Authors Archive

“This World and the World Just Beyond It”: An Interview with Brynn Saito

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Brynn Saito’s poems are lyrical, sometimes mystical, dream-like yet also grounded in what feels like lived life. Her debut book, The Palace of Contemplating Departure, is marked by a striking voice that sounds both of this world and as if it comes from somewhere far above it. With Traci Brimhall,

What Happened to Tagore?

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You could visit India and never hear the name Rabindranath Tagore. In fact, if you don’t live in India, you may well have never known Rabindranath Tagore existed. But this was not always the case: recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913, Rabindranath Tagore became one of

Emily Dickinson: A Private Poet in the Digital Age?

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Walt Whitman once wrote, “To have great poets, there must be great audiences, too.” But around the same time Whitman wrote those words, living a just few states away from him was a great poet who had almost no audience whatsoever. She tended to send her poems only to a

My Literary Zombie Apocalypse Dream Team

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It’s a discussion as old as time itself: in the event of a zombie apocalypse, with whom would you hope to be stranded? I know I’ve given this a lot of thought (I am, after all, a very serious and presently unemployed intellectual with way too much time on

“Little, safe boxes that contain trauma and violence”: An Interview with Jehanne Dubrow

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Jehanne Dubrow’s latest collection of poems, The Arranged Marriage, tells a difficult and moving story about the poet’s mother and her early life. The narrative gradually comes into focus for the reader through a sequence of beautiful, haunting prose poems—narrow blocks of words the poet likens to “newspaper columns”

Interactivity and the Game-ification of Books

As an undergrad studying creative writing one of the first things I remember learning was the sin of gimmickry. Readers, I was taught, would see through your cleverness—it would be vile to them and they would hate you. But as a kid and teenager my favorite books employed some

“Poets should always take public transportation”: An Interview with Maureen Thorson

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In her second book of poems, My Resignation, Maureen Thorson immerses us in the story of two people figuring out how to start a new life together. Her poems are finely textured, moving, and often humorous. She has a keen appreciation for the quirky natural detail or odd snippet

Artistry is a Kind of Citizenship – Ploughshares Interviews Allan Gurganus

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I’ve been aware of Allan Gurganus since I was a few years old; we hail from the same small town, Rocky Mount, North Carolina, and his books lined the shelves of homes I visited, and the local library. Turns out his name was also in the New Yorker, and

Half the World More: Juan Felipe Herrera and the Centering of Chicana/o Letters

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Juan Felipe Herrera being named our 21st U.S. Poet Laureate is special for a few reasons.  He is the first Latino U.S. Poet Laureate in history, but also an unlikely if necessary one.  It’s no obscure fact that his writing has historically been underappreciated, undercelebrated even. Herrera’s writing has

“So that the poem is an act of discovery”: An Interview with Brian Komei Dempster

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Brian Komei Dempster received the 15 Bytes Book Award in Poetry for his debut collection, Topaz (Four Way Books, 2013), which examines the experiences of a Japanese American family separated and incarcerated in American World War II prison camps. Through their interwoven narratives, his poems show us how the past