Article Archive: Postcard

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

Shakespeare Has Left the Building: Postcard From Philadelphia

Jen A. Miller

On April 14 hundreds of scholars gathered in the Millennium Hall of the Loews Hotel in Philadelphia for the second day of the thirty-fourth annual meeting of the Shakespeare Association of America, a nonprofit, academic organization devoted to the study of William Shakespeare and his plays and poems.

Jack Gilbert and E. L. Doctorow Among NBCC Winners: Postcard From New York City

Doug Diesenhaus

On a frigid night in early March, a well-dressed crowd of around five hundred people piled into the New School’s Tishman Auditorium to witness the announcement of the winners of the National Book Critics Circle Awards. The membership organization of seven hundred critics and reviewers, founded in 1974, bestows awards annually for poetry, fiction, biography, general nonfiction, and criticism. This year, for the first time, autobiography (or memoir), was added as a separate category—an interesting distinction at a time when the controversy over the genre has dominated literary news.

Keeping It Short and Sweet: Postcard From New York City

Doug Diesenhaus

The second annual Story Prize ceremony, held at the New School’s Tishman Auditorium in late January, began like most literary events in New York City—with much chattering among publishing folk, rising in volume until the lights went down and a hush descended on the room. The evening’s format was simple. The three finalists, fiction writers Jim Harrison, Maureen F. McHugh, and Patrick O’Keefe, would each read from their books and then sit for a short discussion with Larry Dark. In 2004 Dark, the former O. Henry Prize Stories series editor, launched the prize with Julie Lindsey in an effort to promote a genre they believed was underrepresented by other literary awards. The winner of the first annual prize was Edwidge Danticat for The Dew Breaker (Knopf, 2004).

In Memory of Hunter S. Thompson: Postcard From Louisville, Kentucky

Nickole Brown

When I stepped off the plane in Aspen, Colorado, in June 1997, I found a 60-year-old Hunter S. Thompson waiting for me in a convertible Cadillac blasting Norman Greenbaum’s “Spirit in the Sky” at full volume. I was terrified; he was giddy. He was playing the song because it was a part of the soundtrack put together for the film version of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas that was scheduled to hit theaters the following summer, and he could not have been happier.


Middle Earth in California: Postcard From Claremont

Joe Woodward

Like most poets, Henri Cole is “against the war” and uncomfortable in large crowds. He pulls at his dark sleeves and looks around nervously, searching as if he might find someone he knows. He is the only man in the room wearing a cardigan sweater and not a suit jacket. He is the only man, save the president, wearing his Many Lamps lapel pin during cocktails. 

Watching Seinfeld With Richard Yates: Postcard From New York City

Therese Eiben

Thanks in part to Stewart O’Nan, whose essay, “The Lost World of Richard Yates,” appeared in the October/November 1999 issue of the Boston Review, readers are enjoying a long-overdue critical re-appreciation of the author of Revolutionary Road and The Easter Parade, among a handful of other exquisitely written books.


The Door of the Soul: Postcard From Tuscia

Linda Lappin

D.H. Lawrence returned to Italy in 1927 after a soul-searching journey through Mexico, the American Southwest, Ceylon, Australia, and New Zealand. Gravely ill with tuberculosis, unaware of how little time he had left (he died three years later at the age of 44), Lawrence sought an ideal land where he might flourish as a "whole man alive" and find an antidote for the alienation of industrialized society.

Traducción, Traduzione, Traduction: Postcard From East Anglia

Linda Lappin

In the last decade programs in Translation Studies, designed to train students in the theory and practice of literary translation, have flourished in American and European universities. Still, translators remain concerned about the future of their profession, fearing it will be undermined by a number of serious threats: English as a global language, computer translation, and the reluctance of publishers, at least in the English-speaking world, to take on the costs of publishing translations.


W. S. Merwin at the Village Voice: Postcard From Paris

Ethan Gilsdorf

W. S. Merwin made his first appearance at the Village Voice bookstore on May 27, the same evening a hailstorm hit Paris. Merwin is the author of 20 books of poems, four books of prose, and nearly 20 books of translations, including one of the Middle English Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, which is scheduled for publication in October by Knopf.

Small Press Soiree on the Bay: Postcard From Oakland

J. Hempel

Approximately two hundred editors, writers, and readers of small literary magazines published in the Bay Area gathered at the Black Box, a trendy Oakland theater art gallery on Sunday, November 18, for the Small Press Soiree. Dulcey Antonucci, the editor of Area i, a literary magazine that takes its name from the parking designation for residents of downtown Berkeley, collaborated with local editors to plan the evening in an effort to introduce the audience to new publications.

The Future of Creativity: Postcard From Chicago

S. Kirk Walsh

The term creative communities often evokes sequestered environments at far-flung artists colonies or graduate school MFA programs. This traditional notion was challenged, expanded, redefined, and reinvented during "The Future of Creativity" symposium in Chicago.


So Much Depends Upon a New Bookstore: Postcard From Paris

Ethan Gilsdorf

On the evening of October 29, more than seventy-five people crammed into The Red Wheelbarrow, a newly opened Anglophone bookshop, to inaugurate a reading series and celebrate two literary magazines: Upstairs at Duroc, published at the Anglo cultural center WICE, and Pharos, edited collectively by poet Alice Notleys workshop at the British Institute in Paris. The enthusiastic crowd spilled onto the cobblestone street, smoking cigarettes and craning their necks for a view of the proceedings.