Kenyon Review Winter 2024 Cover

Winter 2024

Vol. XLVI, No. 1

The Winter 2024 issue of The Kenyon Review includes an essay by Carrie Cogan, the winner of the 2023 Kenyon Review Nonfiction Contest, selected by Leslie Jamison; work by the 2021 Kenyon Review Developmental Editing Fellows, Allison Albino, Emily Stoddard, and Jane Walton; poetry by Sara Abou Rashed, Sarah Ghazal Ali, David Joez Villaverde, and Kim Garcia; fiction by K-Ming Chang, Melissa Yancy, and Brian Ma; nonfiction by Oz Johnson and Sarah Minor; and much more. The cover art is by DARNstudio, which consists of Ron Norsworthy and David Anthone.

In the Issue

2023 Nonfiction Contest

Poetry

Fiction

Nonfiction

Why We Chose It

Cover Image

DARNstudio (Ron Norsworthy and David Anthone)

Detail of As the Crow Flies (Study #2) (2021)

Custom matchbooks, cotton thread, wool felt

49.5 in. x 53.5 in.

© DARNstudio

Artist Statement

Another Country is an ongoing series of large-scale, quilt-like artworks that map police killings of Black and brown people and interpolate the data into patterns in conversation with those supposedly used in the Underground Railroad quilts. Like their antecedents, these contemporary symbol quilts, with idiomatic names such as Snake in the Garden and As the Crow Flies, engage stylized repeating motifs. Each quilt pattern and eponymous, corresponding artwork engages different aspects of systemic and/or institutional racism that have contributed to these deaths. Made of custom-designed souvenir matchbooks, these works differently animate the collective nostalgia for remembering special places by marking, via their logo’d covers, places where victims have been killed, places that many would perhaps rather forget. On the reverse side is a discreet alpha-numeric code comprised of the first and last initial of the individual killed and the date of the killing. Both logo and code sides of the matchbook covers are used to create the works, which are hand-sewn onto recycled felt backings with cotton thread. Each victim receives their own matchbook design. We started with five and now have over fifty individuals. Part protest, part memorial, the project began as way to remember the victims, to grieve and to keep them present. The quilts are the physical and visual manifestations of our creative process and a space of sharing. The patterns generated are the result of our desire to create and share a symbol language borne of a cross-culture collaboration. The body of work represents the hours of conversation we’ve had, as a Black man and a White man, while working together sewing and assembling the quilts, sharing our contrasting lived experience, and grappling with the real life-and-death consequences of racial inequality and the biased treatment of Black communities by law enforcement on us individually and as a married couple. Also, and perhaps more urgently, we wanted to foreground the cultural and legal frameworks that contribute to these events and present a different way of interpreting and engaging with these difficult issues. Six years into the process, the project has evolved to exist essentially as a visual archive, artifact cyphers that hold space for reflection, prompt meaningful conversations across communities, and act as instruments of placemaking to expand public perception around memorialization and commemoration.

Contributors’ Notes

Sara Abou Rashed is a Palestinian American writer, speaker, and creator of the one-woman show A Map of Myself, which she has performed more than fifteen times across the US. Her work appears or is forthcoming in the anthology A Land with a People and the grades 9–12 English Language Arts curriculum from McGraw-Hill as well as in Poetry Magazine, Poetry Wales, Arab Literature Quarterly, Pleiades, The Rumpus, and The Nation, among others. From Columbus, Ohio, Abou Rashed earned her BA at Denison University and her MFA at the University of Michigan, where her manuscript won first place in the 2023 Hopwood Graduate Poetry Award.

Allison Albino is a Filipina American poet and French teacher who lives and writes in Harlem. Her work has appeared in Narrative, The Rumpus, Poetry Northwest, Indiana Review, The Common, and elsewhere. She has received fellowships from the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley, The Kenyon Review, and Tin House. She teaches at the Dalton School, in New York City.

Sarah Ghazal Ali is the author of Theophanies (Alice James Books, 2024), selected as the Editors’ Choice for the 2022 Alice James Award. She was a Gregory Djanikian Scholar and winner of the 2022 Sewanee Review Poetry Prize, and her poems and essays appear in Poetry, The American Poetry Review, Pleiades, The Yale Review, and elsewhere. She is the poetry editor for West Branch and a 2022–23 Stadler Fellow.

Jenny Apostol’s essays have appeared in The Washington Post, Brevity, Speculative Nonfiction, Cordella Magazine, SweetLit, Dorothy Parker’s Ashes, and Creative Nonfiction’s “Sunday Short Reads,” among other publications. Apostol was a finalist for the Annie Dillard Award for Creative Nonfiction at Bellingham Review. She holds an MFA from the Rainier Writing Workshop. Before she turned to creative writing, Apostol was a television producer at National Geographic, immersed in the natural world. She is currently at work on a lyric memoir. You can find more of her writing at jennyapostol.com

William Archila was awarded the 2023 Jack Hauser fellowship. He is the author of The Art of Exile, which was awarded the International Latino Book Award, and The Gravedigger’s Archaeology, which received the Letras Latinas/Red Hen Poetry Prize. He has been published in Poetry Magazine, The American Poetry Review, AGNl, Conjunctions, Colorado Review, Los Angeles Review of Books, The Missouri Review, Prairie Schooner, and the anthologies The BreakBeat Poets Vol. 4: LatiNext, Theatre Under My Skin: Contemporary Salvadoran Poetry, and The Wandering Song: Central American Writing in the United States. He lives in Los Angeles, on Tongva land. He has work forthcoming in Copper Nickel, Southern Indiana Review, The Georgia Review, Salamander, and Guesthouse.

K-Ming Chang is a Kundiman fellow, a Lambda Literary Award winner, a National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 honoree, and an O. Henry Prize winner. She is the author of the New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice novel Bestiary (One World/Random House, 2020), longlisted for the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. In 2021, her chapbook Bone House was published by Bull City Press. Her most recent books are a collection of stories, Gods of Want (One World/Random House, 2022), a New York Times Notable Book of 2022, and a novel, Organ Meats (One World/Random House, 2023).  Chang’s forthcoming novella, Cecilia, will be published by Coffee House Press in 2024. 

Carrie Cogan’s work has appeared in AGNI, Nimrod, Louisiana Literature, and elsewhere. She is a past recipient of the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival Fiction Prize, Nimrod’s Katherine Anne Porter Prize for Fiction, and the First Pages Prize. She was awarded a 2022 MacDowell Fellowship to work on her first novel. Cogan lives with her sons on an island in British Columbia.

Cynthia Cruz is the author of eight collections of poems: Back to the Woods (Four Way Books, 2023); Hotel Oblivion (Four Way Books, 2022), a finalist for the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award and winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award; Guidebooks for the Dead (Four Way Books, 2020); Dregs (Four Way Books, 2018); How the End Begins (Four Way Books, 2016); Wunderkammer (Four Way Books, 2014); The Glimmering Room (Four Way Books, 2012); and Ruin (Alice James Books, 2006). She is also the author of the novel Steady Diet of Nothing (Four Way Books, 2023), of Disquieting: Essays on Silence, a collection of critical essays examining the concept of silence as a form of resistance (Book*hug, 2019), and of The Melancholia of Class, an exploration of melancholia and the working class (Repeater Books, 2021). Cruz is the recipient of fellowships from Yaddo and MacDowell and of a Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University. She is currently pursuing a PhD at the European Graduate School, where her research focuses on Hegel and madness.

Formed in 2017, DARNstudio is an art/life collaboration of artists David Anthone and Ron Norsworthy. Their work investigates the built, designed, or otherwise manifested world we live in, breaks down its components, and uncouples them from their implicit and inherited meaning(s). The artists then reassemble it in a way that disrupts its original function. Their work encourages alternative ways of understanding objects, ideas, and structures through a process they refer to as “re:meaning.” Through reassignment, remixing, inversion, or juxtaposition DARNstudio’s work examines the purpose of things. These things may range from the macro and intangible (cultural institutions and norms) to the micro and concrete (mundane objects, words, expressions or phrases). They glean new meanings from these things in their disrupted reconfigurations that trigger new dialogue on the commonplace, the happenstance, and the “extraordinary ordinary.” Their goal is to cast the familiar in an unexpected context so that it can be seen in an unfamiliar and new way.

Duy Đoàn (pronounced zwē dwän / zwee dwahn) is the author of We Play a Game (Yale University Press, 2018), winner of the Yale Series of Younger Poets Prize and a Lambda Literary Award. A Kundiman fellow, he received an MFA in poetry from Boston University. His second collection, Zombie Vomit Mad Libs, is forthcoming from Alice James Books in November 2024.

Kim Garcia is the author of The Brighter House (White Pine Press, 2016), DRONE (University of Nebraska Press, 2016), Madonna Magdalene (Turning Point Books, 2016), and a chapbook, Tales of the Sisters (Sow’s Ear Press, 2015). Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Kenyon Review, AGNI, The Southern Review, Poetry Northwest, and elsewhere. Garcia teaches creative writing at Boston College.

Nica Giromini’s poems and writing have appeared, or will soon, in Bat City Review, Poetry, Colorado Review, Bennington Review, and Philosophy and Literature. Giromini is a PhD student in English at UC Berkeley.

Mónica Gomery is the author of Might Kindred (University of Nebraska Press, 2022), winner of the Prairie Schooner Raz-Shumaker Book Prize in Poetry; Here Is the Night and the Night on the Road (Cooper Dillon Books, 2018); and the chapbook Of Darkness and Tumbling (YesYes Books, 2017). Her poems have been awarded the Sappho Prize for Women Poets and appear most recently in Poetry Northwest, The Massachusetts Review, The Iowa Review, and Poet Lore. She lives in Philadelphia and serves as rabbi and music director at Kol Tzedek Synagogue.

Christian Gullette’s debut poetry collection, Coachella Elegy, won the Trio House Press Trio Award and is forthcoming from Trio House in summer 2024. His poems have appeared in The American Poetry Review, New England Review, The Yale Review, and the Academy of American Poets Poem-a-Day. Gullette serves as the editor in chief of The Cortland Review. He lives in San Francisco.

David Hutcheson is a poet from eastern Carolina living in the Hudson River Valley. He holds an MFA from Hunter College and has received two winter fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center. His poems can be found in A Dozen Nothing, Michigan Quarterly Review, No Tokens, and Ploughshares.

Elaine Johanson is a Philadelphia-based writer and artist. In 2020, she published And And (Elm Twig Press), a chapbook of poems and photographs with photographer Jan C. Almquist that explores her family’s history and her own Korean identity. Her work in wheel-thrown ceramics explores lightness and balance, and this physical practice has come to inform her writing.

Oz Johnson (she/they) is a Chicago-based writer and lake swimmer at work on their first novel. Her essays have previously appeared in The New York Times and The Massachusetts Review. Johnson studied international relations and moral philosophy at Stanford, from which they also received an MBA, and more recently completed a master’s degree in city planning at MIT. Johnson’s work can be found at ozjohnson.com.

Lacey Jones thinks and writes about despair, repair, and secular aesthetics. She is a PhD candidate in English and religious studies and an assistant editor at The Yale Review. Currently she is at work on an essay collection.

Safa Khatib is a poet and translator living in St. Louis. She is the author of Instances of Ishtar (Bloomsbury, 2024).

Michael Lavers is the author of After Earth and The Inextinguishable, both published by the University of Tampa Press. His poems have appeared in Ploughshares, AGNI, Southwest Review, TriQuarterly, The Georgia Review, and elsewhere. He has been awarded the University of Canberra Vice-Chancellor’s International Poetry Prize, the Moth Poetry Prize, and the Bridport Prize for poetry.

Jenny Lecce is a writer and playwright living with her dogs, Edgrr the Great and Ashbel, and her husband, Carl, in a tidy house with an unruly garden. Her published stories include “The Times We Cry in Cars” in The Bookends Review Best of 2016, “Fury” in AmLit (2014), and “Rector Street” and “Woman on the Stairs” in Wheelhouse Magazine (2007). Glimmer Train gave an honorable mention to “Pastoral Adjustments,” an excerpt from her novel in progress, for their 2018 Short Story Award for New Writers. Production histories of Lecce’s plays and more can be found at Jennylecce.com.

Raina J. León, PhD, is Black, Afro-Boricua, and from Philadelphia (Lenni Lenape ancestral lands). She is the author of black god mother this body (Black Freighter Press, 2022), Canticle of Idols (CW Books, 2008), Boogeyman Dawn (Salmon Poetry, 2014), sombra : (dis)locate (Salmon Poetry, 2016), and the chapbooks profeta without refuge (Black Lawrence Press, 2016) and Areyto to Atabey: Essays on the Mother(ing) Self (Alley Cat Books, 2019). She publishes across forms in visual art, poetry, nonfiction, fiction, and scholarly work. She has received fellowships and residencies with the Obsidian Foundation, Community of Writers, Montana Artists Refuge, MacDowell, Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, Vermont Studio Center, the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig, Ireland, and Ragdale, among others. León is a founding editor of The Acentos Review, an online quarterly international journal devoted to the promotion and publication of Latinx arts. She recently retired early as a full professor of education at Saint Mary’s College of California, only the third Black person (all Black women) and the first Afro-Latina to achieve that rank there. She was granted standing as professor emerita in recognition of her teaching, scholarship, and service, most likely the first Black and first Latina professor at this rank there. She currently supports poets and writers at the Stonecoast MFA at the University of Southern Maine. León is additionally a digital archivist, podcaster (Generational Archives), emerging visual artist, writing coach, and curriculum developer.

Brian Ma’s work has been anthologized and appears in Chicago Quarterly Review, The Cincinnati Review, TriQuarterly, and elsewhere. He lives and works in Seoul.

Sarah Minor is the author of Slim Confessions: The Universe as a Spider or Spit (Noemi Press, 2021) and Bright Archive (Rescue Press, 2020). She teaches at the University of Iowa’s Nonfiction Writing Program.

Kathlene “Kat” Postma is a professor at Pacific University, in Oregon, where she teaches creative writing, mythology, and folklore. Her work has appeared in several magazines, including The Los Angeles Review, Hawai’i Review, ZYZZYVA, Willow Springs, Blood Orange Review, and Green Mountains Review. She has written a collection of fairy tales for adults and is currently crafting a historical novel that engages with the literary fairy tales of seventeenth-century Italy and France. Founding editor of Silk Road Review, Postma now serves as series editor of New Ground Books, an imprint of Pacific University Press.

Bin Ramke’s fourteenth book of poems, Earth on Earth, appeared in 2021 from Omnidawn. His first book, The Difference Between Night and Day (Yale University Press, 1978), was the Yale Younger Poet selection in 1979. Ramke teaches at the University of Denver.

Natalie Scenters-Zapico is most recently the author of Lima :: Limón (Copper Canyon Press, 2019). Winner of a Windham Campbell Prize, she is the author of poems published in The New Republic, Colorado Review, and New England Review, among others.

Samyak Shertok’s poems appear or are forthcoming in The Cincinnati Review, The Gettysburg Review, Gulf Coast, The Iowa Review, The Kenyon Review, New England Review, Poetry, Best New Poets, Waxwing, and elsewhere. A finalist for the National Poetry Series, the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize, and the Jake Adam York Prize, Shertok has received fellowships from Aspen Words, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. His work has been awarded the Robert and Adele Schiff Award for Poetry, the Gulf Coast Prize in Poetry, and the Auburn Witness Poetry Prize. Originally from Nepal, Shertok holds a PhD in literature and creative writing from the University of Utah and is currently a Hughes Fellow in Creative Writing at Southern Methodist University.

Aria Beth Sloss’s short fiction has appeared in Glimmer Train, Harvard Review, Ploughshares, Joyland, One Story, and The Best American Short Stories 2015. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Sloss is the author of a novel, Autobiography of Us (Henry Holt, 2013). She lives in New York City with her family.

Emily Stoddard is a past recipient of The Kenyon Review Developmental Editing Fellowship for Emerging Writers in creative nonfiction, and leads workshops as an affiliate of Amherst Writers & Artists. Her work has appeared in Belt Magazine, Tupelo Quarterly, The Baltimore Review, Nimrod, Whitefish Review, and elsewhere. Her debut book of poetry, Divination with a Human Heart Attached (Game Over Books), was released in 2023.

David Joez Villaverde holds an MFA from the Helen Zell Writers’ Program at the University of Michigan. A CantoMundo fellow, he has received honors from the American Academy of Poets, Best New Poets, The Hopwood Awards, and Black Warrior Review. His work is forthcoming in AGNIFENCE, and Fugue. He lives in New York and can be found at schadenfreudeanslip.com

Jane Walton received her MA in journalism from the University of Mississippi. She was the winner of the inaugural Kenyon Review Developmental Editing Fellowship for Emerging Writers in fiction, and she is at work on her first novel.

Melissa Yancy’s story collection, Dog Years (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2016), was winner of the Drue Heinz Literature Prize and a California Book Award and was longlisted for the Story Prize. Her short fiction has appeared in One Story, ZYZZYVA, Prairie Schooner, The Missouri Review, and many other journals. The recipient of an NEA fellowship, Yancy works and lives in Los Angeles.