September 4, 2008KR BlogUncategorized

Happy Hour

Extra time? Try these excerpted pleasures from KRO, and go there for the real thing:

Zach Savich reviews Mark Yakich’s The Importance of Peeling Potatoes in Ukraine:

He knows poetry’s limits next to suffering, but he also challenges Adorno’s famous adage, which would paralyze poetry into a moment of silence, or total disintegration, when really art does not just lie, but belies what we deceive ourselves about.

“I will no longer cry / Or pretend a wreck is a neat animal,” Yakich writes in “Green Zone New Orleans.” “I will no longer lie–Most of my thoughts are // Memories and what isn’t is a mirror / I break my nose against.”

In a changed world, thoughts are only memories, and the empirical present is a reflection one butts against–not just with the senses, but with the sense organs.

Jessica Johnson reviews Mary Jo Salter’s A Phone Call to the Future:

Reading Mary Jo Salter can be like taking a walk with a very bright friend who has a knack for the well-told anecdote, the vivid confidence. This effect is due in part to her narrative distance from her subjects, which is close to conversational. But above all, she is a skilled scene-painter, a crafter of poems in which the finest detail, finally, throws an aspect of experience into high relief.

The trick, as she writes in “A Case of Netsuke,” is “to tell the whole tale in a nutshell.” Netsuke are very small, elaborately carved sculptures that served as a kind of fastener in traditional Japanese dress; the word’s characters mean “root” and “to attach.” When Salter succeeds in telling “the whole tale” with the smallest stroke, it is a feat of attachment.

From Colleen Kinder’s glorious essay “One Bright Case of Idiopathic Cranofacial Erythema”:

Some claim that blushing is purposeful, from an evolutionary standpoint. Had it no purpose, humankind’s red-faced would have been eliminated from the gene pool long ago–as, were, perhaps, a freak purple-faced people who never got their pale counterparts into bed.

Blushing clues onlookers in that the looked-upon person is suffering. The onlookers, then, have the prerogative to alleviate that suffering. Their options are many: crack joke, digress, flatter, point. You might call blushing involuntary communication–a tacit apology for a moment, a secret, a fumble, a fart. One individual feels the heat; the clan gleans the meaning; society is less contentious for all.

This evolutionary compromise must have been hammered out before language was. With a few words, a sensitive soul might have raised her hand and explained that there’s pain in it for the spectator, too–even from the back row, the top bleacher. If evolution could come up with empathy, it should have done away with the blush. And when humans began chatting, their skin could have stopped saying so much.

Scott Knickerbocker, in his essay “Organic Formalism and John Witte’s The Hurtling“:

Artifice, whether artistic or technological, comes naturally to humans; moreover, artifice is what paradoxically connects us to the rest of nature. Thus, poetic language, although distinct from nature, nevertheless has an analogous relationship to it; both language and nature occupy a complex middle ground between what Wallace Stevens calls “imagination” and “reality.” Language and nature, that is, are both culturally constructed (imagined) and wildly autonomous (real). The artifice of poetic form foregrounds the most “real” relationship we have with the rest of nature, which is simultaneously distinct and inseparable from us.

About the Program

The Kenyon Review Associates Program provides Kenyon students with valuable experience in literary editing, publishing, and programming. KR Associates work closely with Kenyon Review staff, gaining valuable experience in a number of editing, publishing, and programming areas including manuscript evaluation, publicity and marketing, copy editing, developing web site and social media content, outreach programming, event planning and promotion, and other creative and editorial projects

KR Associates attend regular seminars conducted by Kenyon Review editorial staff, visiting readers, and publishing industry professionals. These seminars cover a wide range of topics including editorial philosophy, evaluation of submissions, print and electronic production, marketing, and design.

KR Associates enjoy also enjoy exclusive access to visiting writers and speakers, free issues of The Kenyon Review, and valuable work experience and employment references.

This program is made possible through an initiative of the Kenyon Review, part of the mission of which is to contribute to the enrichment of the academic, cultural, and artistic life of the Kenyon College community.

Requirements and Expectations

  • Submission Evaluation: All Associates are required to read and evaluate eight Kenyon Review submissions per week. Associates who are not able to complete their weekly submission assignments for more than two weeks in a row may not be allowed to continue in the program.
  • Trainings and Seminars: In-person attendance is mandatory at all trainings and seminars. We plan on scheduling six to eight seminars per semester, and most will take place on Thursdays during common hour.
  • Literary Engagement: Associates are expected to participate in literary events on campus and throughout the local community.

Application Details

The application deadline for the 2023-24 program has passed. Applications for the 2024-25 program will open in the fall of 2024. Please check back then for more details.

Questions? Please contact Tory Weber for more information.