open Book Award, a recognition for a book-length work by an author of color. Since 2014, he has also served as the poetry editor for NER, after contributing as a reader for many years. Rick lives in Tacoma, Washington, and is the director of the MFA Program at the Rainier Writers Workshop, Pacific Lutheran University.

JerichoBrown_NewBioImageJericho Brown has published poems in the Nation, the New Yorker, the New Republic, and Best American Poetry. His first book, Please (New Issues Poetry & Prose, 2008), won the American Book Award, and his second book, The New Testament, was recently published by Copper Canyon Press. He is an assistant professor in the creative writing program at Emory University. His work, including his poem Prayer of the Backhanded, appears in NER 28.1 and 35.3.

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Sally Keith is the author of three previous collections of poetry: Fact of the MatterDesign, winner of the 2000 Colorado Prize for Poetry, and Dwelling Song, winner of the University of Georgia’s Contemporary Poetry Series competition. Her poetry appears in NER 33.2 and 24.4, as well as her essay “The Spirit of the Beehive” in our online series, Confluences.  She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers Conference and teaches creative writing at George Mason University.

Congratulations to these NER poets and to all of the 2016 Guggenheim Fellows. More about the award and the current fellows can be found at the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation website.

 

 

 

Samuel F. Pickering | Taking the Night Plane to Tulsa

Samuel F. Pickering’s story, Taking the Night Plane to Tulsa, was published in NER 15.1:

When folks feel good in Tulsa, they stomp on the floor and holler “shit.” In Hanover nobody ever feels good. New England will turn any man’s Blue Bird of Happiness into a Turkey Buzzard. I ought to know; I’ve been here nine years. Soon, though, everything’s going to change. Then next time a jet engine whines I’ll be traveling west. An acquaintance argues that my dissatisfaction is not New England’s fault. Corn and crows, he says, can’t grow in the same field. Perhaps, but there is not much corn grown in New England, and I’m not a crow—no, not even a towhee or a chickadee, although if I stay around here much longer surrounded by lads with necklaces, purses, and tight pants I just might become one.

Have you ever heard of a town without a used car lot? Hanover, New Hampshire, is such a town. Used car lots are the signs of dreams. A man sees a rainbow, hurries to the used car lot, buys a chariot of hope and wheels over the hills and far away. In Hanover the rainbow, like the Dodo, is extinct, and there is no market for used cars. The town fathers have banished used car lots.

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