Article Archive

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

First-Class Mail: A Poet's Letters

by
Kevin Larimer
11.1.03
0311_newslarimer.gif

The published correspondence of famous poets often accounts for more real estate on bookstore shelves than their books of poems. The letters of Ezra Pound, for example, are collected in nearly 30 volumes published primarily by university presses over the last three decades. For academic scholars who spend their weekends in the special-collections rooms of libraries, the value of these books is obvious. But what are they worth to the general reader, or the practicing poet?

Literary MagNet

by
Kevin Larimer
11.1.03

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 American Poetry Review, Land-Grant College Review, 88: A Journal of Contemporary American Poetry, The Prose Poem: An International Journal, Sentence: A Journal of Prose Poetics, Octopus Magazine, Transition, Granta, and Evergreen Review.

Weighing Words Over Last Wishes

by
M. A. Orthofer
11.1.03

British poet and novelist Thomas Hardy, author of Tess of the D’Urbervilles and The Return of the Native, among other literary classics, wanted his personal papers burned after his death. In 1928, a bonfire was dutifully lit but not everything was consigned to the flames. Hardy’s second wife, Florence, saved at least 12 notebooks filled with information and sources on which the author based his later works of fiction. Thomas Hardy’s ‘Facts’ Notebook, edited by William Greenslade and released this month by Ashgate Publishing, is only the most recent to appear.

The Stones of Summer Rolls Back

by
Nick Twemlow
11.1.03

A simple film about the solitary pleasures of reading has turned into a successful campaign to revive a short-lived literary career. Dow Mossman’s only novel, The Stones of Summer, was originally published in 1972 by the now-defunct press Bobbs-Merrill. After being lauded by John Seelye in the New York Times Book Review as “a marvelous achievement” that offered “fulfillment at the first stroke, which is so often the sign of superior talent,” the book went out of print and its author faded into obscurity. Last month it was reissued by Barnes & Noble Books.

Tags: 

An Interview With Poet August Kleinzahler

by
Claudia La Rocco
10.3.03

In November, Farrar, Straus and Giroux will publish August Kleinzahler's eleventh book of poetry, The Strange Hours Travelers Keep. A loner and a traveler himself, Kleinzahler has avoided the cloistered life of academia for stints as a logger in British Columbia, a political commentator in Germany and, most recently, a music columnist for the San Diego Weekly Reader.

Watching Seinfeld With Richard Yates: Postcard From New York City

by
Therese Eiben
9.25.03

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.

Tags: 

Catching Up With...Pulitzer Prize Winner Jhumpa Lahiri

by
Matthew Solan
9.1.03

In her Pulitzer Prize–winning first book, The Interpreter of Maladies, Jhumpa Lahiri explores the struggle of first- and second-generation Indian Americans bridging the gap between the country they call home and the heritage that defines them. Her much-anticipated first novel, The Namesake, explores a similar theme.

Literary MagNet

by
Kevin Larimer
9.1.03

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 Poetry, Poems & Plays, the Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, Bloom, the Harvard Advocate, Harvard Review, Meanjin, and Vallum. 

Watch Out: Seajay Launches BTWOF

by
Courtney E. Martin
9.1.03

Carol Seajay, former publisher of Feminist Bookstore News, a San Francisco–based magazine that covered the feminist, gay, and lesbian book industry until folding in 2000, recently launched Books to Watch Out For, a series of monthly e-mail newsletters featuring reviews of gay and lesbian books. 

Tags: 

Dana Gioia's NEA: Art for the Masses

by
Dalia Sofer
9.1.03
0309_sofer.gif

Since Dana Gioia was named chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts in January, the organization has awarded nearly $1 million to poets and translators of poetry and over $2 million to literary arts organizations. But the highest profile project of Gioia’s term so far begins this month, when six theater companies—from New York City; Chicago; Minneapolis; Little Rock, Arkansas; and Portland, Oregon—will begin a yearlong tour of 100 small and midsized cities across the U.S. to perform a selection of plays by William Shakespeare. A seventh theater company will tour 16 U.S. military bases.

Editors on Reviews

by
Jane Ciabattari
7.1.03
1editor_csp.jpg

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 Dorothy Parker Book Battle

by
Suzanne Pettypiece
7.1.03
0307_pettypiece_1.jpg

On April 4, United States District Court Judge John F. Keenan ruled in favor of Stuart Y. Silverstein in a plagiarism suit he filed against Penguin Putnam in 2001. Silverstein, who compiled Not Much Fun: The Lost Poems of Dorothy Parker (Scribner, 1996), claimed in his lawsuit that Penguin infringed on his copyright by publishing Dorothy Parker: Complete Poems, which includes a section titled “Poems Uncollected by Parker,” the identical poems published in Not Much Fun.

Literary MagNet

by
Kevin Larimer
7.1.03

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 the Believer, Partisan Review, Mid-American Review, the Paris Review, One Story, 32 Poems Magazine, and Tin House

Mr. Wolfe, You Can Go Home Again

by
Suzanne Pettypiece
7.1.03
0307_pettypiece_2.jpg

Five years ago, in the early morning of July 24, 1998, Thomas Wolfe’s childhood home in Asheville, North Carolina, was nearly destroyed by fire. Since then, conservation specialists and staff at the Thomas Wolfe Memorial have worked to reconstruct the museum and hope to reopen it this fall.

B&N Launches Classics Imprint

by
Dalia Sofer
7.1.03

They don’t command the best-seller lists, nor do they show up on reviewers’ desks, but the classics—those books of enduring quality that year after year grace high school and college syllabi and circulate in community book clubs—are the cash cows of the publishing industry: reliable, predictable, and above all, steady sources of revenue. Penguin Classics, Oxford World’s Classics, Bantam Classics, Dover Publications, and the Modern Library are among the leading publishers of their kind in the United States. This spring, Barnes & Noble joined them with its own imprint: Barnes & Noble Classics.

New Leaders for Literary Nonprofits

by
Kevin Larimer
7.1.03

mong organizations hit hardest during the post-9/11 era, in which funding for the arts has been sharply curtailed, literary nonprofits are struggling to simultaneously serve their missions and remain solvent. Despite the economic downturn, two nonprofit organizations—Milkweed Editions, a small press based in Minneapolis, and the St. Mark's Poetry Project in New York City—have maintained financial stability, but more challenges lie ahead: The directors of both organizations, Emilie Buchwald and Ed Friedman, recently retired. 

Pages