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Books for This Moment
Summer Reading Recs graphicThe Kenyon Review Newsletter was scheduled in June to offer our annual list of books recommended for summer pleasure. Instead, we chose to substitute a statement of solidarity with people of color, especially Black Americans, and with underserved groups in general who continue to suffer from violence and profound inequality. As protests over the killing of George Floyd have continued amid an encouraging chorus in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, we believe that this is not the moment to recommend books for casual beach reading. Instead, the editors and friends of the Kenyon Review offer here a revised list of books that may provoke, inform, and educate, while also entertaining. Click here to check out our summer reading recommendations.

“In a Few Words:” Summer Virtual Readings Begin Tonight!

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Although the COVID-19 pandemic forced us to cancel our residential Writers Workshops this summer, we’re keeping the creative community spirit alive online through videos featuring our KR instructors and their Peter Taylor Fellows. The series begins tonight, June 23, at 7:30 p.m.—via Zoom—and continues every Tuesday at the same time, through July 14. Click on the video above to watch the trailer.

For this initiative, called “In a Few Words,” each instructor and fellow has selected a poem or a prose excerpt from the work of the other to share and briefly discuss. You can join us live or watch a recording later. Click here to see the schedule and to “attend” the readings.

As for the KR workshops for high school students, we had to cancel the Young Writers Workshop but we’ve created, as a pilot program, an online version of Young Science Writers, to take place in late June and early July. Led by Kenyon biology professors Chris Gillen and Drew Kerkhoff—both writers who have published work for general audiences as well scientific papers—the workshop will include daily classes, writing based on science observations, and readings from KR.

New in KR Podcasts
KR PodcastKR poetry fellow Molly McCully Brown interviews Dawn Davies, the GLCA’s 2019 New Writers Award winner, about her draw to the unreliable narrator, our nimble relationship with time, and her book Mothers of Sparta: A Memoir in Pieces. Listen to it!

From the KR Blog: “An Interview with Sejal Shah”
May 14, 2020
Photo of Sejal ShahSejal Shah: Writing nonfiction for me has been about trying to find language when it’s difficult to say what happened, for one reason or another, but there’s something that feels essential about saying it, about writing it out. About owning the narrative and the I; maybe transforming it. The lyric essay is where I found a home and voice and a structure / architecture / philosophy that articulates what I had been doing all along. By definition, with the lyric essay we are straddling two genres. Hybridity is business as usual. Read the entire interview, in which Shah speaks about the essays in her book, This Is One Way to Dance (University of Georgia Press), which reflect on race and belonging, Indianness outside of India, and Asian American identity.

Out There: Alumni in the World
Photo of Joumana KhatibJoumana Khatib, Class of 2013, landed a job at the New York Times less than a year after graduating from Kenyon. There, she did stints in several parts of the newsroom before settling into a position as a senior staff editor on the Books desk. She spoke with KR Intern Liv Kane over Zoom, reflecting on her Kenyon experience, the craft of editing, the value of literature in translation, and what she thinks the world might look like moving forward. Originally from Columbus, Ohio, she currently lives in New York City. Read the profile.
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The Kenyon Review is supported in part by generous grants from the Ohio Arts Council,
the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Smart Family Foundation.
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