Writing Archive

Character Through the Portraits of Alice Neel

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Almost everything I know about character development, I learned by studying the portraits of Alice Neel, who painted portraits in the mid-20th century at a time when the art world considered portrait painting nearly irrelevant.

MFA vs. Saint Germain des Près

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Over the past five years, France has witnessed, bemused, the emergence of a very special breed of master's programs—in creative writing. Today, in a country that’s supposedly one of the cradles of Western literature (or so we French love to believe), there are, all in all, three such programs.

Threatened with budget cuts, literary programs fight on

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Organizations engaged in the day-to-day work of running NEA-funded literary programs are continuing to serve their communities while facing potential budget cuts.

She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not: the Love Poem and the Elegy

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All of my attempted love poems sound like elegies, and so I’ve given up trying to write them for my beloved, lest I give the wrong impression. Occasionally, however, one will come to me like a windfall, a speck of gold in the pan.

#TravelBan: The Literary World Pushes Back

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Within the international literary community, the group most aggressively working toward refuting the underlying inhumanity of the Trump administration’s travel ban is an international journal of translation, Asymptote.

American Poetry: Video and the Evolution of Language

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The composition of poetry has taken on a new life. Poetry has evolved from oral and traditional forms, to print and performance, and to our present moment where an amalgam of all forms is possible with technology. Video is a revisiting of the oral and performative traditions of poetry

A Writer’s Ode to Seeing

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Bearing witness to each other and the planet is a solemn act. If we stop and truly observe our surroundings the way Thoreau did, we might be more inclined to save our planet. If we took the time to really see one another, we might appreciate better the value

The New Ethics for Writers of Color in A Post-Truth Era

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My creative writing students want to talk about the business of literature. They want to talk cover letters, agents, MFA programs, fellowships.

Being Seen: Latinx and Queer Visibility at Writing Conferences

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Visibility isn’t a vague term. You either see Latinx and Queer writers or you don’t. I don’t want to believe that literary conferences deliberately exclude writers, but I do believe that an oversight is made when a conference planning committee doesn’t try to represent every aspect of the literary

Dying Art

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The writing that most often attracts me enacts this same unavailing need to see from the inside and outside of everything at once. Poet and playwright Darcie Dennigan’s work evinces this scale problem perfectly.