Reading Archive

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.
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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
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“Dear Lucky One”: The Westing Game Invites Us to Play

Author: | Categories: Reading, Writing, Writing Advice 4 Comments
Thirty-five years after the publication of Ellen Raskin’s novel The Westing Game, readers still rave about it. As one literary agent tweeted recently, “if I could find the new Ellen Raskin, I would be the happiest agent ever.” Bestselling novelist Gillian Flynn ventures that in Gone Girl, she maybe,
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People of the Book: Debra Di Blasi

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People of the Book is an interview series gathering those engaged with books, broadly defined. As participants answer the same set of questions, their varied responses chart an informal ethnography of the book, highlighting its rich history as a mutable medium and anticipating its potential future. This week brings
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Up and Out: Five Things We Can All Learn from Roald Dahl

Author: | Categories: Reading, Writing, Writing Advice 9 Comments
When I was six years old, I copied out the entirety of Roald Dahl’s The Twits. By hand. When I filled  one lined page, I’d apply an inch-wide swath of rubber cement and attach the next paper to the bottom, so that I wound up with a scroll the
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Red Moon Rising: Playlist for Benjamin Percy’s Red Moon

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In my last post I talked about my love of zombies—the blank stares, the hyperfast sprinting, and the social allegory of the undead—and my less-than-love for the resurgence of swoony vampires. In light of the revival of such classic horror monsters, I’m left wondering: what about werewolves? (Or for
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The Art of Wikipedia

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Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poem Kubla Khan, only fifty-four lines long, was never completed. The reason? According to Coleridge, he was interrupted by the Person from Porlock and subsequently lost his inspired creativity. “Though he still retained some vague and dim recollection of the general purport of the vision,” Coleridge
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People of the Book: James Reid-Cunningham

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People of the Book is an interview series gathering those engaged with books, broadly defined. As participants answer the same set of questions, their varied responses chart an informal ethnography of the book, highlighting its rich history as a mutable medium and anticipating its potential future. This week brings
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The Best Story I Read in a Lit Mag This Week: “The Neighbors” by Jared Yates Sexton

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Last night I was talking to a few friends about a strange experience I had the other week—I got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, and when I walked through the living room on my way back to bed, I felt a deep
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Editor’s Shelf: Spring 2013

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Each Ploughshares issue contains book recommendations from our Advisory Editors.  Here’s an Editor’s Shelf selection from the Spring 2013 Issue.  Enjoy these recommendations by Fanny Howe, Philip Levine, Joyce Peseroff and David St. John. Fanny Howe recommends Summer of Hate by Chris Kraus: “The book, like her others, is
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