March/April 2005

A far-flung city, a mountain getaway, a Caribbean resort—where's your next literary adventure going to take place?


Welcome to Hollywood! A Profile of Bruce Wagner

by Sigrid Nunez
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Bruce Wagner's fifth and latest novel, The Chrysanthemum Palace, is a satire of the American success story, revealing the darkness behind the bright lights of Tinseltown.  

Refusing Heaven: A Profile of Jack Gilbert

by John Freeman
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Despite his avoidance of all things career-related, the elusive poet Jack Gilbert's fourth collection, Refusing Heaven, will be published by Knopf this month.  

Conferences and Residencies

Calabash International Literary Festival: Rediscovering the Writerly Spirit in Jamaica

by Kaylie Jones
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An international literary festival comes to the idyllic southwest coast of Jamaica.

Blue Mountain Center: Activists and Artists in the Adirondacks

by Susan Varon
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Writers retreat to Adirondack State Park in New York.

Krakow Poetry Seminar: Bridging Polish and American Verse

by Harry Kelly
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The brainchild of Adam Zagajewski, the Krakow Poetry Seminar is held biennially in Poland's cultural capital.

Vermont College Postgraduate Writers' Conference: Writers at Work

by Carolyne Wright
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A profile of a writers conference designed for advanced study.

Grub Street's Conference: The Muse Visits Boston in May

by Erika Dreifus
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"The Muse and the Marketplace" is a daylong conference focused on both craft and the business of writing.

News and Trends


The Contester: Is There More to Contests Than Cash?

by Kevin Larimer

The standard recompense for winning a literary contest is typically one of the following: money, publication in a literary magazine or a book, and a certain amount of recognition, but some rather unusual awards are handed out each year that don’t fall within the usual “money plus publication” category.


Q&A: Kooser's American Life in Poetry

by Kevin Larimer

Ted Kooser, appointed the 13th poet laureate of the United States last August, launches American Life in Poetry, a weekly newspaper column featuring a poem and a brief introduction, which is distributed free to any paper wishing to publish it.

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 Diner, the Massachusetts Review, Night Train, the Women’s Review of Books, DoubleTake, the Oxford American, and Cranky Literary Journal.

The Tale of the 10 Cruelest Months

by Daniel Nester

The Academy gears up to celebrate the 10th annual National Poetry Month in April—an event seen, depending on one’s perspective, as either a marketing bonanza or a wonderful excuse to bring poems into the public sphere.

Small Press Points

by Kevin Larimer

Small Press Points highlights the happenings of the small press players. This issue features Copper Canyon Press, Shambhala Publications, Other Press, Suspect Thoughts Press, and Vernacular Press

Don Quixote at 400

by Joe Woodward

I am in the middle of Don Quixote—where many writers are and, according to Cervantes scholars, where every writer should be. I’m reading it because this year marks the 400th anniversary of its publication. I would like to say that I’ve finished it, but I cannot. The Quixote, as it is affectionately referred to by die-hard fans, is not something you finish. It’s something you rattle around in.

The Written Image: Walt Whitman

by Staff

To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the publication of Leaves of Grass, the Washington Friends of Walt Whitman is cosponsoring a citywide festival from March 26 (the day of Whitman’s death) to May 31 (his birthday). 

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 Pinkerton’s Sister by Peter Rushforth and Cooling Time: An American Poetry Vigil by C.D. Wright.

The Practical Writer

First: The Discovery of Sightseeing

by Amy Rosenberg
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A profile of Rattawut Lapcharoensap about the publication of his debut short story collection.

Workshop: The Lowdown on Low-Residency Programs

by Erika Dreifus

Twenty years after the first low-residency program was established at Goddard College in Vermont there are more than twenty such programs in the United States, but despite their similarities, it's becoming harder and harder to sift through the options that the low-residency model offers.

The Literary Life

Imperative: An Argument for Writers' Taking Charge

by Johnny Temple
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Akashic publisher Johnny Temple argues the merits of small press publishers.

The Art of Reading Kenneth Koch: Sending Out Thunder

by Amy Rosenberg
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A look at the life and work of poet Kenneth Koch.