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Archive November 2012

Thomas Lux blogs about his P&W-funded reading at Marc Straus, an art gallery in New York City. Lux is Bourne Professor of Poetry at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He has two new books out this fall—the poetry collection Child Made of Sand (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) and his nonfiction debut From the Southland (Marick Press).

Mark Yakich's first collection, Unrelated Individuals Forming a Group Waiting to Cross (Penguin, 2004), was a winner of the National Poetry Series. His most recent collection is The Importance of Peeling Potatoes in Ukraine (Penguin, 2008). Yakich teaches at Loyola University and is editor of New Orleans Review. Poets & Writers has supported readings he’s given in both New Orleans and New York State.

Posted by Writing Prompter on 11.15.12

Write an essay about your relationship to food. Consider the following questions: Do you see food as merely sustenance or as emotional comfort? What is your favorite meal and why? Were you a picky eater as a kid? Which foods do you detest and why?

Last night at the National Book Foundation gala in New York City, novelist Louise Erdrich was named the recipient of the 2012 National Book Award in fiction. Erdrich, whose latest novel is The Round House (Harper, 2012), will receive $10,000.

Write a scene for a story in which one character finds an intimate inscription in his or her partner's book. Who is it from? What does it mean? When was it written? And how does the first character find out the answers to these questions?

On November 13, 1797, poets William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge took a walk together in The Quantock Hills in Somerset, England, and came up with the idea of writing what would become Coleridge's famous poem "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner." In honor of this anniversary, find time for a thirty-minute walk today, ideally in a natural setting. Afterward, freewrite for ten minutes, then use those notes to compose a poem.  

Posted by Writing Prompter on 11.08.12

Write an essay about the five things that scare you the most. Structure it with numbered section headings that include each thing, such as 1. Fire, 2. Death, 3. Failure, etc.

Posted by Writing Prompter on 11.08.12

In his essay “Don’t Look Back” (Poets & Writers Magazine, November/December 2012), fiction writer Benjamin Percy argues against including backstory when writing short stories. “It’s almost always unnecessary," Percy writes. "A reader intuits the history of a character by observing that character act in the present.”  Choose a story you’ve written and delete all of the backstory that you’ve included. Then revise it by describing the main character and having that description convey the backstory instead.

Select one of your poems that needs revision and transform it into a physical object, such as an imaginary map, a collage, a drawing, or a shadow box (for inspiration, check out Joseph Cornell’s shadow boxes). 

Due to the recent effects of Hurricane Sandy, Ohio University Press has extended the deadline for the Hollis Summers Poetry Prize to November 15. The annual competition, which awards a $1,000 cash prize and publication by Ohio University Press, is given for a poetry collection.

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