“Poetry Journal RHINO Turns Forty” – Ralph Hamilton interviewed by Chris Campanioni in the Brooklyn Rail

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Poet and editor Chris Campanioni interviewed our Editor-in-chief Ralph Hamilton about Ralph’s book, his approach to writing, and reflections on RHINO, our process, and accomplishments. The interview posted May 2016. An excerpt appears below; for the full interview, click here.

 

Chris Companion (Rail): How has your writing been shaped by your role as editor of one of the most celebrated contemporary poetry journals?

Ralph Hamilton: I read about two-thirds of the 15,000 poems submitted to RHINOeach year. Some are wonderful, some are not; regardless, the writers have given us a piece of their heart. The sheer diversity of the poems we receive shapes me in ways I can neither control nor fully explain. It’s humbling to see how much we all need to grapple with ultimate questions of meaning and loss—to come to terms with suffering and cruelty, how we still dare to love others, how we are able to find and take sustenance from the beauty all around us, how we maintain the capacity to wonder, to make joy—how poets have the courage and audacity to speak the truth the best we know how. Maybe all poetry is about loneliness in some sense, even as it’s about reaching beyond the echo chamber of our own skulls in order to be heard and understood, to connect with people and the natural world. RHINOhas also definitely taught me about the role of form in expressing the content of a poem. And it’s definitely taught me that most poems need less, not more. The best poems take me out of myself, out of what I know and expect; they stretch me to hear and understand a poem in its own terms, to enter the world it creates.

My fellow editors have also been critical to my growth as a poet. They provide me with a continuing lesson in how to read poetry. Many of us have critiqued each other’s work for years now—we’ve watched it grow in depth and ambition. Their skill and insight continues to challenge, frighten, and inspire me.

Rail:Can you talk a bit about the emergence and success of RHINO in the last few years?

Hamilton: RHINO is a collaborative venture, but there is a set of core values that hold it together. We’re committed to publishing the best poetry in English annually (including flash fiction and translations), regardless of style, and whether the author is established or an emerging poet. With an ever-changing group of twelve to fourteen volunteer poet/editors, we embrace being a work in progress. The journal fosters a diverse and changing cadre of editors who love poetry, cover the demographic spectrum, and represent varied tastes. From its earliest days, the respect and gratitude that the editors have for each other and for the poets who share their work with us, is the very heart of our endurance and growth. Every bit of our progress—a new website, better submissions, use of Facebook and Twitter, our Big Horn blog, grants, our layout, etc.—has happened because different editors have stepped forward to take leadership, and the rest of us have backed them up.

. . . .

The range of wonderful poems in the issue stuns me. As I was proofing them I kept thinking that I hope to write a couple of poems half as good as many of those.

May 7, 6:30pm | RHINO at Evanston Lit Fest!

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Join us at the Evanston Literary Festival this Saturday, May 7 from 6:30-8 pm! Readings from RHINO 2016 poets Pam Miller, Max Barry, Jim Warner, and Ann Hudson, as well as RHINO editors Ralph Hamilton, Kenyatta Rogers, Jacob Saenz, and Angela Narciso Torres.

Sidetracked Studio, 707 Chicago Ave., Evanston


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Congratulations RHINO Editor-in-chief Ralph Hamilton – nominated for a Lambda Award

9984782Congratulations to our editor Ralph Hamilton!

 

His TEACHING A MAN TO UNSTICK HIS TAIL from Sibling Rivalry Press is a Lambda Literary Award Finalist in Gay Poetry.

“The Lambda Literary Awards were founded in 1989 to elevate the profile of LGBT literature,” said Lambda Literary Board President, KG MacGregor. “In so doing, we also elevate the lives of those who find themselves authentically portrayed in our stories. It is with great pride that we come together each year to celebrate the excellent works of inspiring authors who have walked in our shoes.”

“The Lambda Literary Awards were founded in 1989 to elevate the profile of LGBT literature,” said Lambda Literary Board President, KG MacGregor. “In so doing, we also elevate the lives of those who find themselves authentically portrayed in our stories. It is with great pride that we come together each year to celebrate the excellent works of inspiring authors who have walked in our shoes.” – See more at: http://www.lambdaliterary.org/features/news/03/08/28th-annual-lambda-literary-award-finalists-announced/#sthash.5ZJd2Ij8.dpuf
“The Lambda Literary Awards were founded in 1989 to elevate the profile of LGBT literature,” said Lambda Literary Board President, KG MacGregor. “In so doing, we also elevate the lives of those who find themselves authentically portrayed in our stories. It is with great pride that we come together each year to celebrate the excellent works of inspiring authors who have walked in our shoes.” – See more at: http://www.lambdaliterary.org/features/news/03/08/28th-annual-lambda-literary-award-finalists-announced/#sthash.5ZJd2Ij8.dpuf
“The Lambda Literary Awards were founded in 1989 to elevate the profile of LGBT literature,” said Lambda Literary Board President, KG MacGregor. “In so doing, we also elevate the lives of those who find themselves authentically portrayed in our stories. It is with great pride that we come together each year to celebrate the excellent works of inspiring authors who have walked in our shoes.” – See more at: http://www.lambdaliterary.org/features/news/03/08/28th-annual-lambda-literary-award-finalists-announced/#sthash.5ZJd2Ij8.dpuf
“The Lambda Literary Awards were founded in 1989 to elevate the profile of LGBT literature,” said Lambda Literary Board President, KG MacGregor. “In so doing, we also elevate the lives of those who find themselves authentically portrayed in our stories. It is with great pride that we come together each year to celebrate the excellent works of inspiring authors who have walked in our shoes.” – See more at: http://www.lambdaliterary.org/features/news/03/08/28th-annual-lambda-literary-award-finalists-announced/#sthash.5ZJd2Ij8.dpuf

RHINO at First Night Evanston: 9pm 12-31-15 with J. Max Barry, Virginia Bell, Tina Boyer Brown, Greg Grummer, Ralph Hamilton, Anthony Madrid, Pam Miller, Pablo Otavalo, Jacob Saenz

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We’re delighted to join the fabulous entertainment, venues, and revelry
Bring in the new year with RHINO poets & readers at 9pm, December 31, 2015
First Presbyterian Church
1427 Chicago Avenue – Walker Chapel
Featured readers

J. Max Barry

Virginia Bell

Tina Boyer Brown

Greg Grummer

Ralph Hamilton

Anthony Madrid

Pam Miller

Pablo Otavalo

Jacob Saenz

“Poetry is often an antidote” – a note from the editors, and preview to RHINO 2016

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December 2015

 

Dear friends,

 

Most of us stand inarticulate at some crucial moment, unable to find the words to coax understanding, to offer solace, to fire courage, to convey regret or forgiveness, to affirm love. Moreover, there are things we simply fail to “see” because we have no name for them, things we fail to “feel” because we don’t have words ready to express the currents of emotion that flow deep within us. And some occurrences are so dazzling or so horrendous as to render us mute.

 

Yet poetry is, in Eliot’s phrase, “a raid on the inarticulate.” It continually pushes against the limitations of language. Thus poetry is often an antidote to all that shuts us down, that makes life meager, thinner, more numb, more complacent, less meaningful. Poems can magnify our sense of presence in the world, open us up to the mystery and wonder, no less than the troubled reality and robust beauty all around us.

 

For 40 years RHINO has sought to be such a “raider,” providing an annual selection of the best contemporary poetry in English. This anniversary year’s edition is no exception.

Some of this coming issue’s poems bring to life the ordinary, fugitive, often plangent details of dailiness:

 

I insert the otoscope in the patient’s right sound cave. A’s and H’s cling to the tympanic membrane like tiny fruit bats                                 

Max Barry

 

A bird I did not see struck / the glockenspiel in her throat.                                                                      

– Malisa Garlieb

 

Where the water / touches the land just // to leave it, scared of salt / and every last boot heel, // unsure of what to / wear to interviews.        

– Michael Estes

 

Other poems capture life’s small and large incongruities, some comic, some provocative:

 

capitalism troubles me especially / dear aliens / when I think about supply and /how I demand toile patterned trousers                                

Doug Paul Case

 

When the businessmen meet / by the coat check, it’s summer // and the farthest stars’ final light / passes through the astronomer’s telescope.      

John Gosslee

 

Of course, many poems give voice to the transitions, trials and abiding struggles of life:

 

nothing there son, he seems to say / looking at me, a word loosening/ in him barely audible, parched, / his tongue running along the dryness / of his lip. We’re past forgiveness.  

– Adam Chiles

 

shorty shine shonuff but she got issues / shellshocked from block showdowns   glocks & shotguns / chiraq’s finest   minus shrapnel

& shit    

– t’ai freedom ford

 

The evening lamp in her hand gleams lambent through the fog; / Her voice merges into the howling wind. With abundance, desolation.                 

– Dipika Mukherjee

Foxes will fox in various ways and hedgehogs curl fetal, / the one good trick they  know. And still, the question of how to live / with no filter…

– Mathew Landrum

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At 40 years old, RHINO remains committed to producing a beautiful and compelling print journal. Yet this year we also grieve the loss of Helen Degen Cohen, the singular poet, Senior Editor, and one of RHINO’s founders. In keeping with Helen’s vision, we continue to foster and support Illinois poetry and poets with workshops, readings, events, awards, resources, and information, including our monthly RHINO Reads! poetry series and The Poetry Forum workshop series.

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We have also expanded our online resources for local, national, and international poetry audiences. RHINO’s website and Big Horn Blog, as well as our Facebook and Twitter posts, support our print publication and local events. The blog features essays, articles, interviews, audio poems, photos, and online publication of prize-winning poems. Six months after print publication, all published poems are now presented online, with placement occurring throughout the year. Our website receives more than 7000-8000 unique visitors per month.

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Rhino-GivingImageThanks to you—our readers, fellow poets, our friends, and family—RHINO continues to thrive. As an independent, all-volunteer journal, we rely on you for your support. Your contributions and subscriptions continue to make up 75% of RHINO’s income. We thank you for making RHINO possible for the past 39 years.`

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Wishing you peace, poetry, and inspiration for 2016 and beyond,
The editors of RHINO

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Virginia Bell     Jan Bottiglieri     Lisa Croneberg     Carol Eding
Gail Goepfert     Ralph Hamilton     David Jones
Beth McDermott     Kenyatta Rogers     Deborah Nodler Rosen     Jacob Saenz
Angela Narciso Torres     Valerie Wallace

Donation Levels

Pablo Neruda   –     $25
Elizabeth Bishop   –    $35*
Dante Alighieri  –   $50*
Rumi  –   $100* +

*Donations of $35 or more include a complimentary copy of RHINO 2016

Donations accepted online through our secure JustGive portal: http://rhinopoetry.org/donate/
or mail your donation to RHINO, PO Box 591, Evanston, IL 60204

RHINO 2016 will ship in April, 2016
All contributions are tax deductible.

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Editor Ralph Hamilton at MiamiBookFair2015 this weekend!

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Saturday, November 21, 2015:

Panel–2:30pm

Contemporary publishing: literary magazines and small presses.

Get the view from the front lines of literary publishing, as John Gosslee of Fjords Review and C&R Press, P. Scott Cunningham of Jai-Alai Books, Ralph Hamilton of Rhino, and Miguel Pichardo of Gulf Stream discuss what editors look for in submitted work, the shifting literary landscape, what it takes to run a magazine or press, and answer your questions about writing and the literary market.

In Room 8303, building 8, third floor.

 

Poetry Reading–4:00pm

Poems: A Reading From New Collections

EXILE + Fjords Art and Lit Book Lounge, bldg 2, 1st floor, enter from street

Laurence Raab’s eighth poetry collection, Mistaking Each Other for Ghosts—a Longlist selection for the 2015 National Book Award in Poetry—is presented in an American idiom that is canny, sly, defeated, pessimistic, resilient, and perplexingly knowledgeable about the human predicament. Ralph Hamilton’s collection of poetry, Teaching a Man to Unstick His Tail, is a book about relationships, both with those closest to us and with ourselves. Beth Bachmann follows up her award-winning poetry collection, Temper, with Do Not Rise, which takes war as its central theme. Malachi Black‘s poems in Storm Toward Morning explore the physical and the metaphysical.

 

 

RHINO Reads! with open mic and featured readers Bill Yarrow and Ralph Hamilton 5-29-15

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Open Mike        6:00 pm – 6:30 pm

Featured Readers        6:45 pm – 7:30 pm

Brothers K

500 Main St.

Evanston

Directions

Bill Yarrow is the author of Blasphemer (Lit Fest Press 2015), Pointed Sentences (BlazeVOX 2012) and four chapbooks. His poems have appeared in many print and online magazines including Poetry International, RHINO, Contrary, DIAGRAM, Confrontation, FRiGG, Gargoyle, and PANK. He is a Professor of English at Joliet Junior College where he teaches creative writing, Shakespeare, and film.

Ralph Hamilton is editor of RHINO. He has an MFA in Poetry from Bennington. His poems have appeared in Court Green, CutBank, Pirene’s Fountain, Blackbird, and other journals.  He has had residencies at Ragdale and the Anderson Center, and served on the board of the Ragdale Foundation. He judged Fifth Wednesday Journal’s (FWJ) prize in poetry in 2013, and served as FWJ’s guest poetry editor in 2014.  He was recently nominated for Best New Poets 2015. His book, “Teaching a Man to Unstick His Tail,” was released in March of this year by Sibling Rivalry Press.  He is currently finishing his 2nd book, “The Barnyard of Boyage”.

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RHINO 2015 Launch Party and more at AWP!

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Minneapolis, MN – April 8 – 11, 2015
Associated Writers and Writing Programs Conference (AWP)

RHINO’s Bookfair table number is 1529

 

Join us for our 

RHINO 2015 Issue Launch Party!

Thursday April 9, 2015

1200 Nicollet Mall S, Minneapolis


6-minute walk from the AWP Convention Center!

Map & Directions

Doors open at 7pm!

Featuring poets from RHINO 2015

Julia Bouwsma

Julia Bouwsma

Joe Eldridge

Joe Eldridge

Sara Henning

Sara Henning

Amorak Huey

Amorak Huey

dawn longsinger

dawn longsinger

Cintia Santana

Cintia Santana

Brian Simoneau

Brian Simoneau

Rachel Slotnick

Rachel Slotnick

Paul Tran

Paul Tran

Keith Wilson

Keith Wilson

In addition, you’ll find editors these AWP events at the Minneapolis Convention Center:

Virginia Bell:
Friday, April 10
4:30-5:45 pm
Room M100, D&E

“Teaching Experimentation: The Freedom in Constraints”

Virginia Bell, Shailen Mishra, Ryan Clark, and Michelle Naka Pierce

Kenyatta Rogers:
Saturday, April 11
3:00-4:15 pm
Room 205 A&B
S242. Speculating Darkly: A Poetry Reading.

(Bianca Spriggs ,  Keith Wilson,  Kenyatta Rogers ,  Ladan Osman,  Airea Matthews) Taking its title and spirit from a series of essays written by poet Roger Reeves (published on the Poetry Foundation’s “Harriet the Blog”), and subsequent reading series curated by poet and visual artist Krista Franklin, “Speculating Darkly, or The Folk Surreal Future,” is a poetry reading that features some of the Midwest’s emerging African Diaspora writers who focus on the Black Fantastic, the Grotesque, the Afro-Surreal, the Gothic, the speculative, and science fiction.

 

 Angela Narciso Torres
Thursday, April 9, 10pm
Friday, April 10 from 10-noon

Signing copies of her book “Blood Orange” at the Willow Books table

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Preview of RHINO 2015 – from the Editors

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December 2014

 

“[W]orlds remake themselves at every turn,” writes Brian Simoneau in his poem “Raven to a Traveler Lost in the Woods.” So it is with the dazzling array of poems in the forthcoming RHINO 2015.

 

From Lisa Cronenberg’s sublime,

 

Blake’s heaven must smell like this:

 

Monarda for the monarch.

Asylum for the queen.

 

to Esteban Ismael’s time-bound specificity,

 

sitting with my face on the shotgun /window of a ’97 Mustang, I watch him /

puff his chest / & a cigarette.

 

from the dislocation of Faisal Mohyuddin’s,

 

Exile begins where rivers end.

 

and Bill Rector’s quiet surrealism,

 

I wake up one morning

with size 60 feet.

 

to the intimate sadness in Joe Eldridge’s elegy for his mother,

 

The Hermes horseshoe scarf

I bought on Canal St. covers the night-

stand where her dentures soak in a teacup.

 

the portent of Sarah Ann Winn’s,

 

The punched out remnant of another doll, a cardboard window to the world,

girl shaped.

 

and Kimberly Dixon-Mays’ potent,

 

And typical,

human, to be

somewhat proud

to leave

even an ugly

mark.

 

RHINO’s 38th,  going into our 39th year, has been huge.

  • We received more submissions than ever before, exceeding 12,000 poems.
  • Over 280 poets submitted to our Founders’ Prize contest.
  • Notably, three poets that we nominated won 2014 Illinois Arts Council Literary Awards!
  • This year’s Paladin Award was given to Allison Joseph, Editor of Crab Orchard Review.
  • We also began posting our current journal on our website in installments at no cost so that a wider audience can read our poets. We remain committed as ever to producing our beautiful print journal.

 

  • Meanwhile our online presence continues to grow with more than 900 Twitter followers @rhinopoetry, and our Facebook page “likes” have topped 1300.
  • In the last year we have had 88,400 unique visits to the website. The Big Horn Blog continues to expand, with ever more audio poems and interviews. We also foster a community of writers through our monthly RHINO Reads! poetry series, The Poetry Forum workshop series, and by supporting emerging writers in numerous other ways.

 

Thanks to you—our readers, fellow poets, our friends and family—RHINO continues to thrive. As an independent, all-volunteer journal, we rely on you for your support. Your contributions and subscriptions continue to make up 65% of RHINO’s income. We thank you for making RHINO possible for the past 38 years.

 

Wishing you peace and inspiration for 2015 and beyond,

the editors of RHINO

Virginia Bell   Jan Bottiglieri   Helen Degen Cohen    Carol Eding  

Gail Goepfert    Ralph Hamilton   David Jones

Kenyatta Rogers    Deborah Nodler Rosen   Jacob Saenz   Moira Sullivan  

Andrea Witzke Slot    Angela Narciso Torres   Valerie Wallace   

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Please consider a donation to RHINO: The Poetry Form. All donations are tax-deductible; donations of $25 or more come with a complimentary gift of RHINO 2015.

Donation Levels

John Donne                        $25

Sappho                               $50

Langston Hughes               $100

Li Bai                                  $200 +

 

Mail your check or money order to: RHINO, PO Box 591, Evanston, IL 60204 or make your secure online donation here.

 

Thank you!

 

RHINO 2015 will ship in April, 2015.           

Find us online at:

rhinopoetry.org

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