blackbirdonline journalSpring 2020  Vol. 19 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 © 2020 by Blackbird and the individual writers and artists

ISSN 1540-3068


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Introductions Reading Loop     
The Introductions Reading Loop celebrates a selection of writers whose work you may be encountering for the first time. In this issue we feature poets Felicity Sheehy and Matthew Wimberley, fiction writers Jose M. Martinez and Caroline McCoy, and essayist Sejal Shah. These authors are at the start of promising careers and offer an excellent entryway into our contemporary literary landscape.   Sejal Shah
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: Mexican storytelling, early 2000s Indian culture, verifying travel journalism, and the ritual of daily writing. In this issue Jose M. Martinez, Caroline McCoy, Sejal Shah, Felicity Sheehy, and Matthew Wimberley continue the tradition in “Tracking the Muse.”   Jose M. Martinez
Claudia Emerson Reading Loop     
The fifth annual Claudia Emerson Reading Loop features a previously unpublished Emerson poem, “The Bookmobile Lady: Pittsylvania County, Virginia,” a 2014 commencement address, and Leslie Shiel’s essay “The Deep Hold.” Shiel’s essay provides a close reading of Emerson’s poem “On Leaving the Body to Science” as well as memories of Emerson’s gift of mentorship, respect for teaching, and generous friendship. Also included are a selection of photographs with notes provided by Kent Ippolito.   Claudia Emerson
A Reading by Jessie van Eerden
& Clint McCown
On April 3, 2019, Jessie van Eerden and Clint McCown read at the James Cabell Branch Library as part of the Virginia Commonwealth University Visiting Writers Series. Jessie van Eerden read her essay “Blessed Be the Longing that Brought You Here,” which won the 2018 Gulf Coast Prize in Nonfiction. Clint McCown read a selection of poems from his recent book, The Dictionary of Unspellable Noises: New & Selected Poems, 1975–2018.   Jessie van Eerden
2020 Best of the Net Nominations    
Each fall we nominate contributors in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry for the upcoming Best of the Net Anthology. Featured here are Blackbird’s picks from v18n2 and v19n1. In fiction, Amina Gautier and Diane D. Gillette. In nonfiction, Jessie van Eerden and Larry I. Palmer. In poetry, Dilruba Ahmed, Sumita Chakraborty, Kenneth Chacón, Amber McBride, Felicity Sheehy, and James Tate. Results will be announced by Best of the Net in January of 2021.   Larry I. Palmer

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