The Sewanee Conglomerate
Named for the uppermost rock formation in Sewanee's corner of the Cumberland Plateau, the Sewanee Conglomerate is the magazine's blog. Check here for short pieces about books and current events written by SR staff and guest contributors.
Our staff is gearing up to trek from Tennessee to Portland, Oregon next week for the annual Association of Writers and Writing Programs' Conference and Bookfair. AWP is our chance to catch up with contributors and friends, sometimes meeting for the first time writers whose work we have published. We'd love it if you came and said hello at Booth T7028.
The Spring 2019 issue of the Sewanee Review publishes online on March 18, and the print version will begin arriving in mailboxes later that same week. The issue took shape nearly a year ago.
If you see the sonnet’s architecture underneath my poem, then that architecture, its foundation, is what makes the poem possible. The architecture inaugurates something to speak. How could I possibly want to dismantle that?
My only rule to myself with these stories was that something needed to happen. No fair just throwing pretty language at the page. They had to do the usual heavy lifting of storytelling that is, by my lights, fiction’s job.
I was happy. I slept in their bed,
I read the mysteries on their shelves.
Always something precious gone,
someone hot on the trail.
Although suffering and existence are inextricably linked in the stanza, the world is not “evil” or “doomed.” It is dusty. And in that dusty world we can work. The work is communal, ours.
Paige Ackerson-Kiely’s poetry plays with setting and situation, inverting the everyday with an uncommon, often unsettling ease. Her third, and newest collection, Dolefully, A Rampart Stands, manages some strange and arresting lines, accretions of imagery, and sharp language.
Looking at stanzas in a foreign alphabet, like Russian, is a reminder of the inherent beauty of the form as it patterns the blank page. That too is an optical illusion—it tells you nothing of the quality of thought in that foreign language—but it’s a start; it makes you want to know.
It's a book that naturally asks a lot of questions—about involuntary hospitalization; about whether mental illness is a part of us or an addition to us, to be eliminated or quieted as much as possible; about spirituality and illness; about how higher education institutions treat their students who are dealing with mental health issues.