Poetry from Carl Phillips | NER 35.3

Categories: Poetry

Parable | Carl Phillips

 

[view as PDF]  

There was a saint once,
he had but to ring across
water a small bell, all

manner of fish
rose, as answer, he was
that holy, persuasive,

both, or the fish
perhaps merely
hungry, their bodies

a-shimmer with
that hope especially that
hunger brings, whatever

the reason, the fish
coming unassigned, in
schools coming

into the saint’s hand and,
instead of getting,
becoming food.

I have thought, since, of
your body—as I first came
to know it, how it still

can be, with mine,
sometimes. I think on
that immediate and last gesture

of the fish leaving water
for flesh, for guarantee
they will die, and I cannot

rest on what to call it.
Not generosity, or
a blindness, trust, brute

stupidity. Not the soul
distracted from its natural
prayer, which is attention,

for in the story they are
paying attention. They
lose themselves eyes open.

 (1998, Volume 19.3)

[view as PDF]  

Carl Phillips’s thirteenth book of poems, Reconnaissance, will be out from FSG in 2015. In 2014, Graywolf published his book of prose, The Art of Daring: Risk, Restlessness, Imagination.

New fiction from Kristien Hemmerechts in NER 35.3

Categories: Fiction

Fairytale | Kristien Hemmerechts

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Once upon a time a man and a woman had a child who lived. Then they had another child and it died, and then another child and that child also died. The first child was a little girl, the second and third were boys. The children were named Katherine, Benjamin, and Robert, but their names were mostly shortened to Kathy, Ben, and Rob. After the death of the third child, the man and the woman chose not to have another child but instead to have a dog that their young daughter christened Lady. The man took pictures of his wife, his daughter, and his dog and then asked his wife to take a picture of himself. The photos were developed and put in the photo album. “Finally, we are four!” the woman wrote beside it, but barely three years later, she left the man and thus, indirectly, her daughter and dog as well. . .

—translated from the Dutch by Margie Franzen and Sandra Boersma

Read the complete story here [view as PDF]

 

 

NER Vermont Reading Series | October 23, 2014

Categories: NER VT Reading Series


Please join us in Middlebury on October 23rd, 7 p.m. at Carol’s Hungry Mind Cafe for the next reading in our series, featuring Emily Arnason Casey, Kathryn Davis, and
Diana Whitney.

 

CaseyEmily Arnason Casey‘s writing has appeared in Mid-American Review, Sonora Review, the anthology Please Do Not Remove, and elsewhere. She was a finalist for the 2014 Ruth Stone Poetry Prize. She earned an MFA from the Vermont College of Fine Arts and teaches writing at the Community College of Vermont. An editor at the online journal Atlas & Alice, Emily lives in Burlington with her husband and two sons, and is working on a collection of essays about loss and longing.

Kathryn Davis (c) Anne Davis-resize

Kathryn Davis is the author of seven novels: Labrador, The Girl Who Trod on a Loaf, Hell, The Walking Tour, Versailles, The Thin Place, and Duplex (Graywolf, 2013). She has been the recipient of the Kafka Prize, the Morton Dauwen Zabel Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the 2006 Lannan Award for Fiction. She lives in Montpelier and is Hurst Senior Writer-in-Residence in the MFA program at Washington University in St. Louis.

 

DianaWhitneyheadshot-cropDiana Whitney‘s first book of poetry, Wanting It, was released in August 2014 by Harbor Mountain Press. Her essays and poems have appeared in the Boston Globe, the Washington Post, Crab Orchard Review, Puerto del Sol, Numéro Cinq, Dartmouth Alumni Magazine, and elsewhere. She graduated from Dartmouth College and Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes Scholar, and attended the Warren Wilson College MFA Program. A yoga instructor and lifelong athlete, Diana lives in Brattleboro with her family.

Announcing the new NER: Vol. 35, No. 3

Categories: News & Notes


THE NEW ISSUE OF NER HAS ARRIVED!

POETRY
C. Dale Young’s last issue as poetry editor presents 20 poems from his 20 years at NER, poems that he says “not only never left me alone but actually changed me as a reader and writer,” including works by Debora Greger, Brigit Pegeen Kelly, and Carl Phillips.

Agha Shahid Ali • Reginald Dwayne Betts • Jericho Brown • Gabrielle Calvocoressi • Victoria Chang • Jordan Davis • Geri Doran • Debora Greger • Jennifer Grotz • Laura Kasischke • Brigit Pegeen Kelly • Khaled Mattawa • Tomás Q. Morín • Matthew Olzmann • Carl Phillips • Paisley Rekdal • Natasha Trethewey • Ellen Bryant Voigt • G. C. Waldrep • David Yezzi

FICTION
Fiction writers Jonathan Durbin and Lenore Myka make their NER debut in this issue, and Brock Clarke, Dennis McFadden, and Christine Sneed return to our pages with stories of freedom and slavery, marriage, and a battle-axe. Also, an unforgettable story by Belgian author Kristien Hemmerechts appears for the first time in English.

Brock Clarke • Jonathan Durbin • Kristien Hemmerechts (trans. Margie Franzen & Sandra Boersma) • Peter LaSalle • Dennis McFadden • Lenore Myka • Christine Sneed

ESSAYS
The essays in this issue examine age and time, music and notoriety, the great American West, and the mutability of language and rock walls:

  • J. E. Uhl listens closely to the rhythm of New Orleans “Piano Wizard” James Booker
  • Robert Pogue Harrison unravels the question: how old are we, really?
  • Natasha Lvovich tallies the gains and losses of a language left behind
  • Vincent Czyz follows the bread-crumb trail of affinities
  • Elizabeth O’Brien, in praise of names, congruencies, and the letter Z
  • Alexandria Peary discovers the lives layered beneath our not-so-solid walls
  • Richard Tillinghast, out West on Wagonhound Road
  • Boris Sidis considers an epidemic of religious revival

COVER ART
Katherine Minott

Don’t miss this ambitious and unpredictable collection of writing—just published and now on its way from the printer.

See the full table of contents, and order a copy today. Or better yet, subscribe!

The Spirit of the Beehive | Sally Keith

Categories: Confluences, NER Digital


http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0070040/Most of the village is sitting in this one room, dark except for the lines of cigarette smoke that twist in the projector’s pale white cone. James Whale’s Frankenstein is playing. It’s 1940 on the Castilian plain. The Spanish Civil War has just ended. Two sisters are watching as a man in a tuxedo warns the moviegoers that the story they are watching is not to be taken too seriously. Now there is a man’s face in concentration, just visible behind the grid of his beekeeper mask, as he pumps smoke into his hive. The hum of the bees replaces the clicking projector wheel.

I’m watching Victor Erice’s The Spirit of the Beehive (1973). A woman, not yet seen before, is writing a letter, presumably to a lost lover: “Something tells me perhaps our ability to really feel life has vanished along with the rest.” She leaves the house for the plain, turns the wheels of her bike down a road and into the sound of the train’s steady approach. It intersects her path. When she turns to walk alongside the train, she moves through the steam it has produced and momentarily disappears. She posts her plaintive letter to a slot on the train, full of soldiers, and then she departs. Now, we watch the man whose face we’ve seen before—beekeeper, poet, husband, father—return to the empty house. We watch him thinking, in his study, as the words from the Frankenstein script overlay the scene: “Haven’t you ever wanted to take a chance … What if we went beyond the limits of the known? Have you never wished to see beyond the clouds and stars or to know what makes trees grow and changes shadow to light?”

He opens the sun-drenched windows, made of pentagonal panes, remaking the hive in the house. The sisters keep watching the movie. Now the monster meets the young Maria and they float flowers at the edge of the lake. That night as the girls go to bed, Ana whispers the three long syllables of her sister’s name, “Is-a-bel.” She asks, “Why did he kill the girl and why did they kill him after that?” But Isabel won’t answer right away, she is falling asleep. When finally she relents, she explains the monster as a spirit you can access pronouncing your own name in the dark. “I’m Ana, I’m Ana,” Isabel whispers to demonstrate. We hear the sound of the father’s footsteps above them, as if offering a response.

The words the father writes in his notebook, like the sound of the hive in his head, describe his glass beehive “with its movement like the main gearwheel of a clock.” Now the woman, again, who cannot sleep. There is no containment—neither night, nor book, nor hive, nor house—that will suffice. In The Life of the Bee (1901), Maurice Maeterlinck describes an “invisible ailment,” as necessary to the bees as honey, that is derived from a bee when it leaves the hive and results in a craving that might “explain the spirit of the laws of the hive.” This movie is like that—like strokes of paint not quite connecting one part of the composition to the next. Eerie flute melodies turn on and off. Wanting to see more, you watch and watch and watch.

 
Sally Keith is author of the forthcoming River House (Milkweed) as well as three previous collections of poetry. She teaches at George Mason University.

NER Digital is New England Review’s online project dedicated to original creative writing for the web. “Confluences” presents writers’ encounters with works of art such as books, plays, poems, films, paintings, sculptures, or buildings.  

 

 

 

New Books for October from NER Authors

Categories: NER Authors' Books, NER Community

gallaher. . . as he struggles to understand the meaning of family, love, and death, Gallaher addresses life questions in a way that few poets of his generation have been willing to risk.—BOA Editions

We are pleased to announce the publication of In a Landscape (BOA Editions), a book-length poem by NER contributor John Gallaher. His poem “Your Lover, Later” was featured in 30.1 and “In a Landscape: VI” first appeared in 33.2.

“Reading these poems is like listening in on the thoughts of a brilliant mind at work on unsolvable, often existential, problems, the poet always peering outward, toward a landscape of autobiography and memory that ‘goes on all night, dotted with little fires.'” —Kevin Prufer, author of National Anthem

John Gallaher is the author of The Little Book of Guesses (Four Way, 2007), Map of the Folded World (University of Akron Press, 2009), and Your Father on the Train of Ghosts (BOA Editions Ltd., 2011), co-written with G. C. Waldrep. He currently teaches at Northwest Missouri State University and co-edits the Laurel Review.

 

a selected history of her heart.pdf. . . a collision of bodies, cultures, opportunity and motive, innocence and experience that layers a coming-of-age story into a multi-cultural background.Martha Collins, author of White Papers

We are pleased to announce the publication of NER contributor Carole Simmons Oles’s most recent collection of poetry, A Selected History of Her Heart (University of New Mexico Press, 2014). Her poem “Travel With the Missing” was featured in 20.3.

“These powerhouse poems reach out generation to generation with generosity and compassion. These poems invite us in, offer food and drink and shelter.”—Peggy Shumaker, author of Gnawed Bones.

Carole Simmons Oles has authored eight other collections of poetry, including The Deed: Poems (Louisiana State University Press, 1991) and Waking Stone: Inventions on the Life of Harriet Hosmer (University of Arkansas Press, 2006).

 

howard-progressive-education-coverPropelled by layers of allusion and irony, Howard’s account of the children is a comedy with a plot. Howard gained fame for verse in the voices of literary and historical characters, often very sophisticated ones: the sixth-graders here are as much fun as any characters in any poetry this year, even as their improbably long senteces ask, seriously, “how the system we’re trying / to live by operates.”—Publishers Weekly

MacArthur Grant recipient, Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winner, and NER author Richard Howard has published his most recent book of poetry, A Progressive Education (Turtle Point). Garnering from his own school days, Howard uses the voices of children at a Cleveland private school to probe serious questions with irony and wit. Howard’s poem “Eidyia: An Interview” was featured in NER 27.1.

“It seems to me that, in the voices of L. Frank Baum, Wallace Stevens, and a whole cast of others, Richard has been working toward these fifth graders all along, minds bent on creative engagement with knowledge but able to stave off, for the span of their youth, for the span of a poem, an excess of hopelessness, which damns all art and life. Richard’s work in and on behalf of poetry is, precisely, an antidote to hopelessness.”—Craig Morgan Teicher for the Los Angeles Review of Books

Our Authors: Updates, Awards and Selections

Categories: News & Notes

We are always excited to celebrate our NER authors, here are the most recent reasons to cheer:

PEN_lit_invite091214_WEBVictoria Chang‘s most recent book The Boss (McSweeney’s Poetry Series, 2013) has won the 2014 PEN Center USA Literary Award for poetry. Chang’s poems have appeared in several issues of NER (23.2, 24.3, 25.3, and 33.1), and are forthcoming in 35.3. Lindsay Hill won the 2014 PEN Center USA Literary Award for fiction, for his novel Sea of Hooks (McPherson & Co., 2013), excerpts of which were published in NER 34.2. Both will be awarded in a ceremony in LA on November 11.

 

let me see itCongratulations to NER author James Magruder for the selection of Let Me See It (Triquarterly, 2014) as Best Short Story Collection in Best of Baltimore 2014. He teaches dramaturgy at Swarthmore College and fiction at the University of Baltimore. His short story “Matthew Aiken’s Vie Bohème” appeared in NER 32.3.

 

 

 

mcarthur

Khaled Mattawa has been awarded the distinct honor of a 2014 MacArthur Fellowship. The Libyan-born poet and translator’s collections of poetry include Tocqueville (New Issues Poetry & Prose, 2010) and Zodiac of Echoes (Ausable Press, 2003). He is an assistant professor in creative writing at the University of Michigan. The forthcoming issue of NER includes his poem “Borrowed Tongue,” and his work has appeared in our pages several time before (16.4, 17.4, and 21.2).

 

ben millerNER author Ben Miller will be lecturing at Harvard University on Wednesday, November 12 as part of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study 2014-2015 Fellows’ Presentation Series. Miller will discuss his memoir River Bend Chronicles, with special attention “to the role of spontaneity and sound in the depiction of consciousness under the boisterous pressure of memory.” His essay, “Village Bakery,” appears in 35.2 of NER.

 

 

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NER Authors Take LA

Categories: Readings

NER recently held its first West Coast reading at Stories Books in Los Angeles, and we’re still basking in the afterglow. To extend the joy even further we’re sharing this series of photographs of the authors and SRO crowd, care of photographer Thomas Moore.

Lou Mathews

Lou Mathews

The reading featured writers published in current and past issues of the New England Review: Sands Hall and Lou Mathews from the current issue, 35.2; Steve De Jarnatt from 34.1; and Charles Hood, with a recent piece in NER Digital.

The reading attracted a large and enthusiastic audience, which spilled out into the courtyard beyond. Thanks to Lou Mathews for putting all the pieces together, and to the authors, the audience, Tom Moore, and Stories Books. For more photos from the event, click here.

NER Reading at Stories Cafe, Los Angeles | Fri., Sept. 26

Categories: Readings

StoriesLAStories Books in Echo Park 1716 West Sunset Boulevard will host the first New England Review reading in California on Friday, September 26, 7:30 p.m.

Fiction writers Steve De Jarnatt, Sands Hall, and Lou Mathews, and poet, essayist Charles Hood will read from their work published in the current and past issues of the magazine.

Steve De Jarnatt (NER 34.1) grew up in the small logging town of Longview, Washington across the Columbia River from where Raymond Carver was born. He recently “broke out” of show biz after a long career writing and directing film and television, (the cult feature Miracle Mile is among his many credits), and he received his MFA from Antioch Los Angeles and is now pursuing the lucrative world of short fiction. Steve’s work has appeared in many journals, and one of his stories was among the 100 Distinguished Stories for Best American Short Stories 2013.

Sands Hall, whose story appears in the current issue, is the author of the novel, Catching Heaven (Ballantine) a Willa Award Finalist for Best Contemporary Fiction and a Random House Reader’s Circle selection; and of a book of writing essays and exercises, Tools of the Writers Craft.  She holds an MFA in Fiction from the Iowa Writers Workshop, and a second MFA in Theatre Arts. As a graduate of San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theatre’s Advanced Training Program, Sands has worked extensively as actor and director. A singer/songwriter, Sands recently produced a CD of her tunes, Rustler’s Moon. She teaches creative writing at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, PA,

Charles Hood recently published a piece in NER Digital. He is an essayist, poet, and photographer and a Research Fellow at the Center for Art + Environment, Nevada Museum of Art. He teaches English at Antelope Valley College. A graduate of U.C. Irvine, he studied under Charles Wright, Louise Glück, and James McMichael. His awards include a Fulbright in Ethnopoetics, an NEH, an Artist-in-Residency with the Annenberg Community Beach House in Santa Monica, an Artist-in-Residency with the Center for Land Use Interpretation, and a National Science Foundation Fellowship to Antarctica. His most recent book, South x South, won the Hollis Summers prize from Ohio University Press. He is finishing three manuscripts, including a poetry book about all 150 moons in the Solar System.

Lou Mathews, who also has a story in the current issue, is a Los Angeles based journalist, fiction writer, playwright and a fourth-generation Angeleno. Married at 19, he worked his way through U.C. Santa Cruz as a gas station attendant and mechanic and continued to work as a mechanic until he was 39. His first novel, L.A. Breakdown, about illegal street racing, was picked by the Los Angeles Times as a Best Book of 1999. He has received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Fiction, a California Arts Council Fiction Fellowship, a Pushcart Prize and a Katherine Anne Porter Prize. His novella, The Irish Sextet, won Failbetter’s Tenth Anniversary novella contest. His story in the current New England Review “Some Animals Are More Equal Than Others” is from a new manuscript Hollywoodski. He has taught in the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program since 1989. He was also a contributing editor and restaurant reviewer for L.A. Style Magazine for seven years and 43 pounds.

Lindsay Hill Reads at Middlebury | Thurs., Sept. 25

Categories: Readings

LindsayCropNew England Review and the Middlebury College Creative Writing Program are pleased to present author Lindsay Hill, winner of the 2014 PEN USA Literary Award for Fiction.

He will read from and discuss his new novel, Sea of Hooks at Middlebury College’s Axinn Center, Abernethy Room at 4:30 p.m.

New York magazine and Publishers Weekly both named Sea of Hooks a top 10 book of 2013. Excerpts of its opening chapters are featured in New England Review (34.2). Publishers Weekly describes the book as “an almost impossibly sustained performance from beginning to end. Nearly every paragraph astonishes, every moment rich with magic and daring.”

Lindsay Hill was born in San Francisco and graduated from Bard College. Since 1974, he has published six books of poetry and his work has appeared in a wide variety of literary journals. Sea of Hooks is his first novel, the product of nearly twenty years of work. His other writing and editorial projects include the production of a series of recordings of innovative writing under the Spoken Engine label, and the co-editing, with Paul Naylor, of the literary journal Facture. Since leaving a career in banking, he has worked in the nonprofit sector. He lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife, the painter Nita Hill.

For more about Lindsay Hill, see the McPherson and Company website.