Wednesday, March 25, 2009

NewPages reviews 9L has posted a very nice review of our current issue, Vol. 5, No. 2.

Reviewer, Sima Rabinowitz, writes, "Ninth Letter is part literary journal, part coffee-table book – the kind of coffee-table book you go back to again and again, admiring the gorgeous artwork and spectacularly designed pages each time with the same sense of awe, surprise, and delight."

The review praises Katori Hall’s “Oreo Girl: The Miscegenation of Miss Emma Brown,” The Music Feature, Naton Leslie's essay "Listening to Johnny Cash," as well as poems by Christopher Dwerse and Ryo Yamaguch.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Tournament of Books

Round 1 of the Tournament of Books is underway and now is the perfect time to get caught up on the action, if you haven't been keeping up, because tomorrow's match features 9L contributor, Keith Lee Morris' novel, The Dart League King.

Tune in tomorrow to find out if The Dart League King wins the match.

Keith Lee Morris has a story, "Camel Light," in the current issue (Vol. 5, No. 2) and also had three stories--"Butterflies," "Listen While I Speak," and "There Are in This World Moments of Great Beauty"--in the Vol. 2, No. 2 issue.

Good luck!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

New Books!

We're always happy to share good news, so we wanted to let you know about some new books from 9L contributors.

Perfect Hurt by Bradford Gray Telford (Vol. 5, No. 1).

“...Perfect Hurt, an elegant debut that somehow manages to be both restrained and luscious at once. How can such carefully patterned, structured poems engender this roiling intensity, convey such a sense of careening interiority?...Here is a new voice that arrives as something already achieved: a presence, a consciousness: a made, unmistakable self.” - Mark Doty

Flying by Eric Kraft (Vol. 1, No. 1).

Laura Miller reviewed the book for The New York Times. Time's review says, ...Flying is a reminder of how entertaining a novel can be when it slips the surly bonds of realism."

The Book of Props by Wayne Miller (Vol. 4, No. 1).

Publishers Weekly's review states: "Transformations—from the everyday to the wondrous and/ or haunting—are everywhere in Miller’s elegant second book. The poems are at once dreamlike and fervent in their will to cleave to the material world."

Live Nude Girl by Kathleen Rooney (Vol. 4, No. 2).

"While revealing what a nude model does, how she does it and why, what she feels and thinks while doing it, Rooney explores what her profession means to her personally and what it means and has meant to others. The writing is enticing, engaging, inviting, and the anecdotes it tells are irresistible." - Peter Stitt, editor of The Gettysburg Review

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Joe Meno: Story Prize Finalist

Congratulations to 9L contributor Joe Meno, who was a finalist for the 2008 Story Prize, along with Tobias Wolff and Jhumpa Lahiri, for his short story collection, Demons in the Spring (Akashic Books).

Check out The New York Times Paper Cuts blog for more about the Story Prize awards ceremony and for a brief interview with Joe Meno about being a finalist.

Joe Meno's story, "An Apple could make You Laugh," was featured in the Fall/Winter 2006 (Vol. 3, No. 2) issue of Ninth Letter.

W.W.Norton will publish Joe Meno's next novel, The Great Perhaps, in the May. Here is a video of Joe Meno reading an excerpt from the novel.

New Content on

If you haven't explored our web pages much this week, go check out our new Where We're At podcast, a reading of Keith Lee Morris's story "There Are in This World Moments of Great Beauty," which originally appeared in print in our Fall/Winter 2005 issue.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Art + Design Events in Champaign

Art + Design has two exciting events this week. Both events are free and open to the public.

Thursday, March 12 * 5:30 pm * 62 Krannert Art Museum Auditorium

Fang Lijun Discusses His Work as part of the Jerrold Ziff Distinguished Lecture on Modern Art.

Fang Lijun, born in 1963 in Handan, Hebei province is one of the leading and most influential contemporary artists in China. Fang Lijun received a BA from the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing in 1990 – he currently lives and works out of Beijing and exhibits both nationally and internationally, working primarily in oil painting or woodblock prints.

Saturday, March 14 * 10 am - 5 pm * 62 Krannert Art Museum Auditorium

Center for the Study of Modern Art at The Phillips Collection & Illinois at the Phillips Symposium: "Painting in the Twenty-First Century: Teaching Painting"

Session II of a symposium on “Painting in the Twenty-First Century”

While painting is ubiquitous, its terms are more elastic than ever, with artists working between and among disparate kinds of practices and eschewing traditional notions of the medium. Given the wide range of projects that constellate around painting today, what does it mean to choose paint as one’s material and to self-identify as a painter? How varied are contemporary practices and how has the art pedagogy that subtends them changed? How does the way we teach painting transform the nature of painting as well as the ways in which we see, teach, and write about it. What role does criticism play in teaching painting? How different are teaching practices internationally and in what ways do regional practices share common ground? For instance,China has become an important source of painting in the last decade, a fact not unrecognized by the art market. How have the teaching-methods in China changed and what impact has this transformation had on what is happening in China and elsewhere? And regarding the economic situation more broadly, what spaces for critical discourse exist in this context? These are some of the issues that the symposium will address, beginning with the case study of China today then broadening to practices elsewhere, including the United States.

Symposium -- Schedule of Events:

10:00 am - Welcome remarks

Jonathan Fineberg, Director of Illinois at the Phillips and Gutgsell Professor of Art History at the University of Illinois

10:10 am - Introduction to the conference

Professor Fineberg introduces Fang Lijun and Gary Xu (Professor of Comparative and World Literature, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

10:20 am - Keynote

Fang Lijun, painter, Beijing, China (with Gary Xu translating)

11:30 - 12:30 - Discussion

Jonathan Fineberg, Vesela Sretenovic (Curator, The Phillips Collection), and Joel Ross (Professor of Art, Universityof Illinoisat Urbana-Champaign) discussants, followed by audience questions and discussion

12:30 - 2:00 pm - Lunch Break

2:00 - 4:00pm - Panel Discussion: Teaching Painting Today

Moderated by: Suzanne Hudson and Terri Weissman, Assistant Professors of Art History, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and at Illinois at the Phillips; Tim Griffin, Editor of ARTFORUM magazine; Okwui Enwezor, Dean, San Francisco Art Institute; Jacqueline Humphries, painter, N.Y.

4:00 - 5:00 pm - Discussion from the floor

Monday, March 09, 2009

New Books: GHOSTS by César Aira

Ghosts, by César Aira, newly translated from the Spanish by Chris Andrews, is now available from New Directions Publishing. The New York Times calls Aira "one of the most provocative and idio­syncratic novelists working in Spanish today."

An excerpt from Ghosts appears in the latest issue of Ninth Letter, vol. 5 #2.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

National Book Award News

Mark Doty was named the 2008 winner of the National Book Award for Poetry for his collection Fire to Fire: New and Collected Poems (HarperCollins). Doty's work appeared in the premiere issue of Ninth Letter, vol. 1 no. 1.

Fellow 9L author Patricia Smith was among the finalists for the award for her book Blood Dazzler (Coffee House Press). Smith is a contributor to the music poetry feature included in the most recent issue of 9L, vol. 5 no. 2.