Monday, December 17, 2012

Jake Adam York

All of us here at Ninth Letter are heartbroken by the loss of Jake Adam York, a talented poet and editor as well as a beloved member of our literary community. He will be missed. Our thoughts are with his family and friends. 

Friday, December 07, 2012

New (Print) Issue Preview: Piaf and Roadkill

Yesterday we gave you a preview of our upcoming web edition and now it's time for a sneak peek at some of the content from our soon to be released print edition (vol. 9, no. 2).  Here is an excerpt from Edward Kelsey Moore's essay, "Piaf and Roadkill." Enjoy!

I got out of the car, opened the hood, and leaned in to get a good look. That was when I saw the dead animal. It was twisted around the fan and entwined with the fan belt. Its face was pointed up toward mine.
     I don’t recall running after I slammed shut the hood, but I must have because I was half a block away from the car, hopping from foot to foot when I clamped a trembling hand over my mouth so I wouldn’t hear myself shrieking. I hadn’t run far, but I had put enough distance between myself and my car that I could now see the hind end of an animal hanging from behind the grill onto the street below.
     I made the first of several increasingly strange phone calls then. I called my partner at work. Peter is usually a calming and comforting influence, and he has a knack for helping me see humor in even the worst situation. Squeaky-voiced and barely able to speak, I told him that I had just found some unfortunate creature wrapped around the front of my engine and that, when I came face to face with it, I had reacted by running, screaming and leaping up and down like a cartoon housewife who had just seen a mouse. He responded, “And you’re wearing that fuzzy, pink sweater, aren’t you?”
     That was the worst thing he could have said. From the moment I slapped my hand over my screaming mouth, a little voice I thought I had banished years earlier had started badgering me that a manly plan for dealing with this problem existed, and that I was uniquely unable to put it into action. I had thought that, after a lengthy and fitful coming-out process, I’d put to bed the fear that I routinely failed at even pretending to be a real man. But as soon as I slammed shut the hood of my car, I had been aware that the revulsion I felt was keeping company with shame. That harshly critical little voice was wide awake, and it wanted my attention.

We will let you know as soon as vol. 9, no. 2 is available, so you can pick up a copy to read the full version of "Piaf and Roadkill" as well as all the other great essays, stories, and poems in the issue.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Coming in December! Our First Complete Online Issue

This year at Ninth Letter we have put together an online feature dedicated to showcasing the best student work from creative writing programs across the country. This special winter issue will only be available on our website and will feature work by eighteen outstanding emerging writers:

J. Scott Brownlee (New York University)
Matthew Burnside (Iowa Writers' Workshop)
Portia Elan (University of Victoria, BC)
Lisa Fay Coutley (University of Utah)
Samantha Deal (University of North Carolina, Wilmington)
Andy Hobin (Virginia Tech)
Nathan Logan (University of North Texas)
Gerardo Mena (Goddard College)
Katie Jean Moulton (Indiana University)
Beatrice Mora (Sarah Lawrence)
Brianna Noll (University of Illinois-Chicago)
Eric Paul (Fairleigh Dickinson University)
Ron Paul Salutsky (Florida State)
Cara Stoddard (University of Idaho)
Christine Stroud (Chatham University)
M. Thompson (New York University)
Laura Usselman (Virginia Tech)
Heath Wilcock (Arizona State)

Stay tuned to our blog, follow us on Twitter, or like us on Facebook so you can be among the first to know when this fantastic issue goes live!

                                                Faith is like a wholly undeserved hangover,
a stubbornly dry ballpoint, like realizing partway through an episode of Law & Order
that you already saw the second half, in a motel outside Tempe,
your whole naked body goose pimpled under the air conditioner;

it's like/it's like a bridesmaid dress, faith is.
    --from "A Simile Is a Suspension Bridge," Portia Elan

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Contributor Round-Up

Hello out there! We have some news for you. Actually a lot of news that we can't wait to share. We have not one, but two new issues coming out soon (print and web editions). There will be more on both of those issues very soon, so stay tuned.

Congratulations to our "Study Question" contest winners, Jacqueline Doyle and J.M. Gamble! Head on over to the main site to read contest judge, Patrick Madden's comments as well as the winning submissions.

Okay, time for an update on what some of contributors have been up to!

Congratulations to all the 2013 NEA Fellows! We're exited and proud that the following poets, who have appeared in Ninth Letter, are on the list:

Traci Brimhall (vol, 7, no. 2)
Lisa Fay Coutley (forthcoming in the web edition)
Ansel Elkins (vol. 8, no. 1)
John Murillo (vol. 4, no 1)
Rachel Richardson (vol. 3, no. 2)
Ryan Teitman (vol. 8, no. 1)
Jake Adam York (vol. 8, no. 1)

Genine Lentine's Poses: An Essay Drawn from the Model, a portion of which appeared in Ninth Letter (vol. 3, no. 1) is now available from Kelly's Grove Press.

The Rumpus reviewed The Lost Episodes of Revie Bryson by Bryan Furuness. You can pre-order the book now. "Man of Steel," which featured Revie appeared in vol. 6, no. 1.  Also, be sure to check out this interview with Bryan about his journey to becoming a writer.

If you haven't already, you should check out Ryan Van Meter's (vol. 8, no.1) essay collection, If You Knew Then What I Know Now, which was a finalist for the 24th Annual Lambda Literary Awards in the Gay Memoir/Biography category.

Keyhole Factory, a novel by William Gillespie (vol. 7, no. 2), was recently released by Soft Skull Press.

Again, congratulations to all!

If you're a contributor and have some news to share, be sure to drop us a note at

Now, stay tuned this week for information about both of our upcoming new issues!