blackbirdonline journalSpring 2016  Vol. 15 No. 1
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Founded in 2001 as a joint venture of the Virginia Commonwealth University Department of English and New Virginia Review, Inc.

Copyright © 2016 by Blackbird and the individual writers and artists

ISSN 1540-3068



Claudia Emerson Reading Loop audio icon video icon    
The Claudia Emerson Reading Loop presents six new poems from her forthcoming collection Claude Before Time and Space and a video of her poetry reading at the 2013 Sewanee Writers’ Conference. Accompanying this material are two memorial readings, one at the Library of Virginia, featuring Betty Adcock, Debora Greger, William Logan, Debra Nystrom, Dave Smith, and Ellen Bryant Voigt, introduced by David Wojahn, and one held at Virginia Commonwealth University. An essay by Allison Seay and photographs and commentary by Lauren Miner appear as well.   Claudia Emerson
Introductions Reading Loop    
The Introductions Reading Loop brings to your attention writers whose work you may be encountering for the first time. In this issue, we feature poets Jacqueline Balderrama, Dorothy Chan, Eman Hassan, and Emily Skaja, fiction writers Max Berwald and Anna Caritj, and memoirist Larry Palmer. 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.   Dorothy Chan
Tracking the Muse    
Since 2007, we have invited contributors from the annual Introductions Loop to comment on their creative processes and sources of inspiration. For these emerging writers, stimulus takes many forms: the passionate and immediate impulse to create, a fortified connection to place and landscape, an instinctual response after years of consistent practice. In this issue, Jacqueline Balderrama, Max Berwald, Anna Caritj, Dorothy Chan, Eman Hassan, Larry Palmer, and Emily Sakja continue the tradition in “Tracking the Muse.” Contributor
Cabell First Novelist Award Reading Loop audio icon    
On November 10, 2015 at Virginia Commonwealth University’s W.E. Singleton Center for the Performing Arts, Boris Fishman was recognized for winning the 2015 VCU Cabell First Novelist Award for his novel, A Replacement Life (Harper, 2014). Here he reads an excerpt from the novel before beginning a panel discussion about the process of writing and publishing. Fishman has written two novels, including the award-winning A Replacement Life and his second novel, Don’t Let My Baby Do Rodeo (Harper, 2016).   Boris Fishman
A Reading by Jimmy Santiago Baca audio icon    
The VCU Sanctuary, Humanities Research Center, and Division of Community Engagement brought Jimmy Santiago Baca to Richmond to give this reading on September 30, 2015 at Scott House. The author of over a dozen books of poetry and an acclaimed memoir, Baca has received a Puschcart Prize (1988), the American Book Award (1988), and the Hispanic Heritage Award in Literature (1989). He created Cedar Tree Poetics, an organization that serves to better the lives of adolescents on the edge and incarcerated children and adults through literacy.   Jimmy Santiago Baca
A Reading by Nick Flynn  
On September 10, 2015, poet and memoirist Nick Flynn read at Scott House at Virginia Commonwealth University. Flynn reads a section of poems from his book, My Feelings (Graywolf Press, 2015) and past poetry publications. The reading is followed by a Q&A. His acclaimed memoir Another Bullshit Night in Suck City (W.W. Norton, 2005) was adapted into a film titled Being Flynn (2012). His other titles include The Reenactments (W.W. Norton, 2013), The Captain Asks for a Show of Hands (Graywolf Press, 2011), and The Ticking Is the Bomb (W.W. Norton, 2010).   Nick Flynn
A Reading by Jean Thompson   
A Conversation with Jean Thompson  
Novelist and short story author Jean Thompson joined Virginia Commonwealth University students and staff on February 12, 2015 for a reading, followed by a Q&A. The National Book Award finalist reads an excerpt from a work-in-progress and talks about her writing process and the inspiration for her latest book of short stories, The Witch and Other Tales Re-Told (Plume, 2014).   Jean Thompson

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