Our Literary Agents issue features an in-depth look at the business of books as seen through the eyes of five agents; a profile of poet Ocean Vuong on the publication of his first novel, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous; interviews with the summer’s best debut novelists; a guide to the financial realities of a career in book publishing; Courtney Maum on copy editors; James P. Blaylock on the writer’s library; a Q&A with Alice Quinn; writing prompts; and more.
First Fiction 2019
Our annual debut fiction roundup features novelists Ruchika Tomar, Chia-Chia Lin, Miciah Bay Gault, De’Shawn Charles Winslow, and Regina Porter.
Be Bold: A Profile of Ocean Vuong
Following the acclaim of his debut poetry collection, Ocean Vuong found power in imagination and freedom in embellishment and wrote a stunningly original novel: On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous.
Four Lunches and a Breakfast: What I Learned About the Book Business While Breaking Bread With Five Hungry Agents
An in-depth look at book publishing as seen through the eyes of five literary agents.
News and Trends
Q&A: Alice Quinn Bids Farewell to PSA
Alice Quinn on her eighteen years as the executive director of the Poetry Society of America.
Poetry to the People Tour
In collaboration with Narrative 4, the House of SpeakEasy’s bookmobile will travel from New York City to New Orleans and give books to schools, prisons, and libraries along the way.
New Home for the Backwaters Press
The small press becomes the newest imprint of the University of Nebraska Press.
Page One: Where New and Noteworthy Books Begin
The first lines of a dozen noteworthy books, including The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead and Patsy by Nicole Dennis-Benn.
Prize for Thrillers Sparks Debate
Writers debate the merits of an award for a fictional thriller that does not feature violence toward women.
Rescuing Lethem’s Legends
Novelist Jonathan Lethem handpicks his favorite forgotten books for reissue in a series published by Pushcart Press.
The Anthologist: A Compendium of Uncommon Collections
A roundup of four new anthologies, including Shapes of Native Nonfiction: Collected Essays by Contemporary Writers edited by Elissa Washuta and Theresa Warburton.
Small Press Points: Cooper Dillon Books
The ten-year-old press publishes full-length poetry collections and chapbooks dedicated to the “values that make poetry timeless.”
Literary MagNet: Kendra Allen
The essayist on the journals that published essays from her debut collection, When You Learn the Alphabet.
The Written Image: Make/Shift
Copies of Joe Sacksteder’s story collection, Make/Shift, have been fashioned into a couture dress.
The Practical Writer
Ode to a Copy Editor: A Writer’s Best Friend
While editing her third novel, the author develops a newfound appreciation for copy editors.
How to Get Paid: Book Publishing
The fourth installment in a continuing series about making a living as a writer looks at the benefits and drawbacks of working in the book publishing industry.
The Literary Life
The Time Is Now: Writing Prompts and Exercises
Write a poem that uses illogical language, a short story inspired by a historical figure’s words, or an essay based on a photo—three prompts to get you started.
My Life in Books: A Meditation on the Writer’s Library
The author reflects on his growing collection of books and what it shows about his life as a reader and writer.