Category Archives: Reading

Might we be so bold as to suggest that you subscribe to Ploughshares?

Lit GIFs: Romeo and Juliet

The Montagues and the Capulets don’t like each other very much. Romeo and his cousin crash a Capulet party anyway, looking for girls. Romeo’s on the rebound when he meets Juliet. The party was supposed to give 14-year-old Juliet the … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Reading | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The New Generation of Gay Latino Poets

Some scholars say that Queer Latina/o writing is fast becoming a major core of the Latina/o literary canon. I say it’s the future of the canon altogether, with some of the most exciting, intelligent, and provocative American writing coming from … Continue reading

Posted in Reading, The Writing Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Crossing Over: Literary Fiction Writers Tackling YA

The other day I was browsing in a favorite bookstore, moving backward through the alphabet, when I noticed Sherman Alexie’s novel, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, toward the front of the As in Fiction. I stopped and … Continue reading

Posted in Contemporary, Reading | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Ploughshares Round-down: The Problem with Literary Doomsday Laments

We who love literature face an urgent crisis: a gruesome epidemic of articles worrying over the demise of literature, reading, English Departments, and apparently (along with them) culture, art, morality, humanity, and ALL KNOWLEDGE AND CIVILIZATION. We’re in dire need of an antidote for this … Continue reading

Posted in Ploughshares Bloggers, Reading, Roundups | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Best Story I Read in a Lit Mag This Week: “Not Like What You Said” by Debbie Urbanski

The older I get, the more I notice that my handwriting resembles my mother’s. Her cursive is so even, consistent, and precise that her letters and grocery lists look like they’ve been typed up on the computer and printed out. … Continue reading

Posted in Contemporary, Ploughshares Bloggers, Reading | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

How Narrative Nonfiction Keeps Me Sane

Years ago, feeling creatively unfulfilled at my full-time publishing job, I took a continuing education class at The New School on pitching creative nonfiction to the glossy mags. Throughout the course of the semester, we worked our way through Robert … Continue reading

Posted in Contemporary, Reading | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

No Shoes, No Shirt, No Fiction: Let’s Get Out of the Restaurant

“I need to tell you something,” he said. He twirled his spaghetti around his fork. She sipped her wine. “What is it?” “Well.” He shoved the tangle of spaghetti in his mouth and chewed. She fiddled with her spoon. Suddenly, … Continue reading

Posted in Reading, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Best Story I Read in a Lit Mag This Week: “My Wife, in Converse” by Shelly Oria

Stories written in the first person are supposed to be more intimate and allow us greater access to the emotions and thoughts of the narrator than second or third person. But what about the characters who aren’t eager or able … Continue reading

Posted in Contemporary | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Voice and Chorus: Cristina Henriquez and “The Book of Unknown Americans”

I saw Cristina Henriquez read just a few weeks ago at Book Court in Brooklyn, where my poet buddy, Sally Wen Mao, took me after a long day in the city. Generally, I’m horrible at readings.  I’m the guy seated … Continue reading

Posted in Reading | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Unbearable Lightness of Being a Great Tennis Player: Looking Back at Foster Wallace on Federer

Under Review: “Federer as Religious Experience,” article by David Foster Wallace for New York Times, August 20, 2006. Collected in Both Flesh and Not: Essays (Little, Brown and Company, 2012, 336 pages). On July 6th, Swiss tennis player Roger Federer … Continue reading

Posted in Contemporary, Reading | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment