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Articles from Poet & Writers Magazine include material from the print edition plus exclusive online-only material.
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by John Barth
Writers who hang out in academia to help pay the rent are likely to find that their job description comes to include inviting other writers to visit their campus and then hosting them through their visit, introducing them to their lecture audience, and sitting in on the informal sessions with students that typically complete the visitor's tour of duty. Such visitations are, I believe, a generally worthwhile feature of any college writing program: beneficial to the visitor, obviously, who gets paid or otherwise rewarded and may possibly gain a few additional readers; potentially enlightening for the visitor's audience (even those whose curiosity may be more sociological, anthropological, or even clinical than literary); and at least marginally beneficial for the host as well, as I shall attempt to illustrate.
by Lisa A. Phillips
Northeastern Wyoming is a rugged place, where the ruins of turn-of-the-century homesteads still stand in the tall grass, and communities gather every spring to watch cowboys wrestle their calves down for branding. An average of five people per mile populate this High Plains landscape of low, bison-backed hills and rushing creeks. Such rough, isolated grace makes the region an ideal, though unexpected, environment for an artists colony—or better yet, two of them.
Page One features a sample of titles we think you'll want to explore. With this installment, we offer excerpts from Jesus Sound Explosion by Mark Curtis Anderson and What Narcissism Means to Me by Tony Hoagland.
by Nick Twemlow
A simple film about the solitary pleasures of reading has turned into a successful campaign to revive a short-lived literary career. Dow Mossman’s only novel, The Stones of Summer, was originally published in 1972 by the now-defunct press Bobbs-Merrill. After being lauded by John Seelye in the New York Times Book Review as “a marvelous achievement” that offered “fulfillment at the first stroke, which is so often the sign of superior talent,” the book went out of print and its author faded into obscurity. Last month it was reissued by Barnes & Noble Books.
by M. A. Orthofer
British poet and novelist Thomas Hardy, author of Tess of the D’Urbervilles and The Return of the Native, among other literary classics, wanted his personal papers burned after his death. In 1928, a bonfire was dutifully lit but not everything was consigned to the flames. Hardy’s second wife, Florence, saved at least 12 notebooks filled with information and sources on which the author based his later works of fiction. Thomas Hardy’s ‘Facts’ Notebook, edited by William Greenslade and released this month by Ashgate Publishing, is only the most recent to appear.
by Kevin Larimer
Literary MagNet chronicles the start-ups and closures, successes and failures, anniversaries and accolades, changes of editorship and special issues—in short, the news and trends—of literary magazines in America. This issue's MagNet features American Poetry Review, Land-Grant College Review, 88: A Journal of Contemporary American Poetry, The Prose Poem: An International Journal, Sentence: A Journal of Prose Poetics, Octopus Magazine, Transition, Granta, and Evergreen Review.
by Kevin Larimer
The published correspondence of famous poets often accounts for more real estate on bookstore shelves than their books of poems. The letters of Ezra Pound, for example, are collected in nearly 30 volumes published primarily by university presses over the last three decades. For academic scholars who spend their weekends in the special-collections rooms of libraries, the value of these books is obvious. But what are they worth to the general reader, or the practicing poet?
by Catherine Wald
For writers seeking a structured learning environment without geographical or scheduling restrictions, the Internet can be a viable alternative to the bricks-and-mortar classroom.