blackbirdonline journalSpring 2013 Vol. 12 No. 1
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A joint venture of the Department of English at Virginia Commonwealth University and New Virginia Review, Inc.


The Introductions Reading Loop brings to your attention writers whose work you may be encountering for the first time. In this issue, we feature fiction by Michael Croley, Elizabeth Denton, and Thomas DeSanto and poetry by Alice Bolin, Dexter L. Booth, Claudia Cortese, Joshua Gottlieb-Miller, Cynthia Marie Hoffman, and Corey Van Landingham. We expect that you will be glad to discover these writers now—and to hear of them later in their careers, as you no doubt will.   Dexter L. Booth
First Novelist Reading Loop     
The VCU Cabell First Novelist Award, created to celebrate the nation’s first year-long novel workshop, recognizes a new literary talent every year and is presented at the VCU Cabell First Novelist Festival. The festival highlights the journey a writer undertakes from idea to publication, with a focus on those elements that make the experience unique. The 2012 winner of the First Novelist Award is Justin Torres for We the Animals (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011).   Justin Torres
Wayside Writers Reading Loop     
At Wayside Place, in Charlottesville, Virginia, the literary Taylors lived next door to novelist George Garrett. Our loop featuring their work includes an essay by Eleanor Ross Taylor; a tribute reading by her son and other writers at a Poetic Principles event at the Library of Virginia; a story by Peter Taylor and a 1988 interview with him by Ben Cleary. Closing the loop is Casey Clabough’s biographical essay about George Garrett.   Eleanor Ross Taylor
Jake Adam York Remembered    
Blackbird mourns the recent passing of Jake Adam York, but we feel fortunate to have published his work and counted him as a friend. In this feature, Susan Settlemyre Williams praises his remarkable poetry in her essay, “Man of Fire: The Poetry of Jake Adam York,” and Leia Darwish remembers a teacher and mentor in “No Comparable Warmth.” We also link to work that appears in previous issues, including poems, reviews of his work, and an audio interview.   Jake Adam York
A Conversation with Stanley Plumly     
Stanley Plumly joined students and faculty at Virginia Commonwealth University for a conversation on October 12, 2012, as part of the VCU Visiting Writers Series. Plumly is the author of ten books of poetry, most recently Orphan Hours (W.W. Norton & Company, 2012). In this conversation led by poet and VCU professor David Wojahn, Plumly discusses the poems in Orphan Hours and reveals how “poetry is the autobiography of the imagination.”   Stanley Plumly
A Conversation with Levin and Zapruder     
Dana Levin and Matthew Zapruder sat down for a conversation with students and faculty at Virginia Commonwealth University on April 6, 2012, as part of the VCU Visiting Writers Series. Dana Levin is the author of three books of poetry, most recently Sky Burial (Copper Canyon Press, 2011). Matthew Zapruder is the author of three books of poetry, most recently Come On All You Ghosts (Copper Canyon Press, 2011).   Dana Levin
Tracking the Muse    
Since 2007, we’ve invited contributors featured in our annual Introductions Loop to provide us with some insight to their creative process—synesthesia, a sketchbook, overheard dialogue, a girlhood posse, disorientation, comics, obsessive listing, a deer lit by headlights, word hoarding. Alice Bolin, Dexter L. Booth, Claudia Cortese, Michael Croley, Elizabeth Denton, Thomas DeSanto, Joshua Gottlieb-Miller, Cynthia Marie Hoffman, and Corey Van Landingham continue the tradition in this issue’s Tracking the Muse.   Corey Van Landingham

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