|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 Jon Chaiim McConnell, Michelle E. Iwen, and Hiba Krisht and poetry by Joshua Bennett, Celeste Lipkes, Anders Carlson-Wee, Kat Meads, and Emily Vizzo. 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|
|The VCU Cabell First Novelist Award, created to celebrate the nation’s first year-long novel workshop in an MFA program, recognizes a new literary talent every year. The 2014 winner of the First Novelist Award is Helene Wecker for The Golem and the Jinni (HarperCollins, 2013). Award events include a reading and panel focusing on the journey from idea to publication, with a focus on those elements that make her experience unique.|
|A Poetic Principles Reading: Hal Crowther & Margaret Gibson|
|At a Poetic Principles event held at the Library of Virginia on October 14, 2014, contributors Hal Crowther and Margaret Gibson read from their recent publications. Hal Crowther reads from An Infuriating American: The Incendiary Arts of H.L. Mencken (University of Iowa Press, 2014) and Margaret Gibson reads from her poetry collection Broken Cup (Louisiana State University Press, 2014). Poems from Broken Cup are featured in Blackbird v11n2.|
|A Reading by T.R. Hummer|
|T.R. Hummer reads his previously published and forthcoming poetry at Chop Suey Books in Richmond on September 29, 2014. He reads from two poetry collections, Skandalon (2014) and Ephemeron (2012), both published by Louisiana State University Press, and from his forthcoming manuscript, Eon, which will complete the trilogy. Ephemeron was the winner of the 2012 Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award for Poetry.|
|A Reading by Patricia Smith|
|Presented by Slam Nahuatl, the VCU slam poetry coalition, Patricia Smith read for students on November 22, 2014 at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Student Commons. After a brief introduction, Patricia Smith reads from various collections of her poetry, including Blood Dazzler (Coffee House Press, 2008), a National Book Award Finalist, and Teahouse of the Almighty (Coffee House Press, 2006), a National Poetry Series Winner.|
|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—play, wildness, contagion, hallelujah, pattern of thought, word strips, dying. Joshua Bennett, Anders Carlson-Wee, Michelle E. Iwen, Celeste Lipkes, Jon Chaiim McConnell, Kat Meads, and Emily Vizzo continue this tradition in this issue's “Tracking The Muse.”|
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