Author Archive

Lit GIFs: The Hobbit

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In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Until thirteen unwelcome dwarves and a wizard came and took him away on an equally unwelcome adventure.

Lit GIFs: The Catcher in the Rye

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Meet Holden Caulfield. Holden is not so good at staying in school. He is 0 for 4 as far as schools go. As a general rule, Holden is annoyed by people. Except for Jane Gallagher. He still likes her.

AWP Award Series: Lucas Southworth’s Everyone Here Has a Gun and Joan Naviyuk Kane’s Hyperboreal

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I wasn’t expecting my friend D to smash the green anole with a rock. But he did, and the lizard’s insides smeared red against the concrete driveway. Its eyes, black and bleeding, sunk into its tiny skull. We were nine. I’d caught the green anole in the tree down

Ploughshares Playlist: Winter Issue 2013

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Hello! It’s winter! Which means snow here in Iowa. Here’s a cute puppy running through some: And here’s me, Florida girl that I am: But winter doesn’t only mean cold. It also means a brand new issue of Ploughshares, and a playlist to go with it! Here are nine songs

A Playlist for John Henry Fleming’s Songs for the Deaf

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John Henry Fleming’s forthcoming story collection, Songs for the Deaf, is full of haunted characters: haunted by the deaths of loved ones, memories of lovers, knowledge of truth. The range of characters—aliens, bigfoot look-alikes, cloud readers, floating girls—lends itself to satire, creating a new mythology out of crises of

AWP Award Series: Julian Hoffman’s The Small Heart of Things and Andrew Ladd’s What Ends

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Recently, I put cream cheese, Nutella, and orange zest between two pieces of bread and cooked it up like a grilled cheese. A little butter, a hot pan. Grilled cheese is tried and true. It doesn’t need improvement. But I saw the recipe (though for grilled cheese, I’d call

Two Deserts by Julie Brickman: A Ploughshares Playlist

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After a detour into the Land of Internet GIFs, I’m back on the music train, bringing you tunes to accompany Julie Brickman’s new story collection, Two Deserts, released the first of this month from Hopewell Publications. Brickman’s stories examine the breadth of love—love between mother and son, husband and

“1984” As Told Through Internet GIFs

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Everyday in Airstrip One (the country formerly known as England), Winston Smith goes to work. At work there is a girl named Julia. Winston gets pretty nervous around her because he’s convinced she’s part of the Thought Police.

“A Powerlessness That Was Kind”: A Playlist for Aimee Bender’s The Color Master

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I have to admit that this was one of the tougher playlists to put together. Aimee Bender’s latest collection, The Color Master, does not easily lend itself to non-ephemeral song. It’s a collection that drops hints. In the opening story, “Appleless,” for example, a girl refuses to eat apples,

Similar Bravery: A Playlist for Rick Bass’s “All The Land To Hold Us”

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The first time I met Rick Bass, in early 2010, I was sick as a dog. Iowa State University had invited him to participate in its annual Wildness Symposium, during my first year in the MFA program. In the middle of the symposium my Florida-born body rejected winter altogether.