Writing Archive

The Poetics of Body Positivity

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My earliest memories of the poetic representations of other cis women, like me, were highly sexualized. It seemed that women’s bodies, rather than the women, were (cis male) poets’ muses.

Should Creative Writers Adopt the Same Objectivity Expected of Journalists and Historians?

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In this particular moment, journalists have come under fire for their presentation or concoctions of the “truth” with a capital T. They’re expected to write as objectively as possible, but writers, especially those who write historical fiction, have been known to bend facts in service of story and are

Out with T.S. Eliot, and In with Cathy Park Hong: Poetry Criticism in the 21st Century

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The debate about whether Rupi Kaur’s poetry (and by extension, the whole genre dubbed “instapoetry”) is good or bad has apparently been revived. Whether that debate is actually useful in the terms it has set out for itself remains to be seen. Most often, it seems, when the poet

The Book Review in Review

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The ethics of reviewing poetry have recently reemerged as a hot-button issue in the literary community. Many writers have discussed the efficacy and aims of the “negative” review—how and if it impacts poetry and its readership in general.

On Not Noticing

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Description is, in fact, more useful for what it says about the noticer than the noticed.

Can Twitter Make Trauma Generic? And If So, What Should We Do About It?

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As a writer, I've been thinking about the importance of our trauma—the needle-pushing trauma of the #MeToo movement, of the interrogation of "post-truth," of the existential crisis necessary for confronting something like climate change, or the stories beyond the body counts of the drug war in Mexico.

The Unbearable Rancidity of French Letters

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The first woman to be admitted into the French Academy was Marguerite Yourcenar, in 1980. Nowadays, as we’re nearing the Academy’s 400th anniversary, the proportion of women remains dismally low, and the members are overwhelmingly white.

Creative Thinking in the Arts

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To think creatively, to invent new things, to see new patterns, we need to turn things upside down, on their heads and have a fresh look.

Being An Irish Story

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“As” is a love poem, after all. It’s a sidelong devotion—all wordplay and switchbacks. Its essence is decocted from its original artifacts, lost and now found, a reverse transit of its multiple parasitic meanings. It feels something like being in the archives, in a family, in love.

Writers Watch Uneasy Advance of Tax Reform Bills

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The House of Representatives and U.S. Senate are considering tax reform bills that, if passed, could affect writers and literary nonprofits across the country.