The Blog

"Martyr" by Abdulla Pashew

TIR staff

Translated from the Kurdish by Alana Marie Levinson-LaBrosse and Haval Mustafa

Last night, my sleep was fitful
I crept outside
my mind throwing thunder
Lifting my head to the sky
I saw naked stars
clusters and clusters, thousands and thousands
Around the roosting swan
they were scattered like pomegranate seeds 

I went back inside and mourned
for them, for those stars
with wounded wings and broken necks
who at the height of their brilliance
plummet from the heavens head first 



New Translations of Abdulla Pashew

TIR staff

Abdulla Pashew (b. 1946) is a true heir to the tradition of Kurdish poetry. He dedicates himself to the sounds of each poem, drives his reader across a range of subject matter. He completed his graduate work, a Masters in Pedagogy and a Doctorate in Philology, in Moscow and began his academic career as a professor in Tripoli.

Fluent in Kurdish, Russian, and English, he is also a prolific translator. When he isn’t writing poems, he is bringing Whitman and Pushkin into Kurdish. He loves, as many poets do, that the act of translating enlarges the capacity for expression in his mother tongue.

Arguably the most popular contemporary Kurdish poet, he draws audiences in the thousands when he reads publicly. Each of his eight collections of poetry has been so sought after that bootleg copies proliferate.



Love as Artistic Discipline: Diane Frank's YOGA OF THE IMPOSSIBLE

Philip Kobylarz

Diane Frank’s new novel is not a probable thing. Yoga of the Impossible expands narrative form into other selves of memoir, autobiography, vignette, day journal, and philosophical discourse centering on life, its meanings, and the crafting of one’s being. As readers may revisit Basho’s Narrow Road to the Deep North longing for the illusive concept of home, this something-beyond-a-novel-of-a-text can be read likewise by those wishing to enter an odyssey of artistic self-definition. In its telling of the struggles, development, and tangents followed in the pursuit of inspirational bliss, it serves as a handbook for the creative process.

The winners of our veterans' writing contest!

TIR staff

We're delighted to announce the winners and runners-up of our second Jeff Sharlet Memorial Award for Veterans writing contest. This year's contest was judged by Anthony Swofford, author of Jarhead and former U.S. Marine. The winning and runner-up manuscripts will appear in our Spring 2015 issue. Congratulations to the winners and runners-up, and thanks to all who entered!

First Place

Katherine Schifani, "Pistol Whip" (nonfiction)

Katherine Schifani

Learning to Love the Chicago Manual and the Portable Scanner

Leslie Caton
When I started my internship at The Iowa Review this summer, I was nervous. I'd been peeking in the door every time I walked by, wondering what made TIR tick. I have been a fan of the magazine for years, moved and inspired and occasionally intimidated by the level of literature between the covers.
As a teenager, I'd cope with nerves by visualizing every possible outcome of a new situation and preparing myself. No matter how much time I spent,  though, reality was never what I imagined. I'm glad I don't spend much time imagining scenarios these days because I couldn't have guessed this one, either.
What I found in the offices of The Iowa Review was an unassuming group of brilliant people who have forgotten that what they do every day is extraordinary.


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