Interview with Constance Squires

I have an audio version of this interview, but the sound quality is terrible, so here’s a text version for you all to enjoy.

Constance Squires is the author of the novel Along the Watchtower (Riverhead), which won the 2012 Oklahoma Book Award for Fiction, and a novel and short story collection which are both forthcoming in 2017: Live from Medicine Park (University of Oklahoma Press) and Wounding Radius and Other Stories (Ferry Street). Her short stories have appeared in Guernica, The Atlantic Monthly, Shenandoah, Identity Theory, Bayou, the Dublin Quarterly, This Land, and a number of other magazines.  Her nonfiction has appeared in Salon, the New York Times, the Village Voice, the Philological Review, Largehearted Boy, and has been featured on the NPR program Snap Judgment.  A regular contributor to the RollingStone500 (thers500.com), she also reviews literature and music with work that has appeared or is forthcoming in World Literature Today and The Collapser. She composed the screenplay for Sundance fellow Jeffrey Palmer’s 2015 short film, Grave Misgivings, and co-edited the first and second edition of Speculations: An Anthology for Reading, Writing and Research (Kendall Hunt Publishing).  In 2014, she was the guest editor for This Land’s summer fiction issue, and she participated in the Tulsa, Oklahoma episode of Literary Death Match as a judge. Currently, she is working on a third novel, The Real Remains.

Dr. Squires teaches Writing Short Story, Writing the Novel, Fundamentals of Creative Writing, Rock and Roll Literature, Editing and Marketing and English Composition I and II at UCO. She also directs the Everett Southwest Literary Award, a bi-annual prize that awards $5,000 in alternating creative genres. She received the college of Liberal Arts’ for Outstanding Scholarly/Creative Activity in 2010 and the Faculty Merit Credit Award for Creativity in 2013.

Connie Squires/oklibs.org

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A Letter to My Year as a Student Editor

Dearest Year, You were a challenge. You often lacked oxford commas, which I found annoying, bothersome, and emotionally painful. You presented me with many formatting issues. I will still never understand why anyone chooses to center justify anything. Your crown jewel was the day the internet and, consequentially, Submittable broke. It seemed like you never wanted me to be productive. Between your typos and tight deadlines, I felt like I was going to lose my mind. However, I would not … READ MORE…

Werewolves: Poem by and Interview with David Aristi

by
Seth Copeland, Publishing Editor
Sydney Vance, Senior Poetry Editor

Werewolf Viejo
By David Aristi

Gold been beaten outta me by
Every passing year, lo que queda
Funciona despacio — what’s left
Works slowly.
The beastly things
I miss, but in war, South Central, or in Juarez
Juárez La Jodida
Or think Aleppo, those goat & sheep sins would be laughable
Today

Confieso porque me he vuelto demasiado viejo para presidió
I confess because I just turned too old for hoosegow:
I’d need Viagra for the Moon now: I can bathe for hours in
Her boob milk light and still remain
A pure old man standing in the night,
Tan Viejo que hecha de menos odiar su bastón
So old that he misses hating his walking stick.
I’ve been known to bring dead pigeons
To the doormat of the widow
To express my affections, but leaving room for doubt, for kicks.
Till one day on Christmas I show up with a feather in my hat

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Featured: “Millionaire” by Mab Jones

When we think of love, we see big, romantic gestures, flowers, and long kisses in the rain, but it’s so much more than that. Mab Jones, poet and writer, reminds us in her poem “Millionaire” that love is a collection of simple moments, quirks, and affectionate interaction.

mabjones.com

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8 Things That English Majors are Really, REALLY Tired of Hearing

If you’re reading this right now, I’d like to assume that, well, you like to read, but more importantly, you enjoy English to some extent. As a language, a subject, a lifestyle, a muffin, whichever.

Some of us here at New Plains are English majors, and some of us, myself included, are Creative Writing Majors. All of us are (probably) tired of hearing the same things.

You’ve probably read lists like this at many other places, Buzzfeed included, but it only makes sense that we reassure you that yes, we are never happy when people say any of this to us.

1. So what do you want to do with that?

There are few questions that make me dislike a person so quickly. This happens to be one of them. What do I want to do with my degree, you ask? Whatever I want.

giphy.com

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Book Review – Love Me Back by Merritt Tierce

It’s been a few months since I’ve been able to read anything that wasn’t inscribed on the stone-etched commandments we call syllabi. However, one of the perks of being a Creative Writing major is that occasionally, one of these required reads will end up meaning more to me than a defensible essay thesis and a couple of quiz grades. Halfway through the semester, my mind was dragging itself through the pages of several literature books and a list of English to Spanish translations. I didn’t hate what I was reading. I just needed something different. An accidental jalapeño seed in my rice and bean burrito, something to stun my senses, wake me up, and leave my eyes a little watery. Love Me Back by Merritt Tierce did just that.

merritttierce.com

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On Workshopping

Roughly four years ago when I was a freshman in college, I submitted one of my poems to three different journals. This was the very first time I attempted to share my poetry. Armed with the hope that the editorial board would fall desperately in love with my work and immediately, breathlessly, and without pause accept the piece (ah, the naiveté!), I waited. Of course—you can see where this is heading, right?—during the following weeks, the rejection letters came in one by one by one. I pored over the poem and tried, over and over, to figure out why it had been rejected three times in a row*.

via GIPHY

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The Alexander Lawrence Posey Speaker Series

“Lo! what a vivid picture here, Of sin and purity, Here where the rivers join their Floods and journey to the sea.” —“Where the Rivers Meet”   Writer, philanthropist, and statesman Alexander Lawrence Posey (1873-1908) was one of the first indigenous Americans to gain national acclaim in letters. His series of editorials, later collected as the Fus Fixico Letters, commented satirically and pointedly on contemporary social issues of indigenous people in America at the turn of the century. Posey also … READ MORE…

A Celebration of Hayao Miyazaki

The blank page is a canvas for artists who paint with words, but Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki, co-founder of Studio Ghibli, a Japanese animated film studio, uses the blank page to hand draw most of his movies. According to a past interview, Miyazaki said that his movies only contain 10% CGI work.

Hayao Miyazaki news.artnet.com

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Alexander Lawrence Posey Speaker Series featuring Danez Smith

In the Fall semester, we have a very solidified series called Sherman Chaddlesone Arts and Letters Lecture Series, and for a while, we’ve known we wanted something in the Spring. Where our Sherman Chaddlesone series features Native Americans, our Alexander Lawrence Posey Series will feature artists who represent otherness that so often may not be spoken for. This is in an effort to combat erasure and the silencing of diminished voices. Our inaugural event on March 30th will feature Danez Smith.

quarterlywest.com

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