March/April 2008

Our cover story is a profile of Tobias Wolff, whose short stories derive much of their strength from what is left unsaid—but what is said is usually violent and almost always disturbing.


Spring Essence

by Staff
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In celebration of National Poetry Month, we offer a first look inside April releases by Cornelius Eady, Jorie Graham, August Kleinzahler, Mary Oliver, Charles Simic, James Tate, and C. D. Wright.

The Gun On the Table: A Profile of Tobias Wolff

by Joe Woodward

The short stories of Tobias Wolff, collected in four books during the past three decades, derive much of their strength from what is left unsaid—but what is said is usually violent and almost always disturbing.


Conferences and Residencies

Rising in the West

by Kathryn Trueblood
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Contributor Kathryn Trueblood attends three conferences with a strong sense of community: Spokane, Washington's Get Lit!, Montana Festival of the Book in Missoula, and Portland, Oregon's Wordstock.

The Frost Place Celebrates Anniversaries

by Staff
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The Frost Place, a museum and nonprofit center for poetry and the arts based at Robert Frost’s old homestead in Franconia, New Hampshire, holds its thirtieth annual Festival and Conference of Poetry.

The Mary Anderson Center

by Marilyn Kallet
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Contributor Marilyn Kallet visits the Mary Anderson Center for the Arts located in southern Indiana  on the grounds of Mount Saint Francis.

Our Own Private Conference

by Joyce Finn
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An online writers group organizes and holds thier first bricks-and-mortar retreat.

Literary Nonprofits Establish Retreats

by Staff
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Lambda Literary Foundation and Kundiman, two nonprofits dedicated to advancing the literature of specific minority groups, establish their retreats in 2008.

News and Trends


The Grim Reader

by Kevin Nance

The National Endowment for the Arts releases To Read or Not to Read—a follow-up to the nonprofit's 2004 report, Reading at Risk—which further expounds on America's declining reading habits.


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 New Collected Poems by Eavan Boland and The Well and the Mine by Gin Phillips. 

I Google Myself, Therefore I Am

by Frank Bures

A new study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project examines American's Googling habits and inspires contributor Frank Bures's self-reflection on his own obsession with the search engine.


Small Press Points

by Kevin Larimer

Small Press Points highlights the happenings of the small press players. This issue features New Directions, Milkweed Editions, Pushcart Press, City Lights Booksellers and Publishers, A Midsummer Night’s Press, and Akashic Books.

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 Pindeldyboz, Narrative, and Bellevue Literary Review.

The Written Image: Jellyfish

by Staff

A look at Jellyfish, winner of best debut feature at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival and written and directed by Etgar Keret, an Israeli fiction writer, whose most recent collection of stories, The Girl on the Fridge, will be published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

The Practical Writer

First: Alan Drew's Gardens of Water

by Adelle Waldman
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First-time author Alan Drew talks about how teaching in Istanbul led to studying at the Iowa Writers' Workshop, where he met his agent and began writing his first novel.  

The Literary Life

Bride in Beige: A Poet's Approach to Memoir

by Mark Doty
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Mark Doty, award-winning nonfiction writer and author of four memiors, chronicles the experience of writing his book Firebird from a poet's perspective.

The Rilke Trail: Traversing the Poet's Lonely Ground

by Paul Graham
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In search of the German poet Rainer Maria Rilke's inspiratiton and motivation, writer Paul Graham visits Duino Castle, where the luminary wrote the first two poems of the Duino Elegies.  

The Importance of Place: Where Writers Write and Why

by Alexandra Enders

Why do some writers prefer company and background noise, while others need isolation? Why do some need the magical monotony of sameness, and others the inspiration of variety? What does it mean for a writer to be locked into a place? What does place even mean to a writer?