Author Archive

Storyish Poems, Poemish Stories, and Why Poets Should Love Reading Children’s Books

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My fellow Ploughshares blogger Caitlin O’Neil recently wrote an awesome post about all the important writing lessons she learned from reading children’s books. I was like, “OMG so true! I too have learned so many important writing lessons from reading children’s books!” And then I told all my friends about

Proverbial Feet, Herculean Feats, and a Brilliant New Blog: An Interview with Leah Falk of MFADayJob.com

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Leah Falk and I once ran from Detroit to Canada. If that feat sounds Herculean, well, it only sort of is; in less sensational terms, we ran the Detroit Half Marathon, two miles of which are spent going back and forth across the Ambassador Bridge and through the Detroit-Windsor

The Crush Problem

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In my last post, I wrote about the Lonesome Dove Problem—i.e., my lifelong struggle to find a girthy novel as totally absorbing as Larry McMurtry’s masterpiece—and attempted to identify some common denominators shared by Lonesome Dove and a few other totally absorbing novels, so that I might be better

The Lonesome Dove Problem

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I have a problem: I’ve already read Lonesome Dove. And Lonesome Dove is the most totally absorbing wonderfully awesome novel on the planet. So nothing else really compares. Hence, my problem. I’ve tried to address this problem by waiting a lot of years and then reading Lonesome Dove again. I first read

Cookbooks, Compost Heaps, and Poetry Booby Traps: A Conversation with Poet and Pie-maker Kate Lebo

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The first poetry anthology I owned was How to Eat A Poem: A Smorgasbord of Tasty and Delicious Poems for Young Readers. The title still gives me the giggles, though my amusement is perhaps more nuanced—as a kid, I delighted in the simple silliness of the concept; now, the

Non Verbis, Sed Rebus

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My girlfriend’s ex-girlfriend recently sent me a link to an article entitled “8 New Punctuation Marks We Desperately Need.” As is often the case with my girlfriend’s ex-girlfriend, I couldn’t quite tell if she was joking. Further complicating the matter was the fact that the article came from CollegeHumor.com, a decidedly

Rayna James Wright! And Other Sacrilegious Comparisons

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So I was catching up on my Nashville the other day—and by “catching up” I mean “watching the first thirteen episodes of Season 1 back-to-back on Hulu because I’ve had the flu, OKAY?!”—when it hit me: COUNTRY MUSIC AND POETRY HAVE A LOT IN COMMON. Then the NyQuil also hit me,

I Can Haz Earnestness?!: Anthropomorphism, Irony and Two New-ish Books By Well-Known Authors Named David

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Animals: so hot right now. OK, but first, full disclosure: I am a dog person. I volunteer at the Humane Society. I socialize with people I met at the dog park…outside of the dog park. I’m always finding dried beef liver in my pockets (note: dried beef liver rehydrates

Close Watching: Tech + Text = The Reading Paradigm of the Future?!

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When it comes to good ol’-fashioned reading, the influence of new-fangled technology is rarely construed as “positive.” A recent Pew Internet Study suggests our that our brains are being “rewired” for attention deficiency by nonstop, rapid-fire access to information. Adbusters’ Micah White accuses the Kindle of “mimicking the external traits