Our annual MFA issue features an interview with novelist Téa Obreht; ten recent MFA program graduates on the realities of applying to, choosing, and attending a writing program; our third-annual roundup of the best debut nonfiction; a survey of the academic job market; an in-depth Q&A with Little, Brown senior editor Ben George; a look at the future of Barnes & Noble; Christina Baker Kline and Lisa Gornick on historical fiction; Shelly Oria on writings from the #MeToo movement; writing prompts; contest deadlines; and more.
A Gift: An Interview with Téa Obreht
In the follow-up to her best-selling debut novel, The Tiger’s Wife, which drew from her early childhood in Belgrade, Téa Obreht takes readers to the inhospitable and drought-ridden Arizona territory of 1893.
The New Nonfiction 2019
Essays by debut authors Jayson Greene (Once More We Saw Stars), Noam Dorr (Love Drones), Sarah M. Broom (The Yellow House), Krista Eastman (The Painted Forest), and Jaquira Díaz (Ordinary Girls).
Agents & Editors: Ben George
Ben George, a senior editor at Little, Brown who works with some of the biggest names in literary fiction and nonfiction, talks about the author-editor relationship, the plight of the midlist writer, and the art of revision.
A photographer explores the process of creating visual narratives in Children of Grass, an expansive three-year poetry portraiture project for which he asked poets to pose for a concept based on a poem by each subject.
My MFA Experience
Why did you choose the MFA program you attended? How did you make ends meet while you were there? How did your program prepare you for post-MFA life? Ten recent graduates on the realities of applying to, choosing, and attending a writing program.
News and Trends
The Merwin Conservancy will become the official owner and steward of the garden that poet W. S. Merwin nurtured for more than forty years.
Page One: Where New and Noteworthy Books Begin
The first lines of a dozen noteworthy books, including Everything Inside by Edwidge Danticat and Make It Scream, Make It Burn by Leslie Jamison.
Furious Flower Grows in Virginia
The nation’s oldest academic center dedicated to preserving Black poetry celebrates its twenty-fifth anniversary.
The Future of Barnes & Noble
Publishing insiders weigh in on the challenges facing the U.S. bookstore chain, which was sold to a hedge fund in June for $683 million.
Small Press Points: Acre Books
The University of Cincinnati Press imprint publishes books of poetry and fiction that continue the successes of its affiliated literary journal, the Cincinnati Review.
Literary MagNet: Andrea Cohen
The poet discusses the journals that published pieces from her sixth collection, Nightshade.
Q&A: Manuel Muñoz Directs Arizona MFA
Manuel Muñoz, the new director of the MFA program at the University of Arizona, discusses his new role, healthy creative environments, and common missteps he sees in applications.
The Practical Writer
How to Get Paid: Academia
The fifth installment in a continuing series about making money as a writer takes a closer look at the financial realities of academia, from adjunct work to tenure-track professorships.
Reviewers & Critics: Daniel Mendelsohn of the New York Review of Books
One of the most prominent and liveliest critics in the United States discusses whether or not literary criticism can be taught, the value of negative criticism, and more.
First: Jake Skeets’s Eyes Bottle Dark With a Mouthful of Flowers
The author spends a day in Albuquerque with poet Jake Skeets, who talks about writing his debut book and the magical year in which he won the Unterberg Poetry Center’s Discovery Poetry Contest and had his book selected for the National Poetry Series...
The Literary Life
Manuals for Living: What Our Favorite Novels Teach Us About Ourselves
We return to certain novels not only to be enchanted and inspired, to be transported out of ourselves, but also to know ourselves more deeply.
The Time Is Now: Writing Prompts and Exercises
Write a poem exploring the idea of slipping into another’s skin, a story inspired by your school days, or an essay that attempts to decipher a deeper meaning in a piece of literature—three prompts to get you started.
Indelible in the Hippocampus: Writings From the #MeToo Movement
Contributors to the anthology Indelible in the Hippocampus discuss some of their thoughts on the current state of the #MeToo movement and their experiences writing on the topic.
The Turn: Harnessing the Generative Power of No
The author of eight books, most recently the story collection Suicide Woods, on turning career pitfalls into successes, the truly amazing things that can happen when someone says no, and how the only true failure is to stop trying.
Historical Fiction: The Pleasures and Perils of Writing About Other Eras
How do you handle research? How indebted do you feel to stick to the historical record? Two novelists discuss their experiences researching, imagining, and depicting earlier times.