The Blog

Our 2014 Pushcart Nominees (and why!)

TIR staff

Anne Babson, "Ariadne Explains Why She's Mixed Up with a Boy like Theseus" (poem, Fall 2012)

What I love about this is the giving of voice and agency to the supposed victim of Theseus's unfaithfulness, at least according to the usual myth, and what a strong, sexy voice! Also, the fact that she becomes the (bull) rider at the end. I read this aloud to my undergraduate class when we were talking about adaptations, and I could see them all sit up in their seats, their eyes opening wide. —R. Valentino, TIR Editor

Ayşe Papatya Bucak, "Iconography" (fiction, Fall 2012)

Shane McCrae’s MULE

Micah Bateman

“... And Lord the sound of their wings / is the sound of the leaves...”

—Shane McCrae, from “Crows,” Mule

 

THE WAY THINGS WORK

is by admitting
or opening away.
This is the simplest form
of current [...]
The way things work
is by solution,
resistance lessened or
increased and taken
advantage of.
The way things work
is that finally we believe
they are there,
common and able
to illustrate themselves.
Wheel, kinetic flow,
rising and falling water [...]
[...] I believe
forever in the hooks.
The way things work
is that eventually
something catches.

—Jorie Graham, from “The Way Things Work,” Hybrids of Plants and of Ghosts

Reeling Out the Novel: Louis Armand's CLAIR OBSCUR

Erik Martiny

Louis Armand is a visual and literary artist based in the Czech Republic. He is most known for his text-and-sculpture installation The Megaphones of Prague, an ongoing project launched in 1996 that collects and modifies historical megaphones still left in the suburbs of Prague. These instruments of control are sometimes left intact as dictatorial “flowers of evil”; at other times, they are painted or give rise to sculptures and poems inspired by their formal properties. As other more textually-centered creations such as Malice in Underland (2003) and Land Partition (2001) have shown, the driving force behind Armand’s body of work is deeply historical.         

Brian Doyle's THE WET ENGINE

Kevin Haworth

Why isn’t Brian Doyle famous? After all, these are boom times for essayists, relatively speaking. Nonfiction abounds on publishers’ lists, everything from traditional memoirs to lyric essay collections to ruminations on place to chronicles of living for a year on home-raised mushrooms or with a biblical beard.  And creative nonfiction features in almost every literary journal now, expanding the categories beyond fiction and poetry and the occasional act of literary critcism. This American Life all by itself seems to have created a niche—and a subsequent college lecture circuit―for richly written, ear-to-the-ground personal essays that move, much in the way that Doyle’s work typically does, between the mundane and the revelatory.

Gregory Martin's STORIES FOR BOYS

Nathan Huffstutter

In his 2000 debut, Mountain City, author Gregory Martin surveys his mother’s deeply-rooted family tree, reticulating the fates of aging relatives and a faded frontier town to assay “how a thing can persist against a seemingly irrevocable will for it to die.” Martin’s follow-up, Stories for Boys, springs from a frantic 2007 phone call: the writer’s 66-year-old father has just attempted suicide.

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