July/August 2005

Two years after publishing a brutal, unflinching account of his drug addiction, James Frey is showing signs of becoming a kinder, gentler writer in his second memoir, My Friend Leonard.

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Departures and Returns: A Profile of W.S. Merwin

by Christopher Merrill
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For fifty years, poet W.S. Merwin has traversed imagination's terrain. His spring release, Migration: New and Selected Poems, collects over four hundred poems from fifteen volumes. And there's more to come this fall.  

A Novelist in Spite of Himself: A Profile of George Singleton

by Elizabeth Kiem
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The author of three short story collections, George Singleton has finally achieved what's expected of every fiction writer these days: publication of a novel, entitled—interestingly enough—Novel.

The Art of Persistence: A Profile of Ann Beattie

by Carolyn T. Hughes
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Fiction writer Ann Beattie sets the record straight on her legendary ascension to early fame, and fifteen books later, what keeps her committed to her craft.  

First-Fiction Annual

by Carolyn T. Hughes
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Notable fiction debuts from Daphne Kalotay, Emily Raboteau, Lavanya Sankaran, Scott Wolven, and Tash Aw


The Transformation of James Frey

by Daniel Nester

Two years after publishing a brutal, unflinching account of his drug addiction, James Frey is showing signs of becoming a kinder, gentler writer in his second memoir, My Friend Leonard.

News and Trends

Resuscitating Poetry Recitation

by Kevin Canfield

The National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation recently completed the pilot phase of a new program designed to raise the profile of poetry in high schools.

Amazon Expands Search Function

by Doug Diesenhaus

In case anyone was wondering, the four most frequently used words in T.S. Eliot’s 1943 collection Four Quartets are “time,” “past,” “fire,” and “end.” It is this kind of information that can be found by using one of several new features recently added to Amazon.com’s “Search Inside the Book” function, launched in October 2003. 


The Contester: Who's Doing What to Keep Them Clean

by Kevin Larimer

Unfortunately, these days it is not the quality of the award-winning writing that gets people talking; it is the way in which contests are run and the manner in which winners are chosen—or not chosen, as the case may be—that attract attention.


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 Poetry, the Southern Review, Swivel: The Nexus of Women and Wit, 6x6, Ninth Letter, and Black Clock

Small Press Points

by Kevin Larimer

Small Press Points highlights the happenings of the small press players. This issue features McSweeney’s Books, Believer Books, Tell Tale Press, and Wings Press.

Q&A: C. Michael Curtis's Fiction Issues

by Timothy Schaffert

C. Michael Curtis, a senior editor at the Atlantic Monthly, who is known not only for selecting award-winning short stories but also for his considerate and sensible letters of rejection to the thousands of submissions he’s read over the years, spoke about the magazine’s new approach to publishing fiction.

No Translation Takers

by Joe Woodward

Despite a $10,000 incentive from the Association of American Publishers to United States publishers willing to translate, publish, and promote contemporary Iranian fiction, no commercial houses have come forward since the initiative was announced in late 2004.

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 Evening Ferry by Katherine Towler and Little Beauties by Kim Addonizio.

The Practical Writer

Myths We Live By, But Shouldn't: A Writer's Guide to Reality

by David Galef

Perhaps because many writers and their adherents are poorly paid and often go unrecognized, they cultivate a variety of myths—some about the creative process, others about the profession itself—to justify what they do, to cheer themselves up, to inhabit a mystique.

The Literary Life

Sincerely, James Wright: The Life of a Poet in Letters

by Elizabeth Hoover
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Assembling letters for the new book A Wild Perfection: The Selected Letters of James Wright.

The Whole Trip: Remembering Robert Creeley

by Anselm Berrigan
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A friend and colleague recollects his experiences with Robert Creeley in a tribute to the legendary poet.