November/December 2004

After a 10-year hiatus from publishing, Norman Dubie has returned with an award-winning volume of collected and new poetry, a 400-page sci-fi poem, and his latest, Ordinary Mornings of a Coliseum.


The Story Collector: A Profile of Anthony Doerr

by Carolyn T. Hughes
Print Only

Anthony Doerr left the gentle borders of his midwestern childhood and traveled from Kenya to New Zealand, detailing in his journal observations that became grist for his prize-winning fiction. "I absolutely love my job," he says.  

The World As Her Own: A Profile of Jean Valentine

by Celia Bland
Print Only

Imagine winning genuine literary recognition and then, years later, having to start in the slush pile to prevail all over again. Better yet, ask poet Jean Valentine, who, at age 70, knows it can be done.  

Return From Silence: An Interview With Norman Dubie

by Mary Gannon

After a 10-year hiatus from publishing, Norman Dubie has returned with an award-winning volume of collected and new poetry, a 400-page sci-fi poem, and his latest, Ordinary Mornings of a Coliseum.

MFA Programs

How to Choose a Writing Program

by Sandra Hurtes
Print Only

A guide for selecting which program is right for you.

Confessions of an MFA Application Reader

by Steve Almond

After reading fiction applications for an MFA Program, author Steve Almond, along with other experts on the subject, has some pointed advice for applicants.

News and Trends

Corgan's New Gig

by Christopher Arthur

Last month Faber and Faber published Blinking With Fists, the first book of poems by Billy Corgan, the singer and songwriter for the defunct rock band Smashing Pumpkins. 

Book Tours: Can Readings Be Fun?

by Kevin Canfield

Cindy Dach, the events and marketing manager of Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe, Arizona, recently launched First Fiction Tour, a program that she hopes will heighten the public image of the first-time author. But it’s not what you might expect: She isn’t packing customers into the bookstore, she’s inviting them to the bar.

Grassroots Effort Saves Poetry Reviews

by Kevin Larimer

The industry trade magazine Publishers Weekly this summer decided to stop publishing its monthly Poetry Forecast section, an editorial move that would have had deleterious effects on independent publishers. In response to complaints from many publishers, editors, and poets, the decision was reversed a few weeks later, before any changes were made to the magazine.

A Contest Clinker

by Kevin Larimer

When New Rivers Press announced that Ron Rindo of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, was a winner of the 2003 MVP Competition this past summer, some of the approximately six hundred entrants were perplexed. The guidelines stated that the contest, which awards three $1,000 prizes and the publication of three book-length manuscripts, was open to emerging poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers. Rindo, who won for his short story collection Love in an Expanding Universe, had previously published two books, both with New Rivers Press.

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, Grand Street, Verse, the Paris Review, Lilies & Cannonballs Review, and No: A Journal of the Arts.

Small Press Points

by Kevin Larimer

Small Press Points highlights the happenings of the small press players. This issue features Fish Publishing, Zygote Publishing, and Perugia Press.

The Contester: Struggles for Legitimacy

by Margo Stever

No entry fee? Little chance of rejection? Any poet worth her iamb has reason to be suspicious. And, indeed, the International Library of Poetry and its affiliates—the International Society of Poets, Watermark Press,, and so on appears on several Internet-based contest-scam watch lists. Still ILP education director Len Roberts argues that the organization has its purpose and is taking steps to redeem its reputation.

The Anatomy of Awards Annual

by Staff
Print Only

The progress of writing awards by charted by numbers.

The Practical Writer

Printed or Published? How to Tell If Your Book's Going to Sell

by M. J. Rose
Print Only

An inside look at publishing and publicity.

First: Merrill Feitell's Crisis of Confidence

by Amy Rosenberg
Print Only

A look at debut fiction writer Feitell's route to publication.

The Literary Life

Finding Words For War: One Writer's Journey to Redemption

by Agate Nesaule
Print Only

The author's path to writing a memoir about her life during the World Wars.

Poets on Place: Beth Ann Fennelly in Oxford, Mississippi

by W.T. Pfefferle
Print Only

Fennelly discusses the southern landscape and its effect on her poetry.