Writing Archive

Carefully Chosen Words: Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Vladimir Nabokov

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One of my favorite little known facts about Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is that she was a student in Vladimir Nabokov’s European Literature class at Cornell when she was an undergraduate in the 1950s. Nabokov’s influence is seen in many of Ginsburg’s writings.

Faith and Fiction: Did Salinger’s Work Give in to Vedanta?

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The impact of Vedanta philosophy on Salinger’s life is obvious, but is open to debate as far as his writing is concerned. Having been deeply influenced by the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna and Vedantic thought, Salinger created characters who, a few scholars have said, seem to spread the author’s

America RePunked: A Vision of the Next Four Years in Art

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But I begin by asking: Is the anti-establishment nature of the punk ethos going to make its second coming in our art over the next four years?

Grant Faulkner and NaNoWriMo

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Faulkner believes everyone has a story to tell and that every story matters. Whether someone is writing a dissertation, a news article, a memoir, or a novel, they are telling a story. Participating in NaNoWriMo and writing a novel teaches you about forming narratives and storytelling.

The Best Essay I Read This Month: “How Trump Made Hate Intersectional,” by Rembert Browne

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Browne rightly points out that the engine behind Trump’s last 18 months of momentum has been his willingness to target any marginalized group without discretion, to unite his base through an undifferentiated, broad-spectrum hatred of anyone who appeared Other, no matter what kind.

Baltimore School Students Write in Protest and Celebration

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Writers in Baltimore Schools, the creative writing organization I run for Baltimore youth, has developed a protocol for mobilizing safe spaces for writing after trauma. We were unfortunately ready when Donald Trump was elected the 45th President of the United States. On Thursday, fifteen of us gathered to write

How to Be an Explorer: Field Notes from NYC

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The Explorer’s Club was founded in New York City in 1904 by Arctic explorers in a grand building with a placard and serious gates. If you stalk their website as I do, you will see several events a year that are open to non-Explorers.

Songs that are Perfect Short Stories: Using Repetition

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Some of the most effective short stories are by songwriters. The constraints and conventions of a five-minute pop song can structure a narrative in ways that, even before you get to the music, are incredibly moving.

Why Write Short Stories?

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Much like our lives, short stories are brief and end abruptly. They summon entire worlds in just a few pages and then bow out, with startling precision and compression. It is a delicate balance, and such delicate work requires small hands.

The Female Gaze and the Same Old Songs

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I recently went with my husband to a concert. The artist we saw writes gut-wrenching songs, and he and his band put on a great show. But I got restless about half way through. “It’s just so masculine,” I said to my husband, and not long after that the