Article Archive

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

Kirkus Reviewed

by
Kevin Canfield
1.1.05

The biweekly magazine Kirkus Reviews publishes pre-publication book reviews, offering professional opinions of approximately 5,000 titles per year. But the tables have turned on the 72-year-old publication as writers and publishers offer their own appraisals of its recent decision to charge money for some book reviews. 

Workshop: A Revolution of Sensibility

by
Jane Ciabattari
1.1.05

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.

 

Literary MagNet

by
Kevin Larimer
1.1.05

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 Softblow, the Quarterly Literary Review Singapore, Poetry Billboard, the 2nd Rule, No Tell Motel, Boulevard, American Letters & Commentary, FIELD, Boston Review, Pleiades, Witness, and Gulf Stream

All's Fair in Poems About Love and War

by
Kevin Larimer
1.1.05

Despite the fluctuating aesthetics and ideologies espoused by critics, professors, and practitioners of poetry, there remain two general subjects that consistently offer poets inspiration: love and war; but with walentine’s Day just around the corner, three new anthologies of love poems are offering readers a respite from verse about violence.

An Interview With Fiction Writer JT Leroy

by
Litsa Dremousis
12.15.04

Eleven years ago, JT LeRoy was a teenager living on the streets of the San Francisco Bay Area, turning tricks and suffering from dissociative episodes. Today, he is a critically acclaimed author whose first two books, the novel Sarah (Bloomsbury, 2000) and the collection of short stories The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things (Bloomsbury, 2001), have been translated into more than a dozen languages—most recently, Turkish. His novella, Harold’s End, illustrated by renowned painter Cherry Hood, with an introduction by Dave Eggers, was recently published by Last Gasp, an independent press in San Francisco.

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An Interview With Editor Lewis Turco

by
Daniel Nester
12.15.04

In the world of hip-hop, Lewis Turco would be considered an “Original Gangsta,” an “O.G.”—a title given to someone who started it all. In the more genteel business of poetry writing, however, Turco would be called an “Institution,” and what he started was nothing less than a renewed appreciation of poetic forms. Since its first edition in 1968, his reference book The Book of Forms has become a standard text for poets of all stripes. A cross between The Joy of Cooking and According to Hoyle for poets, Turco’s text remains a rarity: a reference book with personality. Turco’s lucid, empathetic entries on every form under the sun continue to serve many poets writing their first pantoums or settling drunken bets on the rhyme scheme of the rimas dissolutas (abcdef abcdef ghijlk ghijlk ..., if written in sestets).

Grassroots Effort Saves Poetry Reviews

by
Kevin Larimer
11.1.04

The industry trade magazine Publishers Weekly this summer decided to stop publishing its monthly Poetry Forecast section, an editorial move that would have had deleterious effects on independent publishers. In response to complaints from many publishers, editors, and poets, the decision was reversed a few weeks later, before any changes were made to the magazine.

A Contest Clinker

by
Kevin Larimer
11.1.04

When New Rivers Press announced that Ron Rindo of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, was a winner of the 2003 MVP Competition this past summer, some of the approximately six hundred entrants were perplexed. The guidelines stated that the contest, which awards three $1,000 prizes and the publication of three book-length manuscripts, was open to emerging poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers. Rindo, who won for his short story collection Love in an Expanding Universe, had previously published two books, both with New Rivers Press.

The Contester: Poetry.com Struggles for Legitimacy

by
Margo Stever
11.1.04

No entry fee? Little chance of rejection? Any poet worth her iamb has reason to be suspicious. And, indeed, the International Library of Poetry and its affiliates—the International Society of Poets, Watermark Press, poetry.com, and so on appears on several Internet-based contest-scam watch lists. Still ILP education director Len Roberts argues that the organization has its purpose and is taking steps to redeem its reputation.

Literary MagNet

by
Kevin Larimer
11.1.04

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 Pindeldyboz, Grand Street, Verse, the Paris Review, Lilies & Cannonballs Review, and No: A Journal of the Arts.

Book Tours: Can Readings Be Fun?

by
Kevin Canfield
11.1.04

Cindy Dach, the events and marketing manager of Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe, Arizona, recently launched First Fiction Tour, a program that she hopes will heighten the public image of the first-time author. But it’s not what you might expect: She isn’t packing customers into the bookstore, she’s inviting them to the bar.

An Interview With Creative Nonfiction Writer Augusten Burroughs

by
Litsa Dremousis
10.5.04

"I believe I control the world with my mind," Augusten Burroughs writes in the title essay of his new collection, Magical Thinking: True Stories. And who’s to say he doesn’t? Having survived a tumultuous childhood and an early career as an advertising copywriter while struggling with alcoholism, Burroughs—now a bestselling author—has indeed controlled his world. Magical Thinking is his fourth book in as many years, taking its place alongside Sellevision, his satirical novel about cable television’s home shopping networks, and his memoirs, Running With Scissors and Dry.

The Contester: WordTech Cancels Poetry Contests

by
Eleanor Henderson
9.1.04

For nearly two years, WordTech Communications was one of the growing number of small presses using the contest model in which entry fees fund prize monies as well as the publication and promotion of winning books. Some would even say the Cincinnati-based press was gung ho about it, holding a different poetry contest every month. But in June, WordTech announced it was discontinuing its contest program and replacing it with an open-submissions policy, stating that there was more money to be made without contests.

Learning to Read a Doctor's Books

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Vladimir Nabokov once wrote, “Does there not exist a high ridge where the mountainside of ‘scientific’ information joins the opposite slope of ‘artistic’ imagination?” This was, of course, a rhetorical question, but Nabokov’s own life proved that this connection indeed exists. A dedicated lepidopterist (one who studies moths and butterflies), Nabokov not only held a post at the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University, he also wrote Lolita, a classic of 20th-century literature. I was recently reminded of Nabokov’s butterflies in, of all places, a dead man’s apartment in Boston.

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