May/June 2003

Nobel laureate Nadine Gordimer turns eighty this year, when she will also celebrate the publication of her twenty-seventh book. Gordimer believes "a writer is selected by his subject—his subject being the consciousness of his era."


Living Large: A Conversation with Nadine Gordimer

by Kate Bolick
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A profile of the South African writer on the occasion of her latest book, Loot.

On Reviews: A Three-Part Series

Authors on Reviews

by Lise Funderburg
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Writers review their reviewers.

News and Trends

Remembering Amanda Davis

by Heidi Julavits

Amanda Davis, author of the short story collection Circling the Drain and cornerstone presence to many in and beyond the literary world, died in a plane crash on March 15, 2003, while on tour promoting her first novel, Wonder When You'll Miss Me.


Tasini Quits NWU for Global Coalition

by Joy Jacobson

Last month Jonathan Tasini, who is recognizable to most writers due to his association with the high-profile lawsuit against the New York Times, resigned as president of the National Writers Union, an advocacy group for freelance writers and is now heading the Creators Federation, an international coalition of writers and artists working in all media and the organizations that represent them.

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 Maize, Our Time Is Now, UR-VOX, Smartish Pace, and the Beloit Poetry Journal.

Celebrating Niedecker's Centennial

by Robyn Schiff

This year marks the centennial of Niedecker's birth. To celebrate, libraries and bookstores in her home state are planning a series of events that will draw poets, scholars, and readers to the places that inspired and influenced her poetry.


UN Establishes Literacy Decade

by Dalia Sofer

The UN has declared the next ten years the UN Literacy Decade. During this period the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization will initiate its "International Plan of Action," designed to mobilize national governments, public and private organizations, universities, and local communities to create literacy programs, research who will most benefit from such programs, and find ways to monitor their success so that they can be improved upon and replicated elsewhere.



The Practical Writer

Term Limits: The Creative Nonfiction Debate

by Carolyn T. Hughes
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Writers weigh in on what defines creative nonfiction.

How Lucky Can You Get?: What Can Happen After You Sign a Contract

by M.J. Rose

Should an author simply count herself lucky to have landed a book deal, or should she fight for what she wants during the various stages of publishing it—the editing process, cover design, and promotion? Before deciding, it's important to understand what obstacles might stand in the way before encountering them and what to expect from all the effort.


The Literary Life

A Means of Transport: George Hitchcock and kayak

by Philip Levine
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A retrospective look at a literary magazine kayak and editor George Hitchcock.

Imperative: An Anti Anti-MFA Manifesto

by Eric McHenry
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The author defends graduate programs in creative writing.

Congratulations Valetudinarian!: And Other Vexing Vocabulary Words

by David Carkeet
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The proliferation of irrelatives in the English language.