September/October 2014

Our eighth annual MFA Issue includes a new resource section featuring detailed information about 135 full- and low-residency programs; conversations with poets Louise Glück and Edward Hirsch; an inside look at how Simon & Schuster launches a debut author; a new column, The Savvy Self-Publisher; three poets on keeping (and destroying) a journal; tips from literary agent Meredith Kaffel; Steve Almond on the problem of entitlement; and much more.


A Conversation with Edward Hirsch

by Kevin Nance
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In a pair of new books, Gabriel and A Poet’s Glossary, poet Edward Hirsch draws from two very different sources of inspiration—the inexhaustible passion of a critic and the unanswerable grief of a father—to bring us closer to...

A Day in the Life of a Publishing House

by Michael Bourne
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We take a look inside the New York City offices of Simon & Schuster as its staff prepares to launch Matthew Thomas’s debut novel, We Are Not Ourselves, a title the publisher acquired for more than a million dollars. 

Internal Tapestries: A Q&A With Louise Glück

by William Giraldi

Louise Glück says a poet must be surprised by what the mind is capable of unveiling, which may explain why her twelfth book of poems, Faithful and Virtuous Night, published in September by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, feels so startlingly alive with the wonder of discovery.


Special Section

MFA Programs

by Staff
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Detailed information on 135 full- and low-residency graduate programs in creative writing.

News and Trends

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 Jess Row’s Your Face in Mine and Caitlin Doughty’s Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons From the Crematory, as the starting point for a closer look at these new and noteworthy titles.


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 Parnassus, FIELD, Conduit, Redactions: Poetry, Poetics, & Prose, and Southern Humanities Review.

Small Press Points: Mongrel Empire Press

by Staff

Small Press Points highlights the innovation and can-do spirit of independent presses. This issue features Mongrel Empire Press, an independent publisher of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction based in Norman, Oklahoma, recently reopened to submissions following a two-year hiatus.

The Practical Writer

Academic Alternatives: The DIY MFA

by Michael Bourne
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From Julia Fierro’s Sackett Street Writers’ Workshop in Brooklyn to Edan Lepucki’s Writing Workshops Los Angeles, writers across the country are launching their own community-based workshops as a viable alternative to the traditional writing path.

The Savvy Self-Publisher: Rob Cadigan

by Debra W. Englander

For the first installment of our new column on self-publishing, an indie author details the route he took to self-publishing his novel, while editor Paul Dinas and publicist Corinne Liccketto weigh in with post-publication comments and suggestions.

The Literary Life

The Private Dwelling: Three Poets on Keeping (and Destroying) Journals

by Lisa Fay Coutley, Claudia Emerson, and Anna Leahy
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Writers discuss what prompted them to start or return to journal writing, and why sometimes it’s better to destroy rather than preserve such catalogues of the past.

Perversity of Spirit: What It Takes to Be a Writer

by Rufi Thorpe
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One author argues that talent is the least important part of becoming a writer.

Why We Write: My Father’s Voice

by Jaina Sanga
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A daily phone call from India spurs an emerging writer to complete her first novel.