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THE IOWA REVIEW launches new writing contest in honor of editor emeritus David Hamilton

TIR Staff

To honor the editorship, mentorship, and friendship of David Hamilton, who was editor of The Iowa Review for more than 30 years, we are pleased to announce the David Hamilton Prize for Iowa Review Alumni, launching in 2017 and continuing biennially. 

In the spirit of David Hamilton’s support and encouragement of his students and their writing, anyone who has ever worked for The Iowa Review, whether as paid staff or volunteer reader, and whose name is listed as such on the masthead of any back issue of the magazine is eligible to enter the contest. 

The prize will be $1,000 and publication in The Iowa Review. The winner will be selected by the current editor of The Iowa Review.

Air Signs

Tim Taranto

The hot water was out

with the dark of a new

moon when you dreamed 

of drawing a hot

bath; I got pots going

on all burners, watched 

broths fill with fish

eyes; I carried each 

boiling sacrament 

to you with dish rags

swaddled around

the handles, careful 

not to scald

a wrist, tops 

of my feet, or trip

on the stairs, 

but composed,

also, hurrying

slowly as an acolyte 

at altar; I poured in

one and then another,

the steam rose

blooming condensation 

on my lenses; you stood

on your clothes — they

looked conquered

as a molted skin,

black crescent 

under your feet; Our Lady

of flowers pressed

on the apron of a beggar;

downstairs, I

didn't hear you

enter the kitchen 

over the seething


Margaret Ross

The heat stank when you turned it on

This was the Desert Star, the Redbird
            Inn, the half-off room at the Rose
            Hotel Casino with coffee vouchers
            you could cross the sunken
gaming floor to redeem 

7 a.m. and people with soft collars tucked out
            over sweatshirts drinking Pepsi
            at the slot machines. Wherever you were

was the same place at the Motel 6, an
            orange bedspread. Hairs I pulled out 

would drift into loose webs
            with the others’ underneath the bed. It felt almost

The Narrows

George Kovalenko

To find the world unfamiliar takes a span too long under its spell,
and I—a minim hurdling the crossing—did.

Last century saw cofferdams arising from the brine
and from them piles, bearings, beam, but strangest was that from above

the sky was mirroring the shoals. I had the windows down onto the grey.

I had to have, to keep the screen from clouding up and over.
              Sheets of dark, which made the drive underivable, broke
only in their sheeting as a spectrum flaying into unity.

The thesis that the patination
on the bridge’s saddle housing was apportioned by design is flawed.

It is concurrent with the color scheme, to be here able to discern 

the goodness of all things in gradients and only so by squinting.
I don’t know if it is enough to merely make it over 

Opal Reunion

Alicia Wright

There goes Hannah behind that cloudlet
C.D. Wright,
"Trusting in the Haptic Sense" 

I have bad news for you
when it comes to hope: pearlescent: 

holy hope: bee's sting, morning news
frames this heaven: me, falling: 

you are in water. The paddle's encased
in: opacity, pearlescent: hope's stasis 

is so sweet: I have combined
news and a wash of bliss: oaring 

pearlescent: hope as it drowns you
is the chorus of: heaven: low roads, path to: 

wine bottles sidelong: I have bad news
for you, for the bees, and it is the disconnect

that will come: from you falling, 
water’s reflection: This will be the last thing  

we ever see together. I have bad news
face down in the black grass: This 

world only a side reflection, your dark 
grave: pearlescent: haze of: news 


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