The Blog

Tanya Larkin's MY SCARLET WAYS

Rebecca Morgan Frank

The opening section of Tanya Larkin’s debut collection, My Scarlet Ways, selected by judge Denise Duhamel for the 2011 Saturnalia Books Poetry Prize, sweeps us into the world of girls, but these are timeless, hell-raising girls with a kick and bite. The second poem could be read as an ars poetica of sorts: “Sisters, don’t let sisters / ride the chandelier. It’s just a Turkish tea set / with a drunken seductive chime / like the bell in the broken doll’s head / we loved to kick around.” Well, an ironic ars poetica, that is.

New lit mag at Iowa!

TIR staff

Iowa Literaria, the electronic literary journal of the Master of Fine Arts in Spanish Creative Writing program at the University of Iowa, launched its first issue on Tuesday, Feb. 26! 

The inaugural issue of this Spanish-language literary magazine contains a dossier on the great Chilean poet (and former UI faculty member) Óscar Hahn, who just received the National Prize on Literature of Chile; a collection of short stories by young Bolivian writers; essays on the Mexican writer Juan Rulfo; and poetry by students in the Spanish Creative Writing MFA program. It also contains an exclusive interview with the Argentinean writer Federico Falco, who came last fall to Iowa City by invitation of the International Writing Program (IWP).

After Death, Music: Tightening the Slackened Strings of the Lyre—Rusty Morrison's AFTER URGENCY

Virginia Konchan

The landscape of Rusty Morrison's newest poetry collection, After Urgency, is one rid not only of music but the hope of its return.

From “Verdancies of repetition”:

Struck again and again, destiny might never chime.

Toss consonants against the vowels for luck of true correspondence.

Rhyme-fellows remain distinct even at a distance, like two wings frame
the jay’s flight.

Harbor the hidden accentual in the beautiful repose after vowelling.

From the archive: How to Write a Love Poem, by J. Rodney Karr

TIR staff

You must not deny the body:
Her lips flowered
Around a beautiful word, her breasts
Gliding under a blue silk dress like moons
Through atmospheres of the equinox,
The slight shadow of her thigh
Caressing a September-red poppy as if water;

Because there you will notice within
Her eye's hazel mire, a color caught
Between those blacks and jades
Of desire, a color you will hear
Like one who watches the meadow rue bud
Open during the April evening
And claims to have heard a voice;

And when you have listened to that voice,
When you have walked for hours
Through the umbers and reds
Of sycamore forests, through the first veil
Of snow over the clover field, walked
Above the frozen lake for hours, months,
Alone, until Spring, listening to that voice


Vanessa Blakeslee

In this enthralling debut collection, winner of the 2011 Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction, E. J. Levy delves into the well-trod territory of modern love, in all its indecisiveness and heartbreak. Levy’s fiction and essays have received numerous honors such as the Pushcart Prize and Nelson Algren Award, as well as the Lambda Literary Award for her anthology, Tasting Life Twice: Literary Lesbian Fiction by New American Writers. Her memoir, Amazons: A Love Story, was recently published by University of Missouri Press. Love, In Theory showcases some of her best fiction, as the stories collected here first appeared in the Paris Review, the Missouri Review, and the Gettysburg Review, to name a few.       


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