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Inchoate at AWP

It is possible that I have become incapable of sustained thought. Maybe you can finish these for me? Or maybe when I leave New York they will grow up? (“Leave New York or the poem will kill you,” says Joshua Beckman. Be careful!)

1. I do not know very much about Mark Leidner. He is A. a man and B. a poet. Factory Hollow just put out his chapbook, The Night of 1,000 Murders. Here is the title poem, in its entirety:

The night of 1,000 murders
began no differently than any other night
in the village. The villagers
put their children to bed
then watched television for an hour
or two, then went to bed themselves.
Then, in the middle of the night,
there were 1,000 murders.

2. Have you ever tried looking to the side while running on a treadmill and nearly fallen off? Or actually fallen off? This is going to happen to me here. I will be walking through the bookfair and I will look at the Forklift, Ohio table for too long and I will walk right into Robert Bly and be blinded by his scarf.

3. The reason why Russell Edson‘s poems do not fall flat is that they are built flat. There is no falling about it. They are very sharp and horizontal and if you are not careful they will take off more than just the top of the head.

4. Tyler Meier looks fantastic in salmon (colored) pants.

5. There’s a booth downstairs I have not yet visited, but plan to as soon as I can. It seems to consist of a few pieces from a model village, plus some kind of audio component. My love for model villages is strong and old. England consists entirely of model villages. The ratio of the size of miniature things to the joy they produce in me is not rational.

6. I am thinking to myself “I am live-blogging.” I am sitting behind the jubilat table, selling subscriptions for $2. People think we are crazy. I think “I am live-blogging.”

The Kenyon Review was founded in 1939. The resources for the new literary journal were provided by Gordon Keith Chalmers, President of Kenyon College, while the inspiration to establish the journal and raise the national stature of the institution had come from his wife Roberta Teale Swartz, herself a poet and a friend and protege of Robert Frost. Frost encouraged the idea and visited Kenyon more than once. The poet and critic John Crowe Ransom was recruited to Kenyon by Chalmers with the express purpose in mind of his launching a distinguished magazine. During his 21-year tenure, Ransom published such internationally known writers as Allen Tate, Robert Penn Warren, William Empson, Mark Van Doren, Kenneth Burke, and Delmore Schwartz, as well as younger writers: Flannery O'Connor, Robert Lowell, and Peter Taylor, to name a few. It was perhaps the best known and most influential literary magazine in the English-speaking world during the 1940s and '50s. In 1969, discouraged by the quarterly's financial burdens and sagging reputation, Kenyon College ceased publication of The Kenyon Review. The journal was revived in 1979, and in June 1990, internationally acclaimed poet and editor Marilyn Hacker was hired as the Review's first full-time (and first female) editor. She quickly broadened the quarterly's scope to include more minority and marginalized viewpoints. In April 1994, the trustees directed that The Kenyon Review be continued, but with significant cost-reducing and revenue-enhancing initiatives. Hacker left and David Lynn (acting editor in 1989-90), Kenyon English professor, was named editor on a two-thirds time basis. The magazine's financial picture has since stabilized and improved dramatically. The creation of a Kenyon Review Board of Trustees and a renewed commitment by Kenyon College combined to guarantee the financial health of the Review and to free its editors to pursue increased excellence. Such is the status of The Kenyon Review today.