September/October 2009

Poet Anselm Berrigan on balancing the work that pays the bills with the work that fills the page; Lorrie Moore on her long-awaited follow-up to Birds of America; plus our annual look at independent presses, which showcases nine notable indies accepting submissions.

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Return Trip: A Profile of Lorrie Moore

by Katherine Hill
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The long-awaited follow-up to her best-selling book, Birds of America, Lorrie Moore's new novel is an ambitious record of American life in the new century.

Independent Presses

Taking It to the Streets: My Year in Guerrilla Publishing

by Mike Heppner
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The author of two novels released by Knopf embarks on an experimental publishing project.

Chapbook Renaissance: The Little Book in the Age of Digital and DIY

by Kimiko Hahn
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Writers can build community, promote fellow writers, and broaden literary audience through chapbook publishing.

Chapbook Publishers Looking for Work

by Staff
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A listing of presses that accept submissions of chapbook manuscripts.

DIY: How to Stab-Stitch Bind a Chapbook

by Staff
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Instructions for sewing a book binding.  

DIY: How to Tape-Bind a Chapbook

by Staff
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Instructions on assembling a perfect-bound chapbook.

Nine Notable Indies Accepting Submissions

by Staff
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How to submit to independent presses including Manic D Press, Graywolf Press, and Dzanc Books.

News and Trends


The Invisible Library

by Alex Dimitrov

The Invisible Library, the blog that invites readers to submit the titles of unwritten books they’ve discovered in their own reading, served as the primary inspiration behind the Invisible Library exhibition, which ran from June 12 to July 12 at the Tenderpixel Gallery in London.


The Book as Renewable Resource

by Adrian Versteegh

BookCrossing, the online community whose members tag, release, and then track books in 160 countries, recently joined Better World Books, a socially conscious Indiana-based retailer, in a partnership that highlights the literary, social, and environmental missions of both sites.

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 Victor LaValle's Big Machine and Dan Chaon's Await Your Reply, as the starting point for a closer look at these new and noteworthy titles.

World’s Largest Thesaurus Published

by Adrian Versteegh

This month Oxford University Press is publishing the world's most comprehensive thesaurus. The two-volume, 4,448-page Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary is not only twice the size of Roget's version, the current standard, but it also lays claim to being the first historical thesaurus compiled for any language.

A New Genre in Chinese Fiction

by Stephen Morison Jr.

A new genre of fiction known as the Officialdom novel has become increasingly popular in China. Fans claim that the novels offer rich entertainment while providing valuable insights into the byzantine system of manners and etiquette that is the key to success at white-collar jobs in China, but the trend might signal a much more significant shift in the culture—one that goes beyond matters of literary taste.

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 Annalemma Magazine, Oxford American, Ninth Letter, Opium Magazine, the Iowa Review, Slice Magazine, Poet Lore, Fence, and Electric Literature.


The Practical Writer

Bullseye: How to Submit to Tin House Magazine

by Staff
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A guide to sending your work to the ten-year-old Tin House Magazine.

First: Victor Lodato's Mathilda Savitch

by Eryn Loeb
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Playwright Victor Lodato found that the story of his precocious young character Mathilda Savitch would be better told in the pages of a novel than in a work for the stage.

The Audio Revolution: How to Amplify Your Poems

by Todd Boss
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If we agree that poetry is partly music, then we must also concede that to read a poem is partly to sing it. And when you consider that most Americans know by heart the words of at least one popular song—the one that has been played over and over...

The Literary Life

Demilitarized Zone: Report From Literary Vietnam

by Stephen Morison Jr.
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The work of Vietnam's writers grapples with the legacy of the past even as it accepts the realities of the present.

Tracking Down Typewriters: Those Trusty Tools of Days Gone By

by Matthew Solan
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A writer connects with a bygone literary era by collecting replicas of the typewriters used by famous authors.