Free Ploughshares, featuring Yusef Komunyakaa

It’s time for our weekly free Ploughshares contest! This week, we’re featuring our Spring 1997 issue, guest-edited by Yusef Komunyakaa and featuring work by Mark Doty, Marilyn Hacker, and Martin Espada. Interestingly, it also features a story by Carolyn Ferrell, whose short story collection Don’t Erase Me was accidentally placed in the children’s section of this intern’s childhood library, traumatizing her slightly at age eight.

To win this issue, comment below with a reason why you love Yusef Komunyakaa or any of the issue’s other contributors. We’ll read through the comments and our managing editor Andrea Martucci will choose our winning commenter by noon tomorrow. After that, we’ll send you the issue and you’ll have up to thirty days to write a review that we’ll later publish on the Ploughshares blog and website, in honor of our upcoming fortieth anniversary.

The full contest details can be found here. If you’re interested in continuing to hear about this weekly contest, make sure to fan us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, subscribe to our blog feed, or add us on Tumblr.




UPDATE: I’ve made my selection, and so this posting is now CLOSED. We’ll be doing this every week, so there will be plenty more chances for free issues. Stay tuned!


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About Rhian Sasseen

Rhian Sasseen is a rising senior and English Language & Literature major at Smith College in Northampton, MA. She is a summer editorial intern at Ploughshares.
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3 Responses to Free Ploughshares, featuring Yusef Komunyakaa

  1. Mary Dockery says:

    When I first read Yusef Komunyakaa, it changed me. The poem “Facing It” was assigned in a poetry class and I couldn’t believe how strange and ambiguous a poem could be, while still being absolutely clear. Now, the reason I love Komunyakaa is because of how he impacts my own students. When we discuss his poems in class, I can see the same understanding, the same enlightenment, that I felt the first time I read a poem by him. Many students write papers over his poems, and usually he is the only repeat poet in big paper assignments (students get to choose their own poems and so many of them gravitate to his work). It never gets old reading how students respond to his work. They always seem to teach me more about it. His conversational, seemingly simple language is rich and complex and it is magnetic – even for those who don’t really “like” poetry (my students haha).

  2. Jennifer Brennock says:

    I teach creative writing at a community college and present “Nude Interrogation” side by side with other works in a discussion of point of view. It always has an effective and memorable impact on my students. I’d love to share this issue of Ploughshares with my class of new writers.

  3. I like Yusef Komunyakaa because he signed my copy of *The Chameleon Couch* at the National Book Festival and he’s buddies with a poet that is pretty famous in Fresno, where I’m from, and because he attended UC Irvine. Go Anteaters!