Article Archive: The Practical Writer

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

Inside Indie Bookstores: Square Books in Oxford, Mississippi

Jeremiah Chamberlin

In the inaugural installment of Inside Indie Bookstores, a new series of interviews with the entrepreneurs who represent the last link in the chain that connects writers with their intended audience, Jeremiah Chamberlin talks with Richard Howorth about his initial vision for Square Books, how a bookstore can stay relevant in the twenty-first century, and the future of independent bookselling.

Putting Your Poetry in Order: The Mix-Tape Strategy

Katrina Vandenberg

Ordering poems becomes a familiar act if you consider the lyric poem in its original form—the song. And if you were the kind of incessant list-maker Nick Hornby describes in his novel High Fidelity, the kind who also made mix tapes from your album collection. If you were the kind of geek my college boyfriend, Tim, was and—admittedly—the kind I was too.

Workshop: A Revolution of Sensibility

Jane Ciabattari

From the beginning the founders of the Associated Writing Programs and other pioneers have argued that, through effective creative writing programs, students can attain lifelong skills of critical thinking, empathy for others, and an understanding of the creative process, the key to all innovation. The schools featured in this article—Knox College, Oberlin, and Sarah Lawrence—have been working to make undergraduate creative writing degrees a hallmark of their respective institutions for some time now.


Writers Giving Back: Pass the Torch

Catherine Wald

For some writers, community service comes naturally. But for those of us who are accustomed to guarding our precious writing time with our lives, the very thought of adding another activity—no matter how worthy—is daunting. We watch in awe as fellow writers teach, mentor, and travel to remote locations to give workshops to populations ranging from the incarcerated to the homeless to senior citizens. Why do they do it? How do they find the time and emotional energy? Is it possible to serve others without neglecting one's own work?