Kate Daniels, Guest Blogger for The Best American Poetry website:


Tony Earley interviewed

“This Week in Fiction,” a blog on The New Yorker website, on September 24, 2012 featured an interview with Vanderbilt faculty member and fiction writer Tony Earley about his story, Jack and the Mad Dog,” which appeared in that week’s issue of the magazine.

Earley has also recently been interviewed by Chapter 16, an online publication of Humanities Tennessee, which promotes education in the humanities for people in Tennessee.

Rick Hilles’ new poetry collection, A Map of the Lost World, published by Pittsburgh

Rick Hilles’ new poetry collection, A Map of the Lost World, was recently published by the University of Pittsburgh Press.  The collection, Hilles’ second, has been praised by critic Harold Bloom. “I emerge from this book somber yet fortified because like Kafka, it reminds us of a kind of indestructibility of the human spirit,” Bloom writes, and he compares Hilles’ poetry favorably with the work of other important poets of Hilles’ generation.

Hilles says that this new book feels connected with his first collection, Brother Salvage (winner of the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize) because they share a certain set of obsessions: “memory, what is at risk of getting lost.”

“A Map of the Lost World is an important book, combining history with lyric gravity. Rick Hilles writes of modern life in language that is beautiful and magical, having an intensity that compels as it startles. In poems of World War II (“A Map of The Lost World” and “The Red Scarf & The Black Briefcase”), we read of an American’s search for self as well as for the fate of Auschwitz prisoners. By turns Hilles thrills, excites, intrigues, and terrifies, as he finds in the past insights into the world around him and presents a landscape ‘full of secrets only some of them benign.’” —Grace Schulman

“Like John Keats, who is in many ways the presiding spirit of this exquisitely true and beautiful gathering of poems, Rick Hilles is a poet with genuine authority, licensed to lead us to the lost world where great poets, dear friends and righteous survivors pay tribute to what it means to be human, to love and bear witness even beyond death. This is a truly wonderful book.” —Lorna Goodison

Little magazine in France publishes a selection of poems from Rick Hilles’ workshop

The June 2011 issue of N4728, Revue de poésie, published with the support of the Centre National du Livre in Paris, includes a selection of poems entitled Jeunes Poètes de Nashville (Young Poets of Nashville).   Béatrice Machet, a French poet who sat in on Creative Writing faculty member Rick Hilles’ Graduate Workshop in Poetry last spring,  has translated and published poems by recent MFA graduates Claire Burgess, Kendra De Colo and Lisa Dordal; and by current MFA students Chad Abushanab, Melissa Pexa and third year fellow Matt Baker.  Hilles contributed a poem as well.

Lorraine López’s new novel, The Realm of Hungry Spirits, published by Hachette

Lorraine López’ new novel, The Realm of Hungry Spirits, was recently published by Hachette.  

About the novel:

For Marina Lucero, whose father transformed his life through meditation and whose mother gave hers to a Carmelite convent, spirituality should come easily. It doesn’t. After a devastating relationship leaves her feeling lost and alone, she opens her home to a collection of wayward souls– the abused woman next door and her alcoholic sister, her aimless nephew and his broken-hearted best friend. Her house now full but her heart still empty, Marina then turns to the wisdom of Gandhi, the Dalai Lama, even a Santeria priest who wants to cleanse her home.

As Marina struggles to balance the disappointments and delights of daily life, she’ll learn that, when it comes to inner peace and those we love, a little chaos can lead to a lot of happiness.

Early reviews:

“López imagines believable characters and observes their world with literary insight. An entertaining appreciation of one woman’s journey, sometimes ribald and funny, sometimes ironic and self-deprecating.” (Kirkus Reviews )

“This story of a faith-propelled, irrepressible Chicana bursts with life as it comes to an eminently satisfying, all-encompassing conclusion. López, author of The Gifted Gabaldón Sisters (2008), shows good storytelling skills once again.” (Booklist )

“Through snappy dialogue and rich detail, López (The Gifted Gabaldón Sisters) creates characters who are lovable even at their most irritating, and the perpetually ridiculous demands of Marina’s ‘hungry spirits’ provide moments of hilarious dark comedy.” (Publishers Weekly )