Category Archives: Readings

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Competing With Your Muse: On Stephen Amidon’s Something Like the Gods

Under Review: Something Like the Gods: A Cultural History of the Athlete from Achilles to LeBron by Stephen Amidon (2012, Rodale, 240 pages) Sports, much like the arts, are only as vitally useful—or frivolously useless—as the beholder deems them. Neither … Continue reading

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New (and Old) Stories (and Poems) from the Midwest

 In a previous post I wrote about Midwestern literature and spent a lot of time defending the region against attack. But there certainly are folks who enjoy the flatland’s contributions to American letters. In fact, more than a few commented … Continue reading

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14 Ways to Tick off a Writer

“I love throwing rocks at tigers in the zoo,” you say, “but now that the weather’s cold, I need an indoor activity.” Look no further. Writers are fun and easy to annoy. Minimum effort, maximum rage. Try these 14 simple … Continue reading

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Revising Like Alice(s)

There has been a flurry of praise for Alices lately—Munro for her much-deserved Nobel, McDermott for her highly-praised new novel Someone—and it has me thinking about why these two authors are having a cultural moment. They write about women, often … Continue reading

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A Q&A Between Former Ploughshares Contributors Ethan Rutherford and Paul Yoon

This guest post was contributed by Ethan Rutherford. —Andrew Ladd, blog editor. I recently moved, and while unpacking my books I stumbled upon an old issue of Ploughshares—Fall 2007, guest edited by Andrea Barrett. I don’t always keep my old … Continue reading

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Unfiltered Access: An Interview with the Editors of Barrelhouse

The folks over at Barrelhouse are keeping busy. There’s the journal, of course, but now they’re also in the book business, the podcast business, and the literary event business. Just over a month away from the annual Conversations and Connections … Continue reading

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Close Watching: Tech + Text = The Reading Paradigm of the Future?!

When it comes to good ol’-fashioned reading, the influence of new-fangled technology is rarely construed as “positive.” A recent Pew Internet Study suggests our that our brains are being “rewired” for attention deficiency by nonstop, rapid-fire access to information. Adbusters’ Micah … Continue reading

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John Ashbery

I came early in the evening to lower Manhattan, more than an hour before the showcase reading that night at Poets House. I came to browse the showcase shelves and to meet a friend and share a bit of supper … Continue reading

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Cornelia St. Café and The Perfect Sense Reading Series

I can’t think of a New York City poet who hasn’t read at the Cornelia St. Café and I don’t know of one who doesn’t look forward to doing so again.  Tucked since 1977 into the block-long West Village street whose … Continue reading

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Poetry and Its Whores

In a year when summer came early to the city and spring came late thereafter, I did what seemed most reasonable on a May night misting rain and trolling a light fog.  The only reasonable thing a suddenly lonesome man, … Continue reading

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