Our Inspiration Issue features a special section on new literary, emotional, and scientific approaches to the imaginative power inside us all; plus our eighth annual look at some of the year's best debut poets, practical advice on organizing a DIY author tour, a simple self-publishing plan, a craft essay on memoir writing by Debra Gwartney, and more.
The Secret Lives of Stories: Rewriting Our Personal Narratives
Contributing editor Frank Bures recalls a meeting with the late poet Paul Gruchow during his formative years, a memory that sparks a personal investigation to better understand the stories we tell ourselves in an unconcious attempt to make sense of our lives.
The Inspired Reader: A Reading List for the New Year
David Shields, author of How Literature Saved My Life (Knopf, 2013), recommends fifty-two must-read books and essays that wrestle with the question of what it means to be alive.
The Secret Lives of Songs: Ben Arthur's "Bone and Heart"
Author and musician Ben Arthur shares the song he wrote based on Frank Bures's essay "The Secret Lives of Stories: Rewriting Our Personal Narratives."
The Heart and the Eye: How Description Can Access Emotion
Contributor J. T. Bushnell applies neurophysics to effective writing, shedding light on how strong description gains access to the emotional area of the brain.
The Aha! Moment: Poet Jane Hirshfield
Poet Jane Hirshfield shares the transformation of her prize-winning poem "In a Kitchen Where Mushrooms Were Washed" from first to final draft.
The Flame and Shine: Our Eighth Annual Look at Debut Poets
Contributing editor Rigoberto González introduces our 2012 debut poets: Zubair Ahmed, John Chávez, Feng Sun Chen, Laura Cronk, Natalie Diaz, Gibson Fay-LeBlanc, Marcus Wicker, Shara Lessley, Adam Vines, Matthew Hittinger, Angela Veronica Wong, and...
The Time Is Now: Writing Prompts for the New Year
To coincide with the publication of our Inspiration Issue in 2011, we began offering The Time Is Now, a weekly series of writing prompts posted online and available via e-mail. With the January/February 2013 issue, we bring The Time Is Now to print. Look for it as an ongoing column.
News and Trends
Page One: Where New and Noteworthy Books Begin
With so many good books being published every month, some literary titles worth exploring can get lost in the stacks. Page One offers the first lines of a dozen recently released books, including Adam Mansbach's Rage Is Back and Yoko Ogawa's Revenge, as the starting point for a closer look at these new and noteworthy titles.
Inspiration Flies High
Flying Object, a nonprofit artists and writers collaborative located in Hadley, Massachusetts, attracts hundreds of writers every month through classes, workshops, readings, exhibitions, and a do-it-yourself letterpress studio.
Google, AAP Settle Copyright Lawsuit
Ending a seven-year legal stand-off, Google and the Association of American Publishers have settled their differences over Google's digitization of copyrighted books and journals.
The Anatomy of Awards
The 844 poets, writers, and translators listed in the Grants & Awards section of the magazine in 2012 won a total of $9,595,066. In this feature we take a closer look at the winners.
Digital Digest: How Much Should an E-Book Cost?
The recently approved settlement in a federal antitrust suit against Hachette, HarperCollins, and Simon & Schuster has become a flash point for debate over the economics of e-books.
Small Press Points
Small Press Points highlights the innovation and can-do spirit of independent presses. This issue features Argos Books, the Brooklyn, New York–based publisher that sees bookmaking as a community endeavor.
The Written Image: Cozy Classics
Jack and Holman Wang’s Cozy Classics introduces great novels to the youngest readers using keywords, handmade figurines, and carefully constructed settings and backdrops.
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 Cave Wall, 6x6, Big Fiction, the Paris Review, and the New England Review.
The Practical Writer
The DIY Author Tour: How to Sell a Book in America
Memoirist Ron Tanner documents the experience of doing a forty-state, sixty-city book tour in a customized camper van with his basset hound, Cleo.
Reality Check: A Simple Self-Publishing Plan
Poet Reagan Upshaw argues for self-publishing as a common sense strategy for connecting with readers.
The Literary Life
When the Action Is Hot: A Memoirist's Guide to Writing Cool
Memoirist Debra Gwartney offers advice about the most powerful and effective way to render traumatic experiences in writing.
Why We Write: A Mother's Masterpiece
One writer shares how writing helped her navigate the loss of her mother and husband within two years of each other.