March/April 2002

Nora Okja Keller is a politically committed writer whose new novel, Fox Girl, tells the story of two young women working as prostitutes in a GI recreation camp during the Korean War and their struggle to rise above degradation.

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Novel History Lessons: A Profile of Nora Okja Keller

by Logan Hill
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An interview with the Hawaiian novelist Nora Okja Keller.

Poems Are Never Finished: A Final Interview With Agha Shahid Ali

by Eric Gamalinda
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A tribute to Indian poet Agha Shahid Ali.

The Trouble He's Seen: A Profile of John Dufresne

by Eve Richardson

So how did John Dufresne—the eldest of four children of French-Canadian parents, a boy who grew up in the Catholic, blue-collar Grafton Hill neighborhood of Worcester, Massachusetts, a boy for whom it was beyond imagining that a man might find his vocation in words—become a noted short story writer, a sought-after teacher of creative writing, and the author of three acclaimed novels, two of which are set well below the Mason-Dixon line? In part, the answer is a keen ear for the music of language and an eye for the telling detail.

Conferences and Residencies

Slovenia: Days of Wine and Poems

by Matthew Rohrer
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Days of Poetry and Wine for poets in Medana.

Ireland: Victorian Charm on the Emerald Isle

by Amanda Davis
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The Tyrone Guthrie Centre in rural Ireland houses writers, artists, filmmakers, and musicians.

Costa Rica: Buddha in the Mango Grove

by A.E. Peterson
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Hidden in Costa Rica's Central Valley is the Julia and David White Artists' Colony.

Montana: Refugees on the Continental Divide

by Melissa Kwasny
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Rural and isolated Montana Artist Refuge is popular for its inspirational vistas.

Minnesota: Cultural Exchange at Front and Main

by Joanna Smith Rakoff
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John Davis transforms abandoned farm in New York Mills to studio spaces for artists and writers.

News and Trends

The Anatomy of Awards

by Kevin Larimer
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Over the past 30 years, creative writing contests have proliferated.

E-book Publishers Get Mixed Signals

by Dalia Sofer

Now that the explosive growth of the dot-com industry has abated, many are wondering if the same fate awaits electronic publishing. At the annual Frankfurt Book Fair in Germany, where a sober crowd gathered in October 2001, just weeks after the attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C., the Pollyannaish predictions of recent years about e-books were replaced by a more uncertain tone.


Celebrating Steinbeck's Centennial

by Eleanor Henderson

Thirty-six years after his death, John Steinbeck—the Nobel Prize–winning author of American classics like The Grapes of Wrath and East of Eden—is the focus of the largest-ever centenary celebration for a single author. Born in Salinas, California, on February 27, 1902, Steinbeck is being remembered with a yearlong program of over 175 events in 39 states.

The Practical Writer

How to Get a Grant: Cracking the Code

by Scott Bane
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Tips on how to secure a grant or fellowship.

First: The Brutal Lyricism of Viken Berberian

by Joanna Smith Rakoff
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Profile of Viken Berberian, author of The Cyclist.

The Literary Life

Why We Reread: Once Is Rarely Enough

by Laura Green
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Reasons we reread.

The Art of Reading Barbara Comyns: Gather Your Hats While You May

by Maud Casey
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Author Maud Casey reflects on her admiration for novelist Barbara Comyns.