The Blog


Tim Wood

Duane Esposito’s new book of poems Declaration for Your Bones is a slim, elegant volume easily read in one sitting, but you probably should be sitting. The best poems in the volume meet the high bar that Emily Dickinson set for poetry: they knock the top of your head off. The volume begins:

      We’re a skull that cannot close

      Around a brain of light—

The poems delve into the sedimented grief that one carries and brings into relationships with a spouse and then with children, and how that pain affects perspectives on the world and on politics. It often seems to make the contours of the world sharper and the desire for peace and justice more keen. It also makes it possible to utter difficult truths about our inability to attain such ideals.

On Quixotica: Howard Junker's AN OLD JUNKER

Philip Kobylarz

A cornucopia of urbanity. An armoire of intellectualism. A cabinet of curiosities. A museum of the quotidian. An herbarium of the fruition of a mind. A college of what isn’t taught in the grove. A compendium of compendia.

All of the above describe Howard Junker’s autobiographical-novel-slash-finished-work-in progress, An Old Junker: A Senior Represents—a collection that blissfully defies definition. A series of blogs stemming from his decades-long stint as the editor of Zyzzyva is the literal classification. A more vague attempt towards defining the wealth of knowledge, sentiment, cantankerousness, and insight this volume possesses might just position it somewhere between daybook and memoir.

Shirley Jackson Awards interview Jason Ockert

TIR staff

In April, we announced that Jason Ockert's dark and fantastic short story "Max" (which appeared in TIR 41/1) had been nominated for a Shirley Jackson Award, an annual prize for outstanding achievement in the literature of psychological suspense, horror, and the dark fantastic.

While the SJA folks haven't yet chosen a winner, they chatted with Jason about his story and posted the interview here: Must be a good sign, right?

AWP Wrap

Erica Mena

Guest blogger Erica Mena is a poet, translator, printmaker, and the co-editor of Discoveries, TIR's forthcoming high school reader. The following is excerpted from her blog, Alluringly Short.

Well, it has been far far too long. I’ve been buried under my thesis (excerpts of which you can read on Words Without Borders here and here) which is inches away from being announce-ably forthcoming in full. So that’s exciting.

Remembering Tom Wegman

Lynne Nugent

We were saddened to hear of the death of TIR cover artist Tom Wegman earlier this month at age 81. A prominent member of the local community, his passing occasioned a remembrance in the Iowa City Press-Citizen. I did not know until then that he had owned a store legendary in town called Things, Things, & Things. Nor did I know that he had become a paraplegic after a 1986 mororcycle accident. I did know that his three covers for TIR in 2003, featuring intricately beaded and insanely colorful roller skates, cowboy boots, and a bug sprayer, have become our most remarked-upon covers to date.


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