The author of Sing Something True recounts the path to writing the memoir she was afraid to write, grieving her identity as a writer after rejection, and finding solace (and representation) after shifting focus away from publication.
Article Archive: The Literary Life
Articles from Poet & Writers Magazine include material from the print edition plus exclusive online-only material.
The editor of The Best Short Stories 2022: The O. Henry Prize Winners sees translation as a way of putting a language back in movement by allowing the currents of different languages to mix and blend.
For two weeks in June, more than 15,000 writers from around the world commit to writing a thousand words a day as part of the annual 1000 Words of Summer project.
The best-selling nonfiction author describes the craft lessons he drew from the false starts that paved the way for his debut novel, All the Secrets of the World.
Advice on becoming a writer ignores the impact of motherhood—and fails to acknowledge the privileges of canonical writers. The author describes learning “to see art-making as a professional possibility” as a brown mother-writer.
The author reflects on finding a mentor in fellow literary outsider Lucia Berlin, long before Berlin’s fame.
The author examines her personal relationship to the professional work of translation, forms of responsibility unique to the genre, and the complex notion of translation as a labor of love.
The author of The Step Back offers strategies for short-story writers trying to draft a novel for the first time and shares how a new approach—aiming to pen a thousand pages—led to his first novel.
The poet and essayist reflects on writing during the pandemic and its impact on her creative life and relationship with the writing community.
The author finds solace in rereading George Saunders’s novel, Lincoln in the Bardo, while mourning the death of her father during the pandemic.
The effects of social media on the creative process—although it can help writers identify and pay attention to the quotidian moments of their lives, does it siphon off their storytelling energy?
The author of the novel Goodnight Stranger reflects on her writing career and the cultural myths about success, youth, and appearance that women writers must navigate.
The author reflects on what he’s learned about writing and life from attending readings for the past twenty-five years.
Follow three Philadelphia writers as they join a community of more than three hundred thousand writers participating in NaNoWriMo, a challenge to write a fifty-thousand-word novel during the month of November.
Contributors to the anthology Indelible in the Hippocampus discuss some of their thoughts on the current state of the #MeToo movement and their experiences writing on the topic.
How do you handle research? How indebted do you feel to stick to the historical record? Two novelists discuss their experiences researching, imagining, and depicting earlier times.
We return to certain novels not only to be enchanted and inspired, to be transported out of ourselves, but also to know ourselves more deeply.
The author reflects on his growing collection of books and what it shows about his life as a reader and writer.
A translator examines the many shapes a language can take, and how cultural influence and interpretation can affect the translation process.
An author considers the process of converting rooms from the past into creative spaces for the future.
Using elements of craft to tell powerful stories about sexual assault and trauma, with examples from work by Roxane Gay, Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich, Megan Stielstra, and others.
A fiction writer breaks up with her novel and learns that sometimes it’s more important to follow your intuition than take advice.
A defense of books that whisper in an increasingly noisy world.
A former writing teacher explores the best methods for encouraging new talent.
How important is it for characters to be likeable? A look at a controversial question, and how literature’s darker actors can pose useful lessons about both the craft of writing and ourselves.