blackbirdonline journalSpring 2017  Vol. 16 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



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 Graham Hillard, Cindy King, and Dustin Pearson; fiction writers Colin Orr and Heidi Vornbrock Roosa; and nonfiction writer Caitlin McGill. 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.   Cindy King
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: careful attention to instinctive and recurring questions, a commitment to intentional observation, persistent drafting and redrafting. In this issue, Graham Hillard, Cindy King, Caitlin McGill, Colin Orr, Dustin Pearson, and Heidi Vornbrock Roosa continue the tradition in “Tracking the Muse.”   Graham Hillard
Cabell First Novelist Award Reading Loop     
On November 17, 2016 at James Branch Cabell Library, Angela Flournoy was recognized as the recipient of the 2016 VCU Cabell First Novelist Award for her novel, The Turner House. Included here is the excerpt Flournoy read at the event, along with a discussion featuring panelists Jenna Johnson, an executive editor at Farrar, Straus & Giroux; Dr. Shermaine Jones, a professor at VCU, specializing in African American Literature; and Ellen Levine, Flournoy’s agent. Also included are a conversation between Flournoy and the audience, and a review of The Turner House by Matthew Phipps.   Angela Flournoy
Claudia Emerson Reading Loop   
The Claudia Emerson Reading Loop presents writers Kathleen Graber, Jill McCorkle, Emilia Phillips, and Wyatt Prunty as they lead a reading of her poems at the 2016 AWP Conference in Los Angeles. They are joined by Sandra Beasley, Mary Katherine Calloway, Erica Dawson, Mark Jarman, T.J. Jarrett, Christie Maurer, James Davis May, and Adam Vines. Also included are the essay, “Claudia Emerson: Elegy after Elegy,” by Andrew Hudgins and photographs of Emerson’s backyard tree house in Richmond, Virginia.   Claudia Emerson
Carrie Brown & Hiba Krisht:
Tarumoto Short Fiction Prize Reading
On February 11, 2016, VCU’s Visiting Writer’s Series hosted readings by the winners of the Rebecca Mitchell Tarumoto Short Fiction Prize, authors Carrie Brown and Hiba Krisht. Brown is the author of seven novels and a collection of short stories, The House on Belle Isle (Algonquin Books, 2002). Krisht’s stories have appeared in The Kenyon ReviewHayden’s Ferry ReviewBlackbird, and elsewhere.   Carrie Brown
A Reading by Gregory Kimbrell & Allison Titus     
On March 23, 2016, Gregory Kimbrell and Allison Titus read as a part of VCU’s Visiting Writers Series at Scott House. Kimbrell read selections from his first collection of poetry, The Primitive Observatory (Southern Illinois University Press, 2016), which won the 2014 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award. Titus read from her first novel, The Arsonist’s Song Has Nothing To Do with Fire (Etruscan Press, 2014).   Gregory Kimbrell

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