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Beyond HFR: Chronicling The Successes of 2014 Contributors to Hayden’s Ferry Review

Here's a sampling of what our contributors have been up to in 2014. 

Brent Armendinger: The Ghost in Us Was Multiplying

Brent Armendinger, whose piece “Dennis Richmond” was featured in issue 54 of Hayden’s Ferry Review, has recently released a chapbook entitled The Ghost in Us Was Multiplying through Noemi Press. Chronicling narratives about gay life in the age of AIDS, the book balances ethics with queer desire. Poems within have been described as “admirably attentive to sadness, breath, and desire” (Maggie Nelson) and “capable of rendering the incredibly porous and vulnerable state of the desiring mind” (Brian Teare). More information about The “Ghost in Us Was Multiplying” can be found here. Brent has also had his latest poem, “Casual Sex,” published in Bloom Literary Journal, which can be accessed here.

B.J. Hollars: Dispatches From the Drownings and Greetings from Duluth

B.J. Hollars, whose piece “The Year of the Great Forgetting” was featured in issue 54 of Hayden’s Ferry Review, has kept his streak of creating brilliant creative nonfiction alive by releasing Dispatches from the Drownings: Reporting the Fiction of Nonfiction on Sept. 1 2014 through University of New Mexico Press. Within the book, Hollars addresses the discrepancies and inaccuracies that he found while combing through archives of local newspapers surrounding stories of drownings in the river behind his home in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. His blend of fact and fiction proves that both can be as artful as they are messy. More information on Dispatches from the Drownings can be found here.

However, that’s not the only piece of factual wonder that B.J. Hollars has produced. Since his publication in HFR he has also created and released an e-chapbook entitled Greetings From Duluth through Dzanc Books. The collection of essays explores the dark history surrounding the are over the course of nearly a century with the use of lyricism, experimental forms and personal experience. More information can be found here

Oliver Bendorf:

The Spectral Wilderness

Oliver Bendorf, whose piece “The Gospel According to X” was featured in issue 54 of HFR, has released a collection of poems entitled The Spectral Wilderness, published through The Kent State University Press. Released in January 2015, the collection focuses on the little-explored territory of the lives of those engaged in gender transformation. The poems within have been described as “gorgeous and ravenous rackets” with “a yearning and beautiful heart” (Ross Gay). More information on The Spectral Wilderness can be found here.

HFR offers its deepest congratulations to these and all of issue 54’s contributors!  

If you are a contributor with a new or forthcoming book/chapbook, we'd love to hear about it.

-Shelby Heinrich

Announcing Pushcart Nominations

It's Pushcart season, and we are super excited to announce our Pushcart nominees for 2014. Best of luck to them!

Fiction:

“Eulogy for Bull Rose” by Mike Meginnis [Issue 54]

“Winter Harvest” by Dawna Kemper [Issue 54]

“<html>” by Matt Baker [Issue 55]

Poetry:

“Narcissism and the Butterfly Effect” by Brad Johnson [Issue 55]

“1907: The Year of the Transsexual” by Jeanine Deibel [Issue 55]

Translation:

“Impure Acts” by Mauro Covacich, translated by Chris Tamigi [Issue 55]

Contributor Spotlight: David McLoghlin

Introducing this poem, I’m reminded of a quandary that ghosts through my mind before a reading. I think: “This is obviously about the consequences of sexual abuse (or something like it), so why preface it? Do I need to?”

Well, it depends. Though I admire the way Sharon Olds, for example, doesn’t explain anything—the audience by now knows what to expect and so nothing extraneous needs to be said—I still spell it out at times. The main reason is to combat shame. The other reason I do it is more public. It isn’t that the poems can’t speak for themselves. It’s because I’m thinking of victims or survivors who are silent. But when I introduce a poem in this way, with words that appear in newspapers or courtrooms, there’s another danger: official terminology could establish a mask that’s hard to see past. That’s another reason why I sometimes prefer to let a poem speak for itself. I do this because one of my goals in my poems is to go beyond the official language to the experience itself.

And, that returns us to ‘Disassociation,’ which begins with a trigger. (See how official words get in the way, and don’t really convey anything real?):

During sex, the mind-spirit drifts free

so slightly, a gull

—a gulf—off the body’s edge

back to the realm

of trauma

In “Dream Song 67,” John Berryman describes poetry as surgery on the self (“I am obliged to perform in complete darkness / operations of great delicacy / on my self.”). What I do in poems like “Disassociation” is to go back into the memory core to deal with volatile and toxic materials. The poem is both the hazmat suit and the ceramic form that contains and makes sense of fragmented, overwhelming experiences. If some radioactivity still seeps out, it could be due to flaws in the poem (I’m also thinking of those steaming ghost traps in Ghostbusters). Though, I like to think that if I’ve done my job right, the seepage will be because of the fact that if you were to make the poem completely safe, then it would not convey the original experience at all (ergo, the trace of radioactivity, and of danger).

I think, too, that a certain strangeness will also be present. This happens because I’m writing about memories that were drowned, and found a way to breathe underwater. So when they surface, it’s inevitable for them to be strange and slightly misshapen in the light of day. What’s crucial is the use of imagery and metaphor. One stream of imagery that has been important is from fairytales (Sleeping Beauty, specifically): the sleep that takes over the castle and everyone in the land (mirroring the hypnosis a clever perpetrator sows around him); the hedge of thorns, the forest; and the guides and helpers that, in this poem, take the form of

an intense buzzing of bees,

insects, little pins and needles:

helpers—or maybe mice

frantically trying

to wake the young hero

from the sleep he was in

and has been in all these years

The key in any poem is to find the image register: the world from which the poem wants to speak. For me, fairy tales are a rich territory: probably because they’ve been carrying metaphors for trauma for centuries, as well as ways of healing, and ways of overcoming the enemy. And that is what this strand in my poetry aims to do.

***

David McLoghlin is from Dublin, Ireland, and has lived in Brooklyn since 2010. A graduate of University College, Dublin and NYU’s MFA Program, his first collection, Waiting for Saint Brendan and Other Poems (Salmon Poetry, 2012), was awarded 2nd prize in the Patrick Kavanagh Awards, Ireland’s most established awards for a first unpublished manuscript. He received an Irish Arts Council Bursary (grant) in 2006, and was the Howard Nemerov Scholar at the 2011 Sewanee Writers’ Conference. His work has appeared in Irish journals of note, and is published or forthcoming in the United States in Spoon River Poetry Review, Natural Bridge, The Hopkins Review, Black Lawrence Press, Psychology Tomorrow and Éire-Ireland. In December 2013, a poem was selected by Alice Quinn to appear on Andrew Sullivan’s blog, The Dish. He is currently Resident Writer at Hunts Point Alliance for Children in the Bronx, and works in Citymeals-on-wheels as a Database Assistant. His poem “Disassociation” appears in HFR 54.