Holes In The Mountain

A few weeks ago, we received an email from our friend, poet Kai Carlson-Wee. He told us that he had spent the summer traveling, and along with working on new poems, he had created a “poetry video.” He wanted to know if we would be interested in showcasing his poetry video since the audio is “Holes in the Mountain,” one of his five poems from his 2014 Editors’ Prize winning entry. We weren’t really sure what a poetry video would look like, but we said, yeah sure we’d love to sit down and check out his work. So he sent us the link. And we watched it. Then watched it again. And again. And again.

I don’t want to give too much away here, and I’m not sure my words could adequately prepare you for this four minute video anyway. But. Kai and his brother Anders created this video during their summer trip up the western coast, when they took a train ride from Oakland to Portland, and captured images, still and ooving, from their trip.

It’s a stirring, evocative video, and one that we’re sure you’re going to love. We proudly featured Kai’s poetry in our magazine earlier this year, and once again, thrilled to have the chance to show you more of his wonderful work.

Follow Michael on Twitter: @mpnye

Winter's Bone

Saw Georgeanne Nixon and Governor Nixon at the movies yesterday. Georgeanne is a serious and involved supporter of the arts. Didn’t get a chance to talk to them after the show but wonder what they thought of Winter’s Bone, which might be interpreted as a “negative” portrait of drug dealers in the Missouri Ozarks.

At The Missouri Review, we published Daniel Woodrell’s story “Woe to Live On” in 1983, before it was expanded into a novel and then turned into the movie Ride with the Devil by Ang Lee.  Daniel has been to visit and read for us, as well.

The movie is being hailed as the best of the year by many critics and is fascinating both in how melodramatic and sentimental it is.  Protect the Children in a Heartless World!  Fight Against All-Encroaching Evil!  Daddy’s Dead, What Will We Do?!  It’s a flick that could almost have been made in 1916 on a rooftop in New York.

That’s not to put it down.  On the contrary, Winter’s Bone is evidence of how primitive and get-back a good movie can be.  How with good detail and actors, with thoughtful choice and handling of a heroine (the movie makes her slightly purer than the book) and scenic veracity, one can tell a wonderfully compelling story.
Thematically, both the book and the movie rise above simple melodrama with one particularly interesting idea: the self-ordering of social groups—even a group of outsiders.  The druggies in Winter’s Bone finally resolve their own conflict because they really are the only ones for which it makes any difference.

It’s a dark story but oddly uplifting.  I recommend it.

Speer Morgan is the editor of The Missouri Review. His most recent novel, The Freshour Cylinders (1998), was awarded an American Book Award.

English majors learn real-life skills

I’m a believer in a liberal arts education and all that it stands for, including (but not limited to) the enhancement of critical reading and thinking skills, a broadened cultural perspective, an appreciation of the arts, and a context for determining why we’re here and what our purpose in life may be. That does not, however, preclude us from equipping our students with practical skills, such as those needed to communicate in an ever-increasing digital world.

Learning such communication skills is an important part of The Missouri Review internship program. Not only are our interns immersed in reading and discussing manuscripts, but they also learn about the larger business of running a magazine. Last semester, that included teams of interns producing video podcasts. These students experienced all aspects of production, including storyboarding, the capturing of video, and editing audio and video tracks. Video subjects included author and staff interviews, an interview with our poetry editor, and a short on the “The Life of a Manuscript.” For a brief insight in what happens to a submitted manuscript, click here. And thanks for the creativity and diligent work by this team of interns (which, by the way, does include more than English majors): Scott Scheese, Kate McIntrye, Lindsay Sihilling, Cody Horton, and Emily Wunderlich. Original music by Kyle Stokes. We’ll post more video podcasts in the coming months.

Richard Sowienski

TMR Video: "Life of a Manuscript"

Take a look behind the scenes of a literary journal as The Missouri Review reveals what happens to a manuscript once it arrives at our offices. Thanks for the creativity and diligent work by our team of video production interns: Scott Scheese, Kate McIntrye, Lindsay Sihilling, Cody Horton, and Emily Wunderlich. Original music by Kyle Stokes.

Audio and Video Competition Winners Announced

We’re pleased to announce the winners of the second annual Audio & Video Competition. We received 211 entries, and the quality was deep in nearly every category. Over the next few weeks we will audition the winners and select runners-up for your listening enjoyment.

Narrative Essay
First place, $1,000: “Dayenu,” by Judith Sloan
First runner-up: “What’s Your Status,” Judith Sloan
Second runner-up: “‘Reverie’” Reclaimed, Nancy M. Williams
No student entries/winners

First place, $1,000: “Love Triangle,” Lauren Kirby
First runner-up and best student: “Dad’s Naughty Pictures,” Ken Cormier
Second runner-up: “Love, War, & PTSD: Peter and Anna Mohan”

Voice Only

First place, $500: “Annunciation of the Baby Jesus One Block North of Riverfront Dr.,” Ann Rosenquist
First runner-up and best student entry: “Glorie in a Small Town,” Kristin S. vanNamen

Creative nonfiction
First place, $500: “Smoke Rings,” Rachael Hanel
First runner-up: “Mary Lee,” Robert V. Wolf
Second runner-up: “Foreign Land,” Sue Mell
Best student entry: “Personal Assistant Needed,” Kristin S. vanNamen

First place, $500: “Living the Life of the Great Buster Keaton,” Douglas Collura
First runner-up: “Fear of Moving Water,” Alex Grant
Second runner-up: “There’s a Guy in L.A. Who Charges a Premium Teaching Men How To Get Women,” Todd Boss
Best student entry: “The Life Expectancy of a Fruit Fly,” “Some Revisions,” Marcus Wicker


Creative Short
First place, $500: “Separate Vacations,” Anne Lewis
First runner-up: “A Length of Time Is Measured By the Space Between 2 Hands,” Ryan Scammell
Second runner-up: “The Clam Diggers,” Tim Wilson

First place: $500: “The Unhappy Traveler: A New Yorker in India,” Basia Winograd
First runner-up: Inventing the G-Suit: the Life Story of Dr. Earl Wood,” Bill Bonde
Second runner-up: “Coming Home,” Dmae Roberts
Best student entries: “Nokota,” Lucie Schwartz; and “The Palmyra Massacre,” Brian White

Video Feature: Reading and Responding to Manuscripts

The Missouri Review’s poetry editor, Jessica Garratt, gives a tour of the office and offers insight into the process of reading and responding to manuscripts.  Jessica, Katy Didden, and Marc McKee discuss the reading process and the things that make a poem successful.  This is a two-part feature.

Part I:

Part 2:


Video Feature: "Why We Publish The Missouri Review"

We’ve added another video to our growing collection at You Tube. Here, Speer Morgan discusses the motivations behind and the rewards of publishing The Missouri Review.

Video Feature: Speer Morgan Talks About the Early Days of TMR

As we continue our expansion into different forms of online media, The Missouri Review is pleased to introduce you to own first video posting on You Tube! In this short feature, TMR Editor Speer Morgan talks about the early days of the magazine.