|The Introductions Reading Loop brings to your attention writers whose work you may be encountering for the first time. In this issue, we feature fiction by Mike Antosia, Tanaz Bhathena, and Renée Branum and poetry by Jamison Crabtree, Brianna Noll, Saara Myrene Raappana, Will Schutt, and Phillip B.Williams. We expect that you will be glad to discover these writers now—and to hear of them later in their careers, as you no doubt will.|
|First Novelist Reading Loop|
|Now in its tenth year, the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award, created to celebrate the nation’s first year-long novel workshop, recognizes a new literary talent and is presented at the VCU Cabell First Novelist Festival. The festival highlights the journey a writer undertakes from idea to publication, with a focus on those elements that make the experience unique. The 2011 winner of the First Novelist Award is David Gordon for The Serialist.|
|In Celebration of Eleanor Ross Taylor|
|On March 2, 2012, at the AWP Annual Conference in Chicago, poets Catherine Barnett, Jean Valentine, David Wojahn, Kevin Prufer, and Ed Skoog presented a panel discussing the lasting influence of Eleanor Ross Taylor’s poetry, which Randall Jarrell praised for its “personal force, personal truth.” Awarded the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize for lifetime achievement in 2010, Taylor was very much a poet’s poet who deserved a larger audience. Taylor died on December 30, 2011, at the age of ninety-one.|
|Tracking the Muse|
|Since 2007, we have invited contributors featured in our annual Introductions Loop to provide us with some insight to their creative process—imagination, history, musicality, bus stations, Morse Code, diligence, a hand closing, honesty, fortune-telling, revision. Mike Antosia, Tanaz Bhathena, Renée Branum, Brianna Noll, Saara Myrene Raappana, Will Schutt, and Phillip B. Williams continue the tradition in this issue’s “Tracking The Muse.”|
|A Conversation with Bouldrey and Bresland|
|Brian Bouldrey and John Bresland, coauthors of the video essay “Hook”—in this issue’s Gallery—talk to online editor M.A. Keller about the the nature of their collaboration, the defining qualities of a "video essay,” and more. Bouldrey [pictured right] joins us for the first time. Bresland’s “Les Cruel Shoes” appears in Blackbird v4n1, his “On the Origin of the Video Essay” and “Mangoes” in v9n1. Both are colleagues at Northwestern University.|
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