Welcome to the Ploughshares blog. It’s our hope this site serves as a lively meeting place for the community of readers and writers who together comprise the Ploughshares family. You’ll find interviews, writerly advice, and, in general, a celebration of contemporary literature.
For those who don’t know our history, Ploughshares was started in a Cambridge, Massachussetts’ pub, The Plough and Stars. The pub was relatively new in 1971 when a group of regulars met there: Irish expatriates, Harvard graduate students, Iowa Workshop refugees, New York School and Bowery veterans, and experimental Black Mountain poets. They argued passionately about the art, politics, and literature of the day. About the only thing they could agree upon was how much they couldn’t agree.
And then they did a very unusual thing. They decided to start a journal together. Their concept was to create a platform for sharing their varying literary tastes with a larger audience. They took their passionate arguments about literature to the pages of Ploughshares and let the readers themselves decide what they valued. And what better name for the magazine than Ploughshares–the sharp edge of the plough. The connotations of the word “ploughshares” embodied–then and now–everything the founders hoped for the magazine: grassroots dedication, reform, idealism, and collaboration. The question about what is of value in contemporary writing has continued and these years, and every issue of Ploughshares is in some way still a contribution to the history of that discussion.
I hope you’ll come to our blog often and that you’ll add your voice to the discussion about the future of literature that began at The Plough and Stars all those years ago.