January/February 2005

John Haskell, the witty, mind-bending author of I Am Not Jackson Pollack, a collection of fictional essays. . . or are they short stories?. . . has brought his innovation to the realm of the novel, with his just-published American Purgatorio.


American Road Trip: A Profile of John Haskell

by Mary Gannon
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The fiction writer discusses his latest novel, American Purgatorio.

Catching Up With Richard Wilbur

by Henry Stimpson
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The only living poet with two Pulitzer Prizes, Richard Wilbur is considered by many to be a master of meter, rhyme, and stanza. Still writing and publishing at age 83, Wilbur says he keeps at it because "poems keep insisting on being written."

What Brought You Here Will Take You Hence

by Clayton Eshleman
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Cid Corman, poet and translator, edited his journal origin at a coffee shop in Kyoto. One day a young American poet arrived wanting to learn what he could. Corman's initial response fell somewhere between welcoming the apprentice and putting...

News and Trends

The Confessions of a Sestinas Editor

by Daniel Nester

How did I become a sestinas editor? It all began with a rejection letter. “Thanks for sending,” it read, “but we’re looking for more traditional, iambic pentameter sestinas."

Kirkus Reviewed

by Kevin Canfield

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. 

Google Ogles Print

by Kevin Canfield

The widely used online search engine Google recently launched a new feature that allows Web users to search within pages of published books. 

All's Fair in Poems About Love and War

by Kevin Larimer

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.

The Contester: The Long and Short of Story Awards

by Kevin Larimer

Despite the numerous prestigious awards given to published short story authors, recent news of short fiction contest administrators and judges failing to choose a winner have left emerging writers wondering, "What about me?"

Literary MagNet

by Kevin Larimer

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

Small Press Points

by Kevin Larimer

Small Press Points highlights the happenings of the small press players. This issue features Calyx Books, Graywolf Press, and nthposition press.  

Page One: Where New and Noteworthy Books Begin

by Staff

Page One features a sample of titles we think you'll want to explore. With this installment, we offer excerpts from Home Land by Sam Lipsyte and The Celestial Jukebox by Cynthia Shearer.

The Practical Writer

Beyond the Patriot Act: Does the War on Terror Affect Your Work?

by Kay Murray
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Has the war on terror restricted the freedoms of writers, researchers, and publishers?

Workshop: A Revolution of Sensibility

by Jane Ciabattari

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.


The Literary Life

Rediscovering John Gardner: A Moral Writer in Search of His Legacy

by David M. Stanton
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An essay on Gardner's rise and fall from literary fame.

Imperative: Chick Lit and the Perversion of a Genre

by Cris Mazza
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Mazza recounts the origin of the term and the evolution of the genre.

Poets on Place: Alan Shapiro in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

by W. T. Pfefferle
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The poet discusses how writing is the place where he feels most at home.