Monthly Archive:: March 2013

Dear Dr. Poetry

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Sacrilegion L. Lamar Wilson Carolina Wren Press, February 2013 $17.95 79 pages Dear Dr. Poetry, I don’t expect you to understand me, because no one does. My sorrow is darker than a thousand layers of guyliner. I just wanted you, as the foremost expert on poetry, to confirm my

Writing Is Like Baseball

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Every March my eyes turn south toward spring training. The sunburned announcers report from director’s chairs on games that don’t count. The players work on their autographs and perfect their sunflower seed spits. Teenagers called up from the lowercase “a” team —hardly more than little leaguers—pitch, bat, and field,

For Those About To Write (We Salute You) #3: Letters

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For Those About To Write (We Salute You) will present a writing exercise to the Ploughshares community every few weeks. We heartily encourage everyone reading to take part! Well, my plan was to do a prompt a day since the last post, ten minutes a pop. That did not

Relationship Rescue! Courting Your Long-Lost Writing

Author: | Categories: Writing, Writing Advice 10 Comments
First, a confession: I’m lousy at prioritizing fiction writing. I let everything else in my life take precedence. I even let other writing take precedence—articles, book reviews, syllabi, comments on student work, status updates, replies to all. And yet, good things have happened to the fiction I’ve written. I

“The Word River Doesn’t Know Edges”: A Playlist for Patricia Smith’s Blood Dazzler

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Patricia Smith’s Blood Dazzler, a 2008 poetry collection inspired by Hurricane Katrina, reads like a broken heart.  It is open and honest and raw.  The voices of those who survived Katrina, and those who did not, are both unspeakably sad and incredulous.  “Louisiana,” says one nursing home resident in the

140 Characters of Guilt

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Plate VI from Charles Darwin’s The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals. It took, it seemed, only a few seconds for the first response to appear. My heart plummeted as more appeared in my Twitter feed, each increasingly indignant, ticking off like a plunging stock exchange. I

An Interview with Reese Okyong Kwon

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Reese Okyong Kwon’s writing has appeared in the Believer, Kenyon Review, Southern Review, and elsewhere. She has been named one of Narrative’s “30 Below 30” writers, and has received scholarships and fellowships from Yaddo, Ledig House, and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. After her story “Victoria Falls Hotel” appeared

So… Readings. What’s the point?

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If you’re a writer, you’ve likely subjected yourself to awkward, lifeless Readings enough times to wonder whether there’s still a purpose for these mysterious liturgies. We probably don’t need an old time tent revival (I hope not!)… But asking, “what’s the point?” may be long overdue. What I mean is: perhaps who/whatever began

Roundup: Writer’s Block

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In our Roundups segment, we’re looking back at all the great posts since the blog started in 2009. We explore posts from our archives as well as other top literary magazines, centered on a certain theme to help you jump-start your week. This week we have posts on writer’s block. There’s a

Mooning for Jack London: A Surprise Crush

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Jack London was one of the last dead authors I expected to charm me. I associated him with wolves (because of the familiar The Call of the Wild book cover) and, unfortunately, Disney movies (because of the adaptation of his novel, White Fang). Of course, I had never actually