blackbirdonline journalSpring 2022  Vol. 21  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 © 2022 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 Caleb Braun, Colby Cotton, Simon Shieh, and Arhm Choi Wild; fiction writers Lena Fultz and Patricia García Luján; and essayist Catharina Coenen. These authors are at the start of promising careers and offer an excellent entryway into our contemporary literary landscape.   Arhm Choi Wild
Tracking the Muse  
Since 2007 we have invited contributors from the annual Introductions Reading Loop to comment on their creative processes and sources of inspiration. For these emerging writers, stimulus takes many forms: socioeconomic divide, a family history, masculinity, or existentialism. In this issue Caleb Braun, Catharina Coenen, Colby Cotton, Lena Fultz, Patricia García Luján, and Simon Shieh continue the tradition in Tracking the Muse.   Simon Shieh
In the spring of 2022, Blackbird associate editors conducted three interviews with previous or current Blackbird contributors: Margaret Gibson, Katarzyna Jakubiak, Gwen E. Kirby. These interviews center on themes of grief, memory, gender, political influence, and the mediation of experience by language. Contributors discuss their writing processes and their relationships with social, political, and ecological realities in these intimate, incisive interviews.   Gwen E. Kirby
Claudia Emerson Reading Loop      
The seventh annual Claudia Emerson Reading Loop features Emerson’s poems “Photographer” and “Triptych.” “Photographer” was the subject of an interview with Brian Brodeur for his blog series How a Poem Happens. “Triptych” serves as a companion to photographs of Emerson’s Richmond study, taken by Lauren Miner. The poems, the discussion of process, and the photographs all underline Emerson’s acute ability to pay attention to whatever she encountered.   Claudia Emerson
Cabell First Novelist Award Reading Loop    
On November 10th, 2021, at James Branch Cabell Library, Raven Leilani received the 2021 VCU Cabell First Novelist Award for her debut novel Luster (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2020). Included in the reading loop is an excerpt from her novel and a conversation with Leilani featuring questions from Virginia Commonwealth University MFA students. A review of Luster by Ty Phelps, the Cabell First Novelist Award Fellow, rounds out the reading loop.   Raven Leilani
Margaret Gibson Reading Loop      
In this issue, we celebrate poet Margaret Gibson with The Margaret Gibson Reading Loop. Featured here are four poems by Gibson: “Coast,” “The Harvest,” “Living History,” and “Corn Mask,” as well as a book review by Tim Seibles on Gibson’s most recent book, The Glass Globe. An email interview with Margaret Gibson conducted by Blackbird associate editor Waverley Vesely is also included.   Margaret Gibson

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