Last fall, an art installation referred to locally as the Floating House was erected in a parking lot in downtown Flint, Michigan. Shaped like a suburban split level, the 28 foot tall house was covered in shiny Mylar and sat on a platform from which you could stand and see the statues of Louis Chevrolet and Billy Durant on one side, and on the other the abandoned 19 story hulk of the Genesee Towers. Flint Journal editorials and social media forums speculated on its meaning. Was it a snide joke in a city of thousands of abandoned houses? Was it some sort of elegy—the empty house floated up to heaven?
“Mark’s House” was the result of the inaugural Flat Lot Architectural Contest, sponsored by the Flint Public Art Project. Launched in 2010 by native son and sometimes-Brooklynite, journalist Stephen Zacks, the …MORE
First course: some “bathtub gin,” Baba’s dice left on the kitchen table, all the malt liquor poured out for loved ones.
Second course: the roughage of “every page of the bible” to cleanse the pallet.
The main course, the whole enchilada: “a city so ruined, it is perfect” with julienned pit bull—a mornay of “gunmetal and mulch” on the side.
And for dessert: something that melts in your mouth, “a four-fingered ring that says DOPE”.
By the end of the meal that Mlekoday serves you in his first collection, The Dead Eat Everything, winner of the Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize, you won’t, “say: Your mama’s so fat. Instead: // Your mama’s never made winter soup out of her dead husband…” A one-liner that rings like an ice-cold hip hop lyric, a genre that Mlekoday feels …MORE
Sycamore Review is pleased to announce that the 2014 Wabash Prize for Fiction will be judged by acclaimed author Rebecca Makkai. The winner, selected by Makkai, will receive a $1000 prize and publication in Sycamore Review.
Rebecca Makkai’s second novel, The Hundred-Year House, will be available in summer, 2014 from Viking/Penguin. Her first novel, The Borrower, was a Booklist Top Ten Debut, an Indie Next pick, an O Magazine selection and one of Chicago Magazine‘s choices for best fiction of 2011. Her short fiction was chosen for The Best American Short Stories in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011, and has been featured in The Best American Nonrequired Reading, New Stories from the Midwest, Best New Fantasy, and several college literature textbooks. Her new stories appear regularly in publications such as Harper’s, Tin House, Ploughshares, New England Review and Ecotone, and on public radio’s This American Lifeand Selected Shorts. Rebecca teaches StoryStudio Chicago’s “Novel in a Year” workshop, and instructs as well at …MORE
When I was growing up in my own beleaguered industrial hometown, there was a kid in the neighborhood so famous for his grossness we didn’t accuse each other of having cooties, but The Gordie Touch. Gordie was a chubby special ed kid with cracked thick-lensed glasses and a shabby buzz cut. He wore stained hand-me-down overalls and was forever riding his too-small bike through the halls of the school, or chasing us down the sidewalk swinging a bicycle chain, the madness and delight in his eyes magnified by those glasses.
If you, too, have just read Xhenet Aliu’s Domesticated Wild Things, winner of the 2012 Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction, you’ll forgive this digression. These eleven stories rooted in Waterbury, Connecticut, a city that once led the world in brass manufacturing, capture the struggling single mothers, …MORE
We’re thrilled to announce that Cintia Santana and her poem “Qasida of Grief” have taken the Wabash Poetry Prize this year! Congratulations, Cintia!
Competition was keen, and we here at Sycamore feel tremendously lucky that the inimitable C. D. Wright agreed to make the final selection. I’m not sure we would’ve been able to do it, so fantastic were these submissions. Here’s what C. D. Wright had to say about the winning poem:
The sounds of this poem are pitch perfect. The syntactic abbreviations control the pacing. The sense of it is delivered deftly and tenderly, and the poem forfeits no subtlety in its rendering with such succinct clarity. A beautifully turned lyric.
Indeed! Here’s Ms. Santana’s poem, which moves from vowel to vowel so mournfully, and with such wisdom:
Congratulations also to our esteemed …MORE