Article Archive

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

Small Press Points

by
Kevin Larimer
7.1.04

Small Press Points highlights the happenings of the small press players. This issue features Green Integer, Coffee House Press, Verse Press, Fiction Collective Two, and Kelsey St. Press.

John Barr: Invested in Poetic Currency

by
Kevin Larimer
7.1.04

When John Barr was named president of the Poetry Foundation six months ago, most poets in the country were asking themselves, “John who?” Although Barr has published six books of poetry and served on the board of directors of Yaddo as well as that of the Poetry Society of America, many poets had never heard of him. His long career as an investment banker on Wall Street hadn’t raised his literary profile either. The worlds of high finance and poetry are totally unrelated. Not anymore. In 2002, Ruth Lilly’s unprecedented financial gift—$100 million over the next 30 years—to the Poetry Foundation, formerly the Modern Poetry Association, changed all that. Suddenly poets are paying attention to what an investment banker has to say.

Memoir: Whose Life Is It Anyway?

by
Arlene Modica Matthews
7.1.04
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Appearing in someone else’s memoir is like appearing in someone else’s dream. Your role is scripted according to the vagaries of the author’s memory and subjected to the Rorschach test of the heart. This utter lack of editorial control is the second thought I have on learning, in the pages of the New York Times Book Review, that the son of my late ex-husband has published a memoir of his father, the poet William Matthews.

An Interview With Poet Vijay Seshadri

by
Jeet Thayil
6.29.04

Vijay Seshadri was born in Bangalore, India, in 1954, and moved to Columbus, Ohio, at the age of five. He has lived in various parts of the country, including Oregon, where he worked as a commercial fisherman, and as a biologist for the National Marine Fish Service. He drove a truck for a living in San Francisco, and worked briefly as a logger before coming to New York City to study with poet Richard Howard in the master's program at Columbia University.

An Interview With Poet John Barr

by
Kevin Larimer
6.17.04

Six months ago, John Barr was named president of the Poetry Foundation. While many poets had never heard of the former Wall Street investment banker (although he is the author of six books of poetry and served on the board of directors of Yaddo as well as that of the Poetry Society of America) many are now acutely aware of the leader of the organization that received a pledge of $100 million over the next thirty years from pharmaceutical heiress Ruth Lilly.

An Interview With Poet Rebecca Wolff

by
Larissa Dooley
6.3.04

Rebecca Wolff's second collection of poems, Figment, won the 2003 Barnard Women Poets Prize and was published by Norton in April. Her first book, Manderley, was chosen by Robert Pinsky for the 2000 National Poetry Series; it was published by the University of Illinois Press the following year. That publication record alone would satisfy most poets. But Wolff's accomplishments don't end there.

Middle Earth in California: Postcard From Claremont

by
Joe Woodward
5.26.04
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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. 

Literary MagNet

by
Kevin Larimer
5.1.04

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 can we have our ball back?, Portrait, Argosy, and DoubleTake.

Bloomsday: Another Reason to ReJoyce

by
Lucy Gordan
5.1.04

Next month millions of writers, scholars, and readers will take part in the centennial celebration of Bloomsday, attending readings, lectures, performances, exhibitions, film screenings, writing workshops, and other events planned in cities around the world.

 

Around the World in 1,000 Journals

by
Dalia Sofer
5.1.04

Some of the best ideas originate in the most unlikely places. For years, Brian Singer, a graphic designer in San Francisco, was fascinated by bathroom graffiti. The cryptic messages and drawings made him wonder what would happen if complete strangers around the world—and not only those who happened to share a public bathroom—were able to exchange their private thoughts. So four years ago he created the 1000 Journals Project, an ongoing experiment in collective journaling.

Writers Giving Back: Pass the Torch

by
Catherine Wald
5.1.04

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? 

Small Press Points

by
Kevin Larimer
5.1.04

Small Press Points highlights the happenings of the small press players. This issue features Contact Editions, Hours Press, Clear Cut Press, Gaspereau Press, and Luquer Street Press.

Jack Kerouac Goes Back On the Road

by
Kevin Canfield
5.1.04

Thirty-five years after the author's death, the original manuscript of Jack Kerouac's most popular novel and other Kerouac memorabilia are back on the road. Two traveling exhibits—one of which is already under way, the other about to begin—aim to bring the Beat generation's most indelible icon to the masses.

Professor Palahniuk? Not Quite

by
Jeff Sartain
3.1.04

In January, Chuck Palahniuk began teaching a free yearlong writers workshop that doesn't appear in the course listings for any college, university, or community arts center. Forget about academic credits—Palahniuk's workshop exists entirely online.

Before and After National Poetry Month

by
Kevin Larimer
3.1.04

Thanks to muscular marketing and persistent promoting—notable traits of the Academy of American Poets—April has been established as the month to appreciate poetry. But there are other designated days and months during which everyone can celebrate creative writing, both as an art form and as yet another way to turn an average day into a holiday. 

Literary MagNet

by
Kevin Larimer
3.1.04

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 Tameme, Translation Review, Double Change, Circumference, Quick Fiction, the Paris Review, the Virginia Quarterly Review, Diagram, Tiferet: A Journal of Spiritual Literature, Glut, and Bullfight: A Literary Review.

My Father's Garden: Tending a Literary Legacy

by
Sebastian Matthews
3.1.04

Only weeks before he turned 55, my father, the poet William Matthews, delivered a manuscript of poems to Peter Davison, his longtime friend and editor at Houghton Mifflin. It turned out to be the last book he wrote. He died of a heart attack on November 12, 1997, the day after his birthday.

An Interview With Poet Susan Atefat-Peckham

by
Jodie Ahern
2.12.04

Poet Susan Atefat-Peckham and her six-year-old son were killed in a car accident in Ghor Safi, Jordan, on February 7, 2004. A professor in the MFA program at Georgia College & State University, Atefat-Peckham was in the Middle East as a Fulbright scholar teaching creative writing at the University of Jordan. She was 33. The following Direct Quote was originally posted on October 12, 2001, following the publication of her book That Kind of Sleep.

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