Article Archive

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

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.

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.

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.

 

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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.

Literary MagNet

by
Kevin Larimer
1.1.04

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 the Kenyon Review, the Iowa Review, the Paris Review, Poetry, Ploughshares, spork, Petroglyph, Isotope, Poetry Daily,Verse Daily, and Literal Latté.

Turning the Page, Saving a Tree

by
Avery Yale Kamila
1.1.04

At some point during her two-year stint atop an ancient 200-foot redwood tree in Humboldt County, California—an effort to to save the old-growth forest—environmental activist and writer Julia Butterfly Hill was approached by HarperSanFrancisco for the rights to publish her memoir, Legacy of Luna. Hill accepted the offer, with one stipulation: Her book had to be printed on 100 percent postconsumer recycled paper manufactured without the use of chlorine bleach.

High Lonesome: Wyoming's Ucross and Jentel

by
Lisa A. Phillips
1.1.04

Northeastern Wyoming is a rugged place, where the ruins of turn-of-the-century homesteads still stand in the tall grass, and communities gather every spring to watch cowboys wrestle their calves down for branding. An average of five people per mile populate this High Plains landscape of low, bison-backed hills and rushing creeks. Such rough, isolated grace makes the region an ideal, though unexpected, environment for an artists colony—or better yet, two of them.

Delta's Poetry Program Takes Off

by
Dalia Sofer
1.1.04

When it comes to getting poetry into unexpected places, the sky's the limit for Billy Collins. Last fall the former United States poet laureate and author of eight books of poetry partnered with Delta Air Lines to create an audio program of poetry to be offered periodically to passengers on its entire fleet of airplanes.

Arming Soldiers With Used Books

by
Kevin Larimer
1.1.04

In 1998, Dan Bowers, an engineering consultant in Red Lion, Pennsylvania, was on a mission. His son-in-law, Chief Master Sergeant Frederick Honeywell, was serving at an Air Force base in Kuwait that had no recreational facilities and no library—and indeed, no books. When Honeywell's wife, Chris, told her father about the problem, Bowers sent some of his own books, as well as donations from others, overseas. It was the first deployment of what eventually became Operation Paperback. Six years later, the nonprofit organization has sent nearly 150,000 books to American troops in more than 30 locations, including Afghani-stan, Iraq, Bosnia, and Kosovo. 

Get on the Bus: Bookstore Tourism

by
Jane Van Ingen
1.1.04

Six months ago Larry Portzline, a professor of writing and literature at Harrisburg Community College in Pennsylvania, started a grassroots movement called Bookstore Tourism—a series of bus trips to urban centers where reader-tourists can patronize independent bookstores. At the end of March, a group of readers from the Harrisburg area will travel approximately 200 miles to the 10th annual Virginia Festival of the Book, where they will participate in festival events (readings, book signings, seminars, and so on) and visit the many independent bookstores that are in Charlottesville, Virginia, including New Dominion Bookshop, the Book Cellar, and Blue Whale Books. 

"All Trees Are Oak Trees.…": Introductions to Literature

Writers who hang out in academia to help pay the rent are likely to find that their job description comes to include inviting other writers to visit their campus and then hosting them through their visit, introducing them to their lecture audience, and sitting in on the informal sessions with students that typically complete the visitor's tour of duty. Such visitations are, I believe, a generally worthwhile feature of any college writing program: beneficial to the visitor, obviously, who gets paid or otherwise rewarded and may possibly gain a few additional readers; potentially enlightening for the visitor's audience (even those whose curiosity may be more sociological, anthropological, or even clinical than literary); and at least marginally beneficial for the host as well, as I shall attempt to illustrate.

First-Class Mail: A Poet's Letters

by
Kevin Larimer
11.1.03
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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?

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