March/April 2010

March/April 2010 cover

A conversation between Danzy Senna and Porochista Khakpour on race and other flammable topics; plus our annual special section on conferences, residencies, and festivals; and, as part of our continuing Inside Indie Bookstores series, Jeremiah Chamberlin travels to Portland, Oregon, to visit Powell’s Books.


Race and Other Flammable Topics: A Conversation Between Danzy Senna and Porochista Khakpour

by Porochista Khakpour
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Friends and fellow authors Porochista Khakpour and Danzy Senna discuss race, ethnicity, difficult fathers, and fiction versus nonfiction.

This Thing of Darkness: A Profile of Alex Lemon

by Kevin Nance
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In a memoir and three books of poetry, including his latest, Fancy Beasts, Alex Lemon shines a light into the dark corners of physical and emotional pain to find something rather surprising: joy.  

Failure's Fortune: A Profile of Sam Lipsyte

by Frank Bures
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In his third novel, The Ask, Sam Lipsyte elevates the status of the loser by reminding us to learn from and celebrate our shortcomings.

Conferences and Residencies

The Sozopol Fiction Seminar: Sozopol, Bulgaria

by Jeremiah Chamberlin
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Bulgarian- and English-speaking writers gather with Elizabeth Kostova and other international authors on Bulgaria's coast for six days of workshops and events.

The VONA Voices Workshop: San Francisco

by Jennifer De Leon
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The Voices of Our Nation Arts Foundation holds an annual workshop series for writers of color.  

Conference on Southern Literature: Chattanooga

by Stephanie Hunt
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Writers nationwide find fellowship among Southern authors and readers at a three-day conference.

Feria Internacional del Libro de Guadalajara: Jalisco, Mexico

by Michael Jaime-Becerra
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Authors, editors, publishers, and booksellers from all over the world attend Guadalajara's international book festival, the premier event for Latin American publishing.

Red Cinder Creativity Center: Hawaii's Big Island

by Marilyn Kallet
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Writers and artists can find solace at a Hawaiian retreat center that's as affordable as it is remote.

The Espy Foundation: Oysterville, Washington

by Marc Nieson
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An idyllic village on the Washington coast is home to a retreat for emerging and established writers three months out of the year.

Colrain Poetry Manuscript Conference: Colrain, Massachusetts

by Jean Hartig
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Poets with book manuscripts can gain feedback from editors and publishers during one of several four-day workshops offered each year.

Fifty-Five Free Fairs and Festivals

by Staff
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A state-by-state guide to book fairs across the United States.

News and Trends

Poets for Peace

New Poets for Peace

by Shell Fischer

Beginning this year New Poets for Peace, the New York City branch of Poets for Peace—a grassroots group that for the past decade has held free, donation-optional readings across the country to raise funds for international relief organizations—plans to host an event every six weeks in Manhattan, including a special reading and silent auction on March 21 in observance of the seventh anniversary of the U.S. military's invasion of Iraq.

Writers Colony Rises From the Ashes

by Kevin Canfield

When wildfire tore through Dorland Mountain Arts Colony in the spring of 2004, nearly everything, aside from some tall oak trees, was destroyed. Now, after almost six years of fund-raising, brainstorming, architectural planning, and construction, Dorland is once again welcoming writers.

Page One: Where New and Noteworthy Books Begin

by Staff

With so many good books being published every month, some literary titles worth exploring can get lost in the stacks. Page One offers the first lines of a dozen recently released books, including Dan Chiasson's Where's the Moon, There's the Moon and Monika Fagerholm's The American Girl, as the starting point for a closer look at these new and noteworthy titles.

3 for Free

by Staff

In this new feature, we offer a few suggestions for podcasts, smartphone apps, Web tools, newsletters, museum shows, and gallery openings: a medley of literary curiosities that you might enjoy. And if you don't? Quit complaining, they're free.

Literary MagNet

by Staff

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 Creative Nonfiction, Spinning Jenny, the Beloit Poetry Journal, Natural Bridge, Free Lunch, Abe's Penny, Flurry, and Shape of a Box.


The Written Image: Fallen Books

by Staff

A look at one of the images from Fallen Books—a collection of photographs from earthquake-rattled libraries, published by the Paris-based independent Onestar Press in 2008—which will be on display at the BRIC Rotunda Gallery in Brooklyn, New York, from March 25 to May 1.


Q&A: Nelson to Descend Soul Mountain

by Kaveh Bassiri

After six years of running Soul Mountain Retreat at her own home in East Haddam, Connecticut, founder and executive director Marilyn Nelson speaks about her experience as she enters her final year at the helm of the unique retreat.

The Practical Writer

Sophomore Slump: The Perils of Publishing a Second Book

by Jack Riggs
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Novelist Jack Riggs reveals the unexpected challenges of publishing (and writing) the follow-up to a successful debut. 

Bullseye: How to Submit to Poet Lore

by Staff
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A guide to submitting to Poet Lore, the oldest continuously published poetry journal in the United States.

The Literary Life

Why We Write: The Journal Keeper

by Phyllis Theroux
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Before author Phyllis Theroux wrote for publication, she was compelled to keep journals as a means to navigate major changes in her life.

The Art of Reading John Donne: Sick Genius of Remorse

by William Giraldi
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To help him process the death of his father, a writer turns to the poetry of John Donne.