Monthly Archive:: April 2011

“No Orangutan”

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I began my public blogging career (brief though it may be) last week with “Start with A”, suggesting that teachers of poetry—who are frequently poets—might want to begin at a more basic level than many of us do. That included beginning with the literal level of a poem, because

Old Poems

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Old poems in U-Store-Its. Old poems in leather-tied journals, on loose-leaf foolscap ripply with weathermarks. Old poems on public websites. Old poems in stacks by the printer, in hidden folders on crashed hard drives. I go back to my old poems with a dry suspicion, a parental eye, poems

What I Reread: Something Wicked This Way Comes

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I’m not the world’s biggest fan of Ray Bradbury, or sci-fi in general (though I respect it plenty—its speculation on the future, its persistent social commentary, its relentless and somehow familiar glandular imagining). But every fall when I pick up Something Wicked This Way Comes, I feel the way

Teaching Poetry: Starting with A

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Our third guest blogger, Catherine Carter, is a poet whose poem “Arson in Ladytown” appears in our Spring 2011 edited by Colm Toibin.  Catherine will post on Fridays through August. Hello, Ploughshares readers—it’s my pleasure and privilege to be blogging here for the first time, and as you might


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Peter Kline, our second guest blogger, will post on Wednesdays through August.  Peter’s poems “Universal Movers” and “Revisionary” appear in our Spring 2011 issue edited by Colm Toibin. “For the rain it raineth every day.” -Shakespeare, Twelfth Night Weeks of rain here in San Francisco.  Pissing spritzes and forty-eight-hour

What I Reread and Why

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This week we welcome three new Get Behind the Plough bloggers to Ploughshares. The first is Angela Pneuman, whose fiction story “Occupational Hazard” appears in our Spring 2011 issue edited by Colm Toibin.  Angela will post on Mondays through August. When I started writing, one thing I never considered

Peace Out and Poetry Dialogue: Matthew Shenoda

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Today’s post is my last for the Ploughshares blog and it just happens to coincide with the beginning of Season Five of Friday Night Lights. Good times all around. Big ups to everyone who read my posts. I know they weren’t always directly related to the craft of writing,

Voice: Self

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I want to preface this whole thing by saying that I’m not writing this because of the Rankine/Hoagland debate that sprung up in/around/after AWP. I’m happy that conversation is in existence, and I’m glad people are debating notions of voice, ownership, and race, but that’s not necessarily where this started. I should also mention that I was

Rules, Shmules

Because several of my preceding posts have been very earnest, and also, possibly, a little depressing, I thought that it might be nice to end my tenure as a Ploughshares blogger on an upbeat note.  With this in mind, I recently asked a group of anonymous literary authorities to

Friday Night Lights: Pigskin and Plot Devices

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Disclaimer: I tried to avoid anything that would compromise the Friday Night Lights narrative for those who haven’t picked up on it yet. But seriously, if you haven’t watched the show, you should hit up Netflix right away. * In Atlanta last Christmas, I got trapped like Jack Torrance