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, Here are our nominations from Issue 12:
Read the work of these wonderful writers for only $2.95 (digital version): http://saranacreview.com/store.php#!/ISSUE-12-DIGITAL-PDF/p/73356165/category=0
*Brian Gilmore, "kala kala '94 (for Butch Jackson)
*Gerry LaFemina, "The Story of Ash"
*Susan C. Waters, "For the Abandoned, the Lost, Who Cast the Longest Shadow No-One Sees.
*Jennifer Steil, "Captive"
*Ruvanee Pietersz Vilhauer, "Security"
*Nancy Kline, "The Doctor Game"
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.”
The Landscape Vernacular series is an ongoing body of work I began in the spring of 2011 that explores landscape, terminology and imagery. Culling from a small collection of dictionaries dating from the early 1800s to the present, these collages juxtapose definitions with period ephemera to explore ideas and attitudes about land and land use, while also addressing the history of landscape painting, American identity, and contemporary ecological issues. The austere look of the series emanates from self-imposed limitations with materials and a process to incorporate them: end pages, book engravings and maps, digital technology and puzzle piece collage. While I have an extensive library of paper books for making my collages, I also cull online archives for images and texts that can support the needs of any given work. Regarding digital technology, I am strict about not morphing, inventing or embellishing textual or visual information in the Landscape Vernacular collage series, but I sometimes edit and resize my found materials.
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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