Article Archive: Feature

Articles from Poet & Writers Magazine include material from the print edition plus exclusive online-only material.

Editors on Reviews

Jane Ciabattari

Book review editors—those powerful yet inundated tastemakers who choose from the more than 130,000 new books published each year the mere shelfful that are reviewed—get used to (and bored with) having nasty motives ascribed to them. This second installment of a three-part series on book reviews examines the subject at hand from the perspective of the assigning editors, who would like to set the record straight.

The Trouble He's Seen: A Profile of John Dufresne

Eve Richardson

So how did John Dufresne—the eldest of four children of French-Canadian parents, a boy who grew up in the Catholic, blue-collar Grafton Hill neighborhood of Worcester, Massachusetts, a boy for whom it was beyond imagining that a man might find his vocation in words—become a noted short story writer, a sought-after teacher of creative writing, and the author of three acclaimed novels, two of which are set well below the Mason-Dixon line? In part, the answer is a keen ear for the music of language and an eye for the telling detail.

The Far, Deep Things of Dreamland: An Interview With Elizabeth Alexander

Natasha Trethewey

Elizabeth Alexander's new collection, Antebellum Dream Book, deals with the image of the body, a theme she visits often in her previous works. "If you let a body speak," she says, "it gives you access to all sorts of concrete sensations that are vital, the stuff of poetry, the way a poem convinces." In this interview with Natasha Trethewey, Alexander speaks to her use of race, urban life, history, and of course, the body.