Spiritual Twins, Poetry Chavrutas

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Guest post by Alicia Jo Rabins There’s nothing like those years when you don’t yet have what you are working for. There’s a lot of freedom because there’s so much possibility. You need friends who are working for something, too…Everything starts with an all-night conversation. Find a spiritual twin

Kathryn Starbuck, Winter 2009-10 Contributor

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Kathryn Starbuck is the author of Griefmania, from Sheep Meadow Press, 2006. (Read “Thinking of John Clare” from Griefmania here.) Her poems appear in The Best American Poems 2008, The New Republic, The Gettysburg Review, The New Yorker, Poetry, AGNI Online, Harvard Review and elsewhere. She edited two volumes of George

Broken Plank & Immortal Veil

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Guest post by Peter B. Hyland In book five of The Odyssey, the sea goddess Ino comes to the aid of a storm-tossed Odysseus. She emerges from the waves and loans him her veil, a talisman that ensures he will arrive in one piece on the island of Scheria,

Extreme Isolation

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Guest post by James Arthur Several years ago, I had a brief, obsessive relationship with Winged Migration, a 98-minute documentary about birds, and I went to see it three times in theaters around Seattle. To my outrage, every time I saw the movie, there were people in the audience

Lisa Russ Spaar, Winter 2009-10 Contributor

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Lisa Russ Spaar‘s most recent poetry collection is Satin Cash (read “The Geese,” or other excerpts here). She edited Acquainted with the Night: Insomnia Poems and All That Mighty Heart: London Poems, and appears in Best American Poetry 2008. Her prizes include a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Rona Jaffe

Tim O’Brien: A Classic Looks at Twenty

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First Lieutenant Jimmy Cross carried letters from a girl named Martha, a junior at Mount Sebastian College in New Jersey. They were not love letters, but Lieutenant Cross was hoping, so he kept them folded in plastic at the bottom of his rucksack. In the late afternoon, after a

The Luck of the Irish: Colm Toibin on our Minds

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In honor of this great St. Patrick’s Day, we wanted to pay tribute to Colm Tóibín, signed to guest edit the Spring 2011 Ploughshares. Tóibín’s sixth novel Brooklyn has made a huge splash since publication in May 2009. Let’s check off the accolades: longlisted for the 2009 Booker Prize;

Real Risk: Writing as a Performance Art

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Guest post by Alicia Jo Rabins A palace must have passages….a poem must have transitions. –Samuel Johnson (via Barbara Guest) In making poems, we cross from the known to the unknown. We destroy the drywall of the consciousness-room we’ve been living in, look at the sky beyond, and then

Ploughshares Presents Tony Hoagland

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We were honored to have Tony Hoagland pay a visit to the Paramount Center back in February. At long last — the official videos are here! You can also check out our Pshares page on YouTube. Some of our favorite moments: “I tell my own students, I say you

You Talk Funny: Some Notes on Accessibility and Poetry

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Guest post by Peter B. Hyland At a dinner event last week, I met an engaging lawyer who was very interested in the fact that I write poetry. He had an enthusiasm for wanting to read poems, but admitted that he rarely does. His explanation was familiar–poetry can be