March/April 2015

Our Writers Retreats Issue features stories of life-changing conferences and residencies; profiles of Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Tracy K. Smith and novelist T. Geronimo Johnson; an in-depth interview with literary agent Jennifer Joel; the art of reading Norwegian novelist Per Petterson; the big business of film adaptations; Bread Loaf's new conference for translators; advice for poets on reading tours; and much more.


Agents & Editors: Jennifer Joel

by Michael Szczerban

Jennifer Joel, whose clients include Chris Cleave, Joe McGinniss Jr., Evan Osnos, and Shonda Rhimes, talks about the difference between selling fiction and nonfiction, what inspires her to go the extra mile for her authors, and what writers should really want out of publishing.

A Profile of T. Geronimo Johnson

by Kevin Nance
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For T. Geronimo Johnson, whose second book, Welcome to Braggsville, was published in February, writing is a way to push himself, and his readers, into uncomfortable territory—to start a conversation, a communion, that could open up our hearts.

Special Section

Wonder Woman: What My First Artists Retreat Taught Me About Writing, Murder, and Myself

by Nancy Méndez-Booth
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On her way to the Vermont Studio Center and in a moment of panic, a writer tells a lie that leads her to realize an important truth about herself—and exactly what it takes to finish her novel.

Submission Blitz: Finding Courage at a Writers Conference

by Melissa Chadburn
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In response to the pervasive gender disparity in publishing, the Los Angeles–based group Women Who Submit encourages women writers to gather together and submit their work to magazines, and to celebrate the often intimidating process of sending work...

Be Bold, Be Free, Be Truthful

by Maria Massei Rosato
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At the Sewall House retreat in Island Falls, Maine, the practice of yoga opens up new possibilities in the craft of writing.

News and Trends

Small Press Points: Fig Tree Books

by Staff

Small Press Points highlights the innovation and can-do spirit of independent presses. This issue features the Bedford, New York­–based Fig Tree Books, which seeks to support the voices of American Jewish authors, publishing both new titles and rereleases of out-of-print works.

Literary MagNet

by Travis Kurowski

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 Zoetrope: All-Story, Tweed’s Magazine of Literature & Art, the Normal School, Caketrain, and Irish Pages.

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 Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Buried Giant and Reif Larsen’s I Am Radar, as the starting point for a closer look at these new and noteworthy titles.


The Written Image: Jennifer Collier

by Staff

UK artist Jennifer Collier uses repurposed books and papers to sculpt an array of art objects inspired by the very materials used to create them—from stilettos made from the pages of Little Women to gloves fashioned from the illustrated text of Alice in Wonderland—each finished project a reflection of the written words from which it’s made.


The Practical Writer

Reviewers & Critics: Roxane Gay

by Michael Taeckens

The second installment of Reviewers & Critics features longtime book critic and culture essayist Roxane Gay, a true powerhouse in literary circles.

Going Hollywood: The Business of Film Adaptations

by Michael Bourne
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Though the process can seem arduous due to financing scrambles, creative compromises, production delays, and any number of countless obstacles, the successful adaptation of a literary novel into a film can be one of the most rewarding experiences in...

Writing the Road: Advice for Touring Poets

by Travis Mossotti
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Scraping together funds and piling into vans, poets like Nick Demske, Kate Greenstreet, Ada Limón, Zachary Schomburg, and Joshua Marie Wilkinson take to the road for a different kind of book tour—one that puts human connection above book sales.

The Literary Life

The Art of Reading Per Petterson: Finding Appalachia in a Norwegian Novel

by Deborah Reed
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Even in translation, Norwegian author Per Petterson’s prose is intensely rhythmic and lyrical, evoking something akin to the oral tradition of Appalachian storytelling.

Where We Write: Iowa

by Kodi Scheer
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Iowa isn’t just the Writers’ Workshop. A native Iowan talks about how she learned to capture the true nature of her home state, and the stoic people who live there, in her writing.