We are so proud in this issue to bring you stories, reflections and highly original poetry with subtle and grounded intentionality fused with mystery, in the voices of fiction writers including Ruvanee Pietersz Vilhauer
and Jennifer Steil, nonfiction writers like Kline and Elizabeth Zaleski, and by such poets as Gerry LeFemina, Mitchell Untch, Leslie Heywood, and relative newcomer Kasey Johnson.
The Pushcart Prize, published annually since 1976, is the most honored literary project in the US and six of our writers from Issue 11 have been nominated for it!
Karen Bender, "The Cell Phone That Would Not Stop Ringing During High Holy Day Services."
Aaron Francis, "Pretty Little Hands."
Marshall Comstock, "NRA Dinner."
Lavonne J. Adams, "History of Bones."
Ace Boggess, "Russian Man Stabs Friend to Death for Preferring Prose to Poetry."
Jennifer Givhan, "The Perennials."
Congratulations and good luck to all our nominees!
The Saranac Review was born in 2004 out of four writers' vision to open a space for the celebration of many voices including those from Canada. Attempting to act as a source of connection, the journal publishes the work of emerging and established writers from both countries.
As our mission states, “The Saranac Review is committed to dissolving boundaries of all kinds, seeking to publish a diverse array of emerging and established writers from Canada and the United States.”READ MORE
The winner of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, Gregory Pardlo, visited SUNY Plattsburgh on October 15, to read from his winning collection, Digest, and earlier work. Pardlo's work appeared in Saranac Review 2 (2005), two poems that made their way into his first prize-winning collection, Totem.
Born in Philadelphia in 1968, Gregory Pardlo is a graduate of Rutgers University, Camden. As an undergraduate, he managed the small jazz club his grandfather owned in nearby Pennsauken, NJ. He received the MFA from NYU as a New York Times Fellow in Poetry in 2001. Pardlo is the author of Totem, winner of the 2007 American Poetry Review / Honickman Prize, and translator of Niels Lyngsoe’s, Pencil of Rays and Spiked Mace (Bookthug, 2004). His poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Boston Review, The Nation, Ploughshares, Tin House, and two editions of Best American Poetry, as well as anthologies including Angles of Ascent, the Norton Anthology of Contemporary African American Poetry. He is the recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship and a fellowship for translation from the National Endowment for the Arts. He has received other fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Lotos Club Foundation and Cave Canem. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate in English at the Graduate Center, CUNY, and teaches undergraduate writing at Columbia University. He serves as an Associate Editor of Callaloo, and is a facilitator of the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop.
Of the book, Pardlo writes, “My wife and I had just had our second child when I started writing Digest. The poems reflect my anxiety around being the father of young children. When I began studying for the Ph.D., I grew conscious of the way, mentally, I had to change gears in order to move between scholarly and creative work. I wanted to write poems that reflect how much I enjoy learning and sharing what I learn, and I didn’t want to have to ‘change tracks’ to write them. The poems in Digest grow out of that effort as well.”
Michael Dumontier and Neil Farber
I interviewed Michael Dumontier and Neil Farber by email in the spring of 2015. I was interested in the work of the Winnipeg artist collective, The Royal Art Lodge, founded in 1996 by Michael and Neil along with Marcel Dzama, Drue Langlois, Jon Pylypchuk, and Adrian Williams. When it ended, Michael, Neil and Marcel were the remaining members, but in between Myles Langlois and Hollie Dzama had also become members.
Their work is a curious blend of the naive and the sophisticated. Their combination of alla prima painting and darkly ironic text appeals to me on many levels. As I dug a little deeper into their history and their work, I realized that we shared a number of common interests, but there was one aspect of their work that I was puzzled by—something that is totally alien to me—their ability to collaborate in such a seamless way.
This is how it went down.
How do sports and the physical world influence your writing? Which piqued your interest first?
Being part of the physical world has obsessed me since I was very small, but that happened at about the same time as I discovered words.
My mother used to go running in the mornings and I would try to tag along with her as soon as I could walk - just like the way as soon as I could disappear inside a book that’s what I’d do. I grew up in a tiny town outside of Albany where we had acres of forest, ponds, and fields all around us. If I wasn’t reading a book I was swimming, ice skating, climbing a tree, or getting lost on a path in the woods.
Words and physical movement were always conjoined for me somehow - the space where my muscles stretched and my lungs breathed (were) as protective and welcoming as the enchanted caves words made where I could just be still and escape from myself for hours. Both places were a fundamental grounding and at the same time a reaching out beyond myself.
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