September/October 2005

Nancy Crampton has photographed some of the most famous writers in contemporary literature. In this portfolio, she shares some of the stories behind the photographs.


Welcome to Ellis Island: A Profile of Bret Easton Ellis

by Joe Woodward
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In his fifth and latest novel, Lunar Park, Bret Easton Ellis, the best-selling author of American Psycho, introduces a new, not entirely likable character to his readers: himself.  

The Long Stroke of Hope: A Profile of Naomi Shihab Nye

by Renée H. Shea
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With news of war and terrorism dominating the headlines, poet Naomi Shihab Nye stresses the "desperate necessity" of human connection that knows no boundaries. 

Writing Through the Eyes of a Photographer

by Suzanne Pettypiece
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A portfolio of portraits by photographer Nancy Crampton from her book Writers.

Independent Presses

Northwest Passages: Six Indie Publishers Find Their Way

by Kathryn Trueblood
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The Northwest region of the United States is home to a thriving community of writers and a successful independent publishing scene.

Waywiser Press: The Small British Press That Publishes Big American Poets

by Steve Kronen
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Some of America's most respected poets are publishing British editions with London's Waywiser Press.

David R. Godine: Thirty-Five Years of Independent Publishing

by Joshua Bodwell
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David R. Godine knows what it takes to survive as an independent publisher.

News and Trends

The Written Image: Gravity's Rainbow

by Staff
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Artist Zak Smith created a series of 760 illustrationsone for each page of Gravity's Rainbow.


The Contester: One Editor's Take on Clean Competition

by Martin Lammon

Much has been written about some judges rewarding friends and former students, and I worry that a few questionable practices have detracted from the hundreds of contests that bring recognition to so many well-deserving writers. Nevertheless, there are steps that all of us—editors, judges, and writers—can take to help keep contests clean.

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 Verb, the Relay Project, From the Fishouse, Sonora Review, Bridge, Columbia, Failbetter, and Versal. 

Echoes of Allen Ginsberg's "Howl"

by Arlene McKanic

Fifty years later, a number of organizations are planning special events on October 7 to commemorate the anniversary of Ginsberg's legendary reading.

The Status of a Classic

by Daniel Nester

This month the Library of America, the nonprofit publisher founded in 1979 to “preserve our nation’s literary heritage,” will release the first two installments of a planned eight-volume edition of Philip Roth’s collected fiction.

Small Press Points

by Kevin Larimer

Small Press Points highlights the happenings of the small press players. This issue features Borealis Books, Passager Books, and Gorsky Press. 


Q&A: The Real Life of Philip Gourevitch

by Timothy Schaffert

From the Paris Review’s new offices in lower Manhattan, Philip Gourevitch spoke about the past and future of what Time called “the biggest ‘little magazine’ in history.”

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 Water’s Leaves and Other Poems by Geoffrey Nutter and Pieces of Air in the Epic by Brenda Hillman.

The Practical Writer

Paperback Originals: How Format Affects Reviews and Sales

by Quinn Dalton
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Publishers embrace the trade paperback original.

First: Benjamin Kunkel's Indecision

by Amy Rosenberg
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First-time novelist Benjamin Kunkel makes a splash with Indecision.

The Literary Life

Writers at Work: The Merits of Nine-to-Five

by Amy Rosenberg
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Five writers with full-time jobs talk about dividing their time between two worlds.

The Perils of Writing Close to Home: Truth vs. Fiction

by Ginger Strand

At no time on my book tour did I jump up and down, wave my fists, and scream, “It’s a novel! That means fiction!” At least I don’t think I did. It’s hard to be sure, because, in my head, I had that tantrum about three times daily as I traveled from town to town in southern Michigan, reading, signing books, and attending the Ann Arbor Book Festival. You see, my novel, Flight, was set in that region, where I had lived during my high school and college years.