The Blog

Interview with Franny Choi

Katherine Gibbel

Franny Choi is a poet, performer, editor, and playwright. She is the author of Floating, Brilliant, Gone and the chapbook Death by Sex Machine. Her poems have appeared in Poetry Magazine, American Poetry Review, the New England Review, and elsewhere. She is a Kundiman Fellow, senior news editor for Hyphen, cohost of the Poetry Foundation podcast VS, and member of the Dark Noise Collective. Her second collection, Soft Science, is forthcoming from Alice James Books in April 2018. A current Zell Postgraduate Fellow at the University of Michigan, she is currently based near Detroit, Michigan.

Doug Henderson wins 2019 PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers

TIR Staff

We’re excited to announce that the 2019 PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers has been awarded to Doug Henderson for his short story “The Manga Artist,” first published in The Iowa Review Winter 2018/19 edition. The story was also the runner-up for the 2018 Iowa Review Awards in fiction, and judge Alexander Chee said, “‘The Manga Artist’ is a sublime melding of the comic form and the short story, at least three ways, and this cross-hatch of queer desire and cross-cultural conversation results in an ingenious and moving short story unlike any other I’ve read.” Henderson and Iowa Review staff accepted the award at the 55th annual PEN America Literary Awards Ceremony in New York City on February 26.


Jack Smith

The founder of Ploughshares, DeWitt Henry recently published Sweet Marjoram, a book of essays following a series of nonfiction books and memoirs, as well as essays. This newest work consists of twenty-two meditations with two-word titles, each prefixed by “on.” One thing we are struck by is the author’s extensive range of knowledge, evidenced at a glance by notably diverse topics: “On Weather,” “On Time,” “On Empathy,” “On Conscience,” “On Falling,” “On Handshakes,” “On Silence,” “On Dignity,” “On Privilege,” On Dreams,” “On Cursing,” “On Voice.” And ten more. An encyclopedic work. This thought-provoking book is nearly exhaustive of human experience, human behavior, psychology—the fundamental nature of humans and their being in the world.

The Debut Collections of Fatimah Asghar and Faisal Mohyuddin

Bassam Sidiki

Partition. Migration. Trump’s America. These are among the themes of Faisal Mohyuddin’s and Fatimah Asghar’s respective debut full-length collections: The Displaced Children of Displaced Children and If They Come For Us. Mohyuddin is a teacher and writer based in Chicago, and Asghar is a performer known for writing the Emmy-nominated web series Brown Girls. Having descended from Pakistani immigrants to America, both poets—in lyrics at times melancholic and wistful, at others fiery and irreverent—reckon with violent, map-changing histories. The subcontinent’s 1947 Partition into independent Pakistan and India figures prominently, but so do questions about what it means to be Pakistani American, especially after 9/11 and the 2016 presidential election.


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