The Eyes of Writers

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The responsibility to organize what we see, to take the randomness of life and reconstruct it into a new form that has meaning, lies squarely with writers and other creative people (scientists and mathematicians alike).

Tacoma and the Stories We Leave Behind

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The video game Tacoma is a story about an empty space station where its depths aren’t something presented but searched for—on bookshelves and in bedrooms. Sometimes stories are with the things we leave behind.

Unripe Fruit in Rural Poland

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Through it all, Wiola is a clear-eyed tour guide narrator, blasting the reader with the harsh reality of her bildungsroman while simultaneously giving a close-up view of the isolated world she was born into.

Bruno Schulz and a Mother’s Tough Love

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Like many things in my life, the writer Bruno Schulz is an example of how I used to focus on men. Men’s troubles, men’s heartache, men’s surprising capacity for emotion. The sight of a man crying would put me in a state.

What’s Left

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Handled well, what’s left out can illuminate a narrative, create a kind of translucence through which each scene, each character is given a kind of mysterious importance.

Review: EASTMAN WAS HERE by Alex Gilvarry

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In focusing on the interior life of a man in crisis, Gilvarry is able to speak to the beauty that can be found at the end of an existential crisis, at the end of middle age.

Indies Elsewhere: Tragaluz

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It is no easy feat to nurture a literary project while far away from the epicenter of publishing activity, yet Tragaluz has made it work in a spectacular manner.

Humor, Candor, & Collision in Chen Chen’s When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities

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When I heard Chen read “Poplar Street” in a busy Washington, DC lunch spot, the whole farting bit elicited a variety of guffaws and cackles from his listeners. Their laughter sounded almost like barking. But Chen continued reading, and the rest of his couplet silenced the room.

New Ploughshares Solo Now Available!

We are thrilled to announce the release of our latest solo, “Blue River Hotel” by Stephen Henighan!

The Black Aesthetic: God, Materialism, and Prosperity in Meek Mill’s Wins & Losses

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Meek Mill’s latest album Wins & Losses confronts what it means to be a young black American. With songs such as “Young Black America,” Meek questions whether the black church has turned its back on the black youth.