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Archive July 2012

For the past seven years, Nancy Kline has been leading P&W–supported senior writing workshops at Queens Community House in New York City. Her short stories, essays, literary criticism, and translations have appeared widely. She is the author of the novel, The Faithful, and edited and contributed to the essay collection How Writers Teach Writing. She also reviews regularly for the New York Times Sunday Book Review. Kline generously shared with us reflections on her writing workshops with seniors.

The Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry at Queen’s University in Belfast has announced the winner of the third annual Seamus Heaney Centre Prize for Poetry.

Last week, the Hurston/Wright Foundation announced the nominees for the eleventh annual Legacy Awards, given to writers of African descent for books of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction published in the previous year.

The 2012 nominees in poetry are Aracelis Girmay for Kingdom Animalia (BOA Editions), Evie Shockley for The New Black (Wesleyan University Press), and Tracy K. Smith for Life on Mars (Graywolf).

Posted by Writing Prompter on 7.17.12

In June 2012, Matthew and Michael Dickman released Fifty American Plays (Poems) (Copper Canyon Press), a book of poem-plays about the fifty American states. Choose a state (or region or country outside of the United States) that you feel a deep connection to and write a poem about it. Give the reader a sense of the landscape and mood you associate with the place. As an additional challenge, try to convey a sense of the location without ever naming it in the poem.

Posted by Writing Prompter on 7.19.12

As Tolstoy's axiom goes, "All great literature is one of two stories; a man goes on a journey or a stranger comes to town." Freewrite for ten minutes about each of these premises, then turn one—or both—into an essay.

Write a piece of flash fiction in the style and form of a recipe. In composing the preparation steps, reveal bits of the fictional recipe-writer’s life. Try to give the reader a sense of the person behind the recipe by giving an emotional dimension to the instructions. For inspiration, read Steve Himmer’s “How to Make Potato Salad.”

P&W–sponsored poet Randall Horton writes about forming relationships with venues. Horton is the recipient of the Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Award, the Bea Gonzalez Poetry Award, and the National Endowment of the Arts Fellowship in Literature.

Describe one of your earliest recollections of fear. What caused you to be afraid? What sensations—physical, mental, emotional—do you recall? How did you react? Next, describe a similar experience you've had as an adult. In what ways have your responses to fear changed since you were young? In what ways have they remained the same?

The 2012 Barthelme Prize for Short Prose sponsored by Gulf Coast magazine, is currently accepting submissions. Ander Monson, editor of the literary journal DIAGRAM and New Michigan Press, whose most recent books include Vanishing Point: Not a Memoir (Graywolf, 2010) and The Available World (Sarabande Books, 2010) will judge.

This past April the Pulitzer Prize board rocked the literary world when it failed to select a winner for the annual fiction prize.

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