Annie Dillard has applied an endless curiosity and formidable intellect to elevate a searching and searing style of prose that has served as an example for generations of writers. A new collection, The Abundance, celebrates her masterful essays.
Article Archive: Feature
Articles from Poet & Writers Magazine include material from the print edition plus exclusive online-only material.
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.
Dawn Davis—vice president and publisher of 37 INK, an imprint of Simon & Schuster’s Atria Publishing Group—talks about editing Edward P. Jones, the lack of diversity in publishing, and what some of the most successful authors have in common.
Her books, for readers of all ages, have been published in thirty-two languages and sold more than eighty-five million copies worldwide, but Judy Blume, whose new novel, In the Unlikely Event, was published by Knopf in June, has always taken a simple approach to her work: “I do what I have to do to tell the story.”
Jennifer Joel, whose clients include Chris Cleave, Joe McGinniss Jr., Evan Osnos, and Shonda Rhimes, talks about the difference between selling fiction and nonfiction, what inspires her to go the extra mile for her authors, and what writers should really want out of publishing.
In Ordinary Light, Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Tracy K. Smith embraces a fuller sense of herself as a writer while cementing the connection between her children and her ancestors using the best glue she knows: words.
Louise Glück says a poet must be surprised by what the mind is capable of unveiling, which may explain why her twelfth book of poems, Faithful and Virtuous Night, published in September by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, feels so startlingly alive with the wonder of discovery.
Donald Hall may not be producing any more new poems, but the eighty-six-year-old author of more than fifty books is still revising; still polishing his prose, including the pieces in his new book, Essays After Eighty; and still reminiscing about a golden age of American poetry.
Susan Golomb, whose clients include Jonathan Franzen, Rachel Kushner, and William T. Vollmann, talks about the ebb and flow of submission season, the art of the preemptive offer, and the gems she finds in her slush pile.
The publisher of her eponymous imprint at Penguin Random House, Amy Einhorn discusses her early days as an assistant at FSG, the importance of titles, and how she pushes her authors to make their books the best they can be.
Literary agent David Gernert discusses the bookstore as a key to our culture, what it's like to work with John Grisham, and how big changes in the industry are affecting authors' incomes.
The responsibility that Jesmyn Ward feels toward the Southern town where she was born shapes not only her new memoir, Men We Reaped, but also where and how she lives her life.
A vice president and executive editor at Knopf, Jordan Pavlin discusses her terror of launch meetings, the particular genius of Sonny Mehta, and her job as a writer’s ideal reader.
One of the world's most beloved storytellers, Neil Gaiman talks about his novel The Ocean at the End of the Lane, young adult literature, writing comics, and how writers should (and should not) use Twitter.
Frank Bidart says a poet must use language that embodies the immediacy and intensity the poet feels, which may explain why his ninth collection, Metaphysical Dog, is his most intimate book yet.
The poetry of Rae Armantrout, whose tenth collection, Just Saying, is out in March 2013 from Wesleyan University Press, shines even more brightly in the shadows.
Contributing editor Frank Bures recalls a meeting with the late poet Paul Gruchow during his formative years, a memory that sparks a personal investigation to better understand the stories we tell ourselves in an unconcious attempt to make sense of our lives.
With his hugely popular graphic novel, Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth, and now Building Stories, published in October by Pantheon, Chris Ware is drawing attention to a highly emotive, visual form of creative writing.
In her memoir, Wild, published in March 2012, author Cheryl Strayed reveals all she lost following the death of her mother, and takes readers along on her three-month hike through the wilderness to find it again.
Having chronicled her husband’s sudden death in The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion returns to the subject of loss in a new memoir, Blue Nights, about the subsequent passing of her daughter.
Sam Savage wrote for decades and eventually gave up completely before his debut novel was published when he was sixty-five. Now he’s an international best-selling author with a third novel, Glass, published by Coffee House Press, and one simple message for all of us: Art can save you.
In her second novel, Julie Otsuka returns to the chapter in Japanese American history that captured the attention of so many fans of her debut: the relocation camps of World War II.
Staring down a disorder that prevents her from recognizing faces offers ample material for a memoir, but Heather Sellers tackles much more in You Don't Look Like Anyone I Know.
Contributor Jeremiah Chamberlin profiles indie innovator Dzanc Books, which in four short years has gone from a start-up to a publisher with five imprints, three literary magazines, and a list of over fifty titles.
Moving into new poetic territory, Major Jackson, in his third collection, Holding Company, corrals the ecstatic in a ten-line form.