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Poets & Writers Magazine

    On Wednesday night in New York City, the winners of the 2015 National Book Awards were announced. The poetry award went to Robin Coste Lewis for her collection, Voyage of the Sable Venus (Knopf). Adam Johnson took home the fiction award for his story collection Fortune Smiles (Random House). Ta-Nehisi Coates won in nonfiction for Between the World and Me (Spiegel & Grau). Neal Shusterman won in young people’s literature for Challenger Deep (HarperCollins).

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Your trusted source for information on writing contests, grants for writers, and more.

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    “This table has been a house in the rain, an umbrella in the sun.” In this video that originally aired in 2012, poet Joy Harjo reads “Perhaps the World Ends Here” for PBS NewsHour. Happy Thanksgiving.


    “When in doubt, go further, deeper, weirder. Take the elements that make your story unique and double down on them. There's a tendency in writing..."


    “Like most writers, I prefer to write in silence, but I’m not always free to enable it. Sometimes circumstances pull you on the road, out of the house..."

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    by Jen Michalski

    Author Jen Michalski takes us on a tour of the many literary sites writers should visit while strolling the gritty streets of Baltimore.

    by Edie Rhoads

    Join indie author Edie Rhoads as she showcases the local literary treasures of one of America’s most picturesque cities.

    by Adam Ross

    Adam Ross, author of the New York Times Notable Book Mr. Peanut, takes us on a tour of his beloved Nashville, "a great secret, cool as all get-out but never self-consciously hip or competitive," with a literary life as vibrant as its musical one.

    by Michelle Wildgen

    Author and Tin House Magazine editor Michelle Wildgen serves as our guide to the literary locales of Madison, Wisconsin, a city whose lofty earnestness in everything from food to literature inspired her two novels.

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Our Independent Publishing issue highlights the small-press champions of literature in translation, including New Directions, Two Lines Press, Open Letter Books, Europa Editions, and Archipelago Books; a profile of novelist Marilynne Robinson; an installment of Agents & Editors featuring Copper Canyon Press editor in chief Michael Wiegers; Donald Hall on a life in poetry; advice from literary agent Betsy Amster; pro self-publishing tips; new and noteworthy books; and much more.

Nov/Dec 2015

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Ampersand Episode

Listen to a preview of the new issue of the magazine; poems by Liu Xia in Chinese and in English; a conversation with Michael Wiegers of Copper Canyon Press; poetry by Camille Rankine and Donald Hall; Li-Young Lee at Poets & Writers Live; and more.

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Catapult Launches More Than Books

Catapult, a new literary venture that launched in September, is working to provide resources for writers at every stage of their career—from workshops to self-publishing platforms to traditionally published books—in an effort to create an online community that “conceptually mirrors the ecosystem in which writers and creatives exist right now.”

Instinct, Energy, and Luck: An Indie-Publisher Roundtable on Literature in Translation

Five editors of independent presses specializing in translation discuss how they find new work from around the world, the challenges they face as publishers, and the future of literary translation.

Agents & Editors: Michael Wiegers of Copper Canyon Press

Michael Wiegers, the editor in chief of Copper Canyon Press, talks about how he decides which books to publish (from the two thousand manuscripts the press receives each year) and what it’s like to edit the likes of Pablo Neruda, W. S. Merwin, and C. D. Wright.

Proctor's Literary Arts Prospers

Literary Arts executive director Andrew Proctor discusses the rebirth of Wordstock, and how the overhauled book festival will continue to highlight Portland, Oregon’s thriving literary scene.

The Written Image: Last Night's Reading

In her new book, illustrator Kate Gavino—author of the popular Last Night’s Reading blog—brings hundreds of literary readings to life by pairing illustrations of authors with selected quotes from each event.

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Pushcart Prize Turns Forty


The Pushcart Prize, a venerable nonprofit award series and press, released its fortieth-anniversary prize anthology this month. On the eve of its release party, Poets & Writers staff looked into the history of the prize, and what has kept "one of the last bastions of non-corporate writing" alive and well over the years.

MFA Nation 2016: A Compendium of Graduate Programs in Creative Writing


Start your MFA research with this comprehensive guide to more than 170 full- and low-residency programs in creative writing, expanded and updated for 2016. Each listing includes detailed information such as core faculty, special features, funding, tuition, application fees, and deadlines. The free PDF also includes a regional index, a cost-of-living comparision, and a handy Application Tracker to keep track of your applications.

Three Poets Laureate: Lightning Rods for Poetry


Three poets laureate—Luis J. Rodriguez, Joseph Bathanti, and Natasha Trethewey—talk about the various initiatives and influences they've brought to the position, and what the role means to them.

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Marilynne Robinson Gallery
Credit: Kevin Nance

With her new book of essays, The Givenness of Things, Pulitzer Prize–winning novelist Marilynne Robinson continues to write on an entirely different level of intellectual rigor.

Michael Wiegers Gallery
Credit: Brian Smale

In Agents & Editors, Copper Canyon Press editor in chief Michael Wiegers discusses translation, the lost manuscript of Pablo Neruda, and how he decides which books to publish.

Catapult Gallery

Catapult, a new publisher and literary platform, is creating an online community that “conceptually mirrors the ecosystem in which writers and creatives exist right now.”

Charlie Hebdo Gallery

In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo massacre, a literary translator stresses the importance of translators being well versed in intersectional knowledge of culture and history.