Monthly Archive:: February 2013

The Best Story I Read in a Lit Mag This Week: “Wake Turbulence” by Laurie Ann Cedilnik

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As a recent transplant to New York from Arizona, I’ve been a little obsessed with place lately—about what the landscapes of home show us when we live inside them versus when we’re removed, what happens when we start seeing our surroundings as more than just background noise—so I was

Literary Boroughs #54: Boston, MA (Part Two)

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The Literary Boroughs series will explore little-known and well-known literary communities across the country and world and show that while literary culture can exist online without regard to geographic location, it also continues to thrive locally. Part One of this post appeared earlier this week, as did a bonus Literary Borough walking tour of

Ploughshares at AWP13

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AWP in Boston is almost upon us! The conference schedule is so packed with excellent presentations, panels, and readings that it can get a little overwhelming. For your convenience, we’ve pulled out and highlighted sessions and readings featuring Ploughshares editors. Here is a more complete listing of sessions featuring

Literary Boston: Two Sides of Beacon Hill

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Megan Marshall is the Pulitzer-nominated author of The Peabody Sisters and Margaret Fuller: A New American Life, and teaches nonfiction writing in the MFA program at Emerson College. She will be featured on two panels at AWP 2013, both on March 7: at 10:30, she will moderate “Sources of Inspiration,” with authors

“Bring Me Back”: A Playlist for George Saunders’ “Tenth of December”

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The characters in Tenth of December, George Saunders’ newest collection of stories, struggle with maintaining innocence (and ultimately losing it) in a world that drives people further from each other; they struggle with doing good in a consumerist society.  These are flawed characters—people who make mistakes and are terrified

Literary Boroughs #54: Boston, MA (Part 1)

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The Literary Boroughs series will explore little-known and well-known literary communities across the country and world and show that while literary culture can exist online without regard to geographic location, it also continues to thrive locally. Posts are by no means exhaustive and we encourage our readers to contribute in the comment section. The

Giving a Reading? How Not to Panic.

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In my previous post, I discussed the crying shame that is the Public Reading. You commented, shared, and agreed. You asked how to feel more confident, use a microphone, give more creative readings, etc. I’ll tackle all of these over coming weeks – starting, today, with confidence. HAVE SOME COMPASSION.

The AWP13 Post You’ve Been Waiting For

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No need to be coy. Step right up and behold: the pre-AWP13 post you’ve all been waiting for! Now, some of you may already know that Ploughshares is based in Boston, the very city that will be teeming with hordes of AWP attendees in a matter of days. Much like

Blurbese: “deeply felt”

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In general, I dislike curmudgeonly fiats contra adverb—in fact, I’ve complained about them here before. However, there are a couple of cases where I think specific adverbs ought to be banned outright. One of those is the book review phrase “deeply felt.” My problem with the phrase, I will

The Myth of the Literary Cowboy, Part 1: Peculiarly American

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Being raised in West Texas, I have experience with cowboys. I’ve taught and been taught by them, worked with them, listened to their poetry, and eaten their food. My cowboys are the real, working men who get their hands dirty, but have never (to my knowledge) been in a