Writing Archive

Poetry Dialogue: Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon

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Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon is the author of Black Swan (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2002) which was a winner of the 2001 Cave Canem Poetry Prize, and ]Open Interval[ (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2009), which was a finalist for the National Book Award and for the L.A. Times Book Award.

Interview with Cate Marvin Part I

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  If you have, at any point this year, had a conversation about the number of women in publishing–the number of female-authored books reviewed in newspapers, say–you’ve had that conversation (likely) because of some numbers which were researched and published by VIDA, an organization devoted to women in literary

Poetry Dialogue: Oliver de la Paz

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Oliver de la Paz is the author of three collections of poetry, Names Above Houses, Furious Lullaby (SIU Press 2001, 2007), and Requiem for the Orchard (U. of Akron Press 2010), winner of the Akron Prize for poetry chosen by Martìn Espada. He co-chairs the advisory board of Kundiman

Thoughts on Structure

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I have become, maybe unfortunately, obsessed with structure. I don’t imagine I’m alone in considering this aspect of poetry: all of us who write have, at some point, had to decide where the line breaks, how we’ll let the clusters of language cohere. I don’t have a goal in

The Vampire in the Ivory Tower: Genre Fiction

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A year or so ago, a friend who teaches college English courses made a thought-provoking comment about the reality gap between MFA programs and the publishing world, one that continues to haunt me:  “Why do MFA writing faculty turn up their noses at genre fiction,” he asked, “when that’s

A Discussion about the word “Random,” Part II

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I have, for at least the past year, been mildly to massively frustrated by the rise of the word “random” as it’s presently used. This is dull in all sorts of ways—every writer’s got his/her words which frustrate, to say nothing of the nebbishness of even bothering to be

Rated R for Racy

In the mid-90s, when I was a graduate student at Indiana University and nervously facing my first class of undergraduate creative writing students, I understood within the first couple of weeks that there were few things more fascinating or more daunting for writers than the moment they decide to

“Random” Poetry: a conversation with Bob Hicok

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I have, for at least the past year, been mildly to massively frustrated by the rise of the word “random” as it’s presently used. This is dull in all sorts of ways—every writer’s got his/her words which frustrate, to say nothing of the nebbishness of even bothering to be