Article Archive

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

The Law of Diminishing Readership

by
Joseph Bednarik
5.1.06

As marketing director of Copper Canyon Press, the thirty-four-year-old independent publisher of poetry in Port Townsend, Washington, I am required to read a lot. While most of the titles on my reading list are poetry collections, I recently read two nonfiction texts that got me thinking about the "economics" of creative writing.

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Shakespeare Has Left the Building: Postcard From Philadelphia

by
Jen A. Miller
4.20.06

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.

An Interview With Creative Nonfiction Writer William T. Vollmann

by
Ben Bush
3.30.06

The author of fifteen books, including eight novels, three short story collections, a memoir, and a ten-volume treatise on the nature and ethics of violence, William T. Vollmann is often associated with his most controversial subjects—crack and prostitution among them. He is also characterized by a few signature stunts, such as firing a pistol during his readings and kidnapping a girl who had been sold into prostitution and turning her over to a relief agency while writing an article for Spin magazine.

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

by
Doug Diesenhaus
3.7.06

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.

NEA Responds to "Reading at Risk"

by
Kevin Canfield
3.1.06

In response to its 2004 report "Reading at Risk," which found that significantly fewer people read serious literature now than in years past, the National Endowment for the Arts recently launched an ambitious program designed to reverse the trend.

 

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Literary MagNet

by
Kevin Larimer
3.1.06

Literary MagNet chronicles the start-ups and closures, successes and failures, anniversaries and accolades, changes of editorship and special issues—in short, the news and trends—of literary magazines in America. This issue's MagNet features Fairy Tale Review, Alimentum, Lost, Dislocate, Tameme, Double Change, Storie, and Terra Incognita.

The Written Image: "Categories"

In an effort to promote scientific literacy, foster an appreciation of the humanities, and encourage readers to make "informed and imaginative connections" between the sciences and the arts, New York City–based Vernacular Press recently launched a series of books titled "Categories."

Four-Legged Fiction

by
Joe Woodward
3.1.06
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It used to be that when a writer bestowed human qualities on an animal—the ability to speak, for instance—it almost always meant trouble. Today, animal lit is broader in scope and occasionally even benevolent in nature.

Comic Adventure Takes Poetic Form

by
Daniel Nester
3.1.06
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Among the many poetry collections that have been published in the weeks leading up to National Poetry Month, Jim and Dave Defeat the Masked Man, a collaborative book of sestinas by James Cummins and David Lehman released by Soft Skull Press in February, features perhaps the most prestigious and, simultaneously, zany cast of characters to appear in a book of poems since Alan Kaufman's Outlaw Bible of American Poetry was published by Thunder's Mouth Press seven years ago.

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Keeping It Short and Sweet: Postcard From New York City

by
Doug Diesenhaus
2.1.06

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).

An Interview With Fiction Writer Jay McInerney

by
Mark Eleveld
2.1.06
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Perhaps no single book details the excesses of the 1980s—in particular the debauchery of the New York City social scene—better than Jay McInerney’s Bright Lights, Big City (Vintage Books, 1984). The author’s commercially successful debut novel was adapted into a movie, starring Michael J. Fox and Keifer Sutherland, in 1988.

Poets Move From Page to Stage

by
Anna Mantzaris
1.1.06

In the second half of the twentieth century, a number of poets’ theater programs, including the Poets’ Theatre, which was established in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1950, and staged plays by John Ashbery, James Merrill, Frank O’Hara, and Richard Wilbur, provided venues for work written by poets for the stage. Now, a new generation of poets’ theater programs are raising their curtains for plays by poets.

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