Meet TQ6 Prose Judge: Joanna Howard

Joanna Howard
The Editors of Tupelo Quarterly are thrilled to announce the judge for the TQ6 Prose Open Contest, guidelines for which can be accessed on our submissions page. The deadline for submissions is January 1, 2015.
Joanna Howard is the author of Foreign Correspondent (Counterpath, 2013), On the Winding Stair (BOA Editions, 2009) and In the Colorless Round, (Noemi). Her work has appeared in Conjunctions, Verse, Bomb, Chicago Review, Brooklyn Rail, Unsaid, Quarterly West, American Letters & Commentary, Fourteen Hills, Western Humanities Review, Salt Hill, Tarpaulin Sky and elsewhere.  She has also co-translated Walls by Marcel Cohen (Black Square, 2009) and also co-translated Cows by Frederic Boyer (Noemi, 2014). She lives in Providence and teaches at Brown University.

Acclaim for her work:

Foreign Correspondent is really a testament to the complex and ever-changing nature of popular and highbrow culture, as well as the often tenuous line that divides the real from the imaginary, the foreign from the domestic, and the distant from the accessible.” – Verse

“[the] enjoyable balance of reflective thought and impatient need for action is hard to sustain, yet Howard does, creating what reads at stretches like a blend of Tove Jansson’s fiction and Hunter S. Thompson’s letters.” – The Kenyon Review

“Joanna Howard’s lapidary debut On the Winding Stair is an escalier spiraling with brocaded lyricism, alternately swathed in darkness and bathed in phosphorescence.” – The Brooklyn Rail


What Joanna looks for in prose:

Presence of the imagination, first and foremost. Baroque or ornate writers find this through excess, flourish, and patterning. Should the prose style be clean and flat and quiet, the imagination emerges in the vision or voice: what is seen, what is chosen to be seen in relationship to other things seen, an incontrovertible elegance or a brightness of spirit, an openness. It seems to me that imagination is most often displayed when so many of the possibilities of the language at hand are allowed to circulate, so that a single word’s relationship is not closed down by the words in its immediate context, but that all words are left open—in the writer’s imagination, and later in the reader’s imagination—to seek other relationships across the text. Should this begin to shape narratively, this is delightful, but it is not requisite.