Poets & Writers11 min read
Historical Fiction
EARLIER this year novelists Christina Baker Kline and Lisa Gornick had a conversation at the Mid-Manhattan branch of the New York Public Library about the challenges of writing fiction set in earlier times. Gornick had just published her fourth work
Poets & Writers28 min read
Deadlines
Academy of American Poets A prize of $5,000, publication by Gray-wolf Press, and a six-week residency at the Civitella Ranieri Center in Umbria, Italy, is given annually for a poetry collection by a poet who has not published a book of poems in a sta
Poets & Writers11 min read
Indelible In The Hippocampus
YOU know the beginning: In October 2017, a major newspaper broke a story about a famous producer—a serial predator, a man who wears his ugly on his skin—and our communal ether filled with women’s voices sharing private horrors, amplifying and echoing
Poets & Writers33 min read
Recent Winners
Alice James Books Rosebud Ben-Oni of New York City won the 2019 Alice James Award for If This Is the Age We End Discovery. She received $2,000, and her book will be published by Alice James Books in March 2021. Jacques Rancourt of Redwood City, Calif
Poets & Writers6 min read
The Turn
HERE’S a story. In college I entered the spring semester of my freshman year on academic probation. There wasn’t one reason this happened. There were many. I had signed up for a computer science class called Digital Security with no programming knowl
Poets & Writers32 min read
Classifieds
ALLPOETRY.COM—Join the largest poetry community, more than 500,000 poets strong. From beginners to experts, get friendly encouragement and detailed critiques when you’re ready. No-fee contests, $50 cash prizes, active discussion forums, and join our
Poets & Writers14 min read
A Gift
THERE is no precise method for writing a compelling work of fiction, of course, but author Téa Obreht does have one question she tries to answer for herself during the process. “What is the difference between the truth and what the characters are tel
Poets & Writers14 min read
Conferences & Residencies
A.I.R. Studio Paducah offers residencies of two weeks to three months to poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers in the Lower Town Arts District of Paducah, Kentucky. Residents are provided with a private apartment and studio space. T
Poets & Writers3 min read
Jayson Greene
Once More We Saw Stars (Knopf, May), a debut memoir exploring the fifteen months between the accidental death of the author’s two-year-old daughter and the birth of his son; a meditation on the universal truths of how we find meaning, beauty, and spi
Poets & Writers3 min read
Writing in Houston
This past spring Poets & Writers launched United States of Writing, an initiative to expand its core programs to better serve writers coast to coast, especially writers of color and other historically marginalized groups. With generous support from t
Poets & Writers3 min read
Noam Dorr
Love Drones (Sarabande, July), a debut collection of essays that explore the troubling relationship between our desire for intimacy and the world of military action, state violence, and intelligence surveillance; a form-bending search for human conne
Poets & Writers2 min read
EDITOR’S Note
I WAS SUPPOSED TO BE WRITING. PUT THAT ON MY HEADSTONE. There was this editor’s note, my remarks for an upcoming Poets & Writers Live event, thoughtful replies to the 117 e-mails I received a day earlier, a chapter about working with editors for the
Poets & Writers3 min read
Krista Eastman
The Painted Forest (West Virginia University Press, October), a debut collection of essays investigating the myths we make about who we are and where we’re from; a lyrical excavation of rural Wisconsin, tourist towns, and the “under-imagined and over
Poets & Writers2 min read
Reactions
Feedback from readers Back in the day, I used to subscribe to a teen magazine, and when it came I would hug it to my chest, run inside, and read it cover to cover. Now, as a grown-up writer, I do the same with Poets & Writers Magazine. The July/Augus
Poets & Writers3 min read
Sarah M. Broom
The Yellow House (Grove Press, August), a debut memoir about the inexorable pull of home and family, set in a neglected New Orleans neighborhood where the author grew up with eleven siblings; a multigenerational examination of place, class, race, ine
Poets & Writers5 min read
Merwin’s Garden
On the northern coast of the Hawai’ian island Maui, off a road leading down to the cliffs above the shore, a lush forest grows. Mango trees covered in vines stand next to palms as tall as eighty feet, while heliconia and hibiscus grow far beneath the
Poets & Writers2 min read
Jaquira Díaz
Ordinary Girls (Algonquin Books, October), a debut memoir examining the author’s childhood as a runaway, juvenile delinquent, and high school dropout who finds love and family; a fierce, unflinching account of ordinary girls leading extraordinary liv
Poets & Writers3 min read
Furious Flower Grows in Virginia
In 1994 Joanne Gabbin, an English professor at James Madison University (JMU), organized a conference to celebrate Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Gwendolyn Brooks and African American poetics. Hundreds of people came out to hear Brooks and more than thi
Poets & Writers10 min read
How to Get Paid
IN THE mid-1990s, poet A. Van Jordan was pushing thirty and earning a solid, if not always scintillating, living by covering environmental issues for the Bureau of National Affairs (BNA) in Washington, D.C. In his five years there, Jordan mostly wrot
Poets & Writers4 min read
The Future of Barnes & Noble
Can James Daunt save Barnes & Noble? This is the question on the minds of publishing insiders in the wake of news earlier this summer that a hedge fund had bought Barnes & Noble for $683 million and installed Daunt, who oversaw the successful turnaro
Poets & Writers9 min read
AGENTS & EDITORS BEN GEORGE
BEN George’s arrival in big publishing was more of a vault than a climb, and it surprised him as much as anybody. “Being a New York editor,” he says, “was never something I was aiming toward.” Remarkably, what brought George’s editorial acumen to the
Poets & Writers1 min read
Small Press Points
As the founding editor of the Cincinnati Review, Nicola Mason has a strong track record of spotting talented writers early in their careers. Under her leadership the review published the early work of fiction writers Caitlin Horrocks and Jamie Quatro
Poets & Writers38 min read
My Mfa Experience
One of the tried-and-true pieces of advice dispensed to the hundreds of writers applying to MFA programs each year goes something like this: “Talk to current or former students.” While this remains a valuable tip—who better to tell you what a certain
Poets & Writers3 min read
Literary MagNet
The spare, lyric poems in Andrea Cohen’s sixth collection, Nightshade, published by Four Way Books in September, play with dualities such as bitter and sweet, absence and presence, and silence and speaking. The title poem goes: “It trades in / poison
Poets & Writers5 min read
Body Language
IN CHILDREN OF GRASS: A PORTRAIT OF AMERICAN POETRY, PUBLISHED BY SCHAFFNER PRESS IN SEPTEMBER, PHOTOGRAPHER B. A. VAN SISE PRESENTS SELECTIONS FROM AN EXPANSIVE, THREE-YEAR POETRY PORTRAITURE PROJECT FOR WHICH HE ASKED POETS ACROSS THE COUNTRY TO PO
Poets & Writers3 min readLeadership & Mentoring
Muñoz Directs Arizona MFA
This fall Manuel Muñoz will become the new director of the creative writing program at the University of Arizona in Tucson, succeeding writer Ander Monson. Established in 1972, the fully funded program recently switched to a three-year model and offe
Poets & Writers6 min read
Reviewers & Critics
ONE of the most prominent and liveliest contemporary critics in the United States, Daniel Mendelsohn began contributing reviews, op-eds, and essays to a variety of publications, including Out, the New York Times, the Nation, and the Village Voice, wh
Poets & Writers3 min read
The Time Is Now
In his previous writing guide, This Year You Write Your Novel (Little, Brown, 2007), the author of more than fifty critically acclaimed books offered the basic tools and practical advice needed to write a novel in a single year. In this conversationa
Poets & Writers5 min read
New Titles
By George Keithley George Braziller, Inc. “The Donner Party is one of the three or four finest book-length American poems ever written.”—Poetry. “Out of the western migration of the 1840s…Keithley has made a lean, taut narrative poem that moves with
Poets & Writers7 min read
Manuals for Living
IF I conducted a brutal assessment of my reading habits—something I am not eager to do—the results would show that I spend an alarming percentage of my time rereading the same book: the 1965 novel Stoner by John Williams. As a reader and part-time bo
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