Vote For Your Favorite Piece From the Strout Issue

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The deadline to cast your vote for the Reader’s Choice Award is tomorrow, May 15th! Our Spring issue, guest edited by Elizabeth Strout, is brimming with literary talent. Deciding which one piece of fiction or poetry will get your vote may be a tough task, but we think you’re

Anais to Kansas

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Guest post by Bridget Lowe My adolescence was difficult. I was utterly confused, depressed, and lonely. I had braces and was so vain that I refused to wear the glasses I desperately needed. My parents didn’t understand me, my teachers didn’t understand me, and I still had to share

Paula Bohince on Psychic Ribs and Solitude

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Paula Bohince’s poem “Wishbone,” in our Spring 2010 issue, moves from the eponymous object itself, “soaped clean,” through the speaker’s memory and back again to the breaking point. Excerpt from “Wishbone”: Psychic rib Soaped clean, skeleton Key to every lock In this house. Heartless, This place, as I’ve Come

Congratulations to our Pushcart Prize winners

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Every year, hundreds of small presses and literary journals nominate poetry and prose to the Pushcart Prize, one of the most respected literary projects in America. Ploughshares is pleased to announce our contributors L.S. Asekoff, Brigit Pegeen Kelly, and Martin Moran are winners of the 2011 Pushcart Prize. Their

2010 Cohen Awards: Adrian Blevins & Andria Nacina Cole

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Each year, we honor the best poem and short story published in Ploughshares with the Cohen Awards, wholly sponsored by our longtime patrons Denise and Mel Cohen. The winners, selected by our advisory editors and staff readers, each receive a cash prize of $600. The 2010 Cohen Awards for

A Writer’s Envy, Part V: The Propaganda of Neutralism

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Guest post by Scott Nadelson Visual artists also get to do narrative. And metaphor, too. As if they don’t have enough already, these spoiled visual artists, with their museums and their fancy openings and their relationships with Icelandic pop stars. Must they also steal from poor, humble writers, who

Not Night Enough

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Guest post by Carol Keeley I wrecked my neck last July–three blown discs, bone spurs, stenosis, a semi-choked spinal cord. For the next eight months, I was unable to write. On a good day, I could type for about ten minutes or write briefly by hand. Then mid-winter, I

Cynocephali Strike Again

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Guest post by Bridget Lowe The friction between our human and animal natures (a dubious distinction from the start) has been the subject of inquiry for a very long time, from Nebuchadnezzar, who loses his wits and wanders as a wild man for seven years, to Ovid’s Metamorphoses, which

Elizabeth Strout at Emerson: The Videos (Part I)

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The footage is finally here! Watch the first half of Elizabeth Strout’s question-and-answer session on April 15 at Emerson College below, or on our YouTube channel. In these videos, she discusses revising¬†Olive Kitteridge, writing cantankerous female characters, surviving law school, and sometimes being surprised by her own work.

A Writer’s Envy, Part IV: The Heart Is a Telephone

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Guest post by Scott Nadelson Apparently, envy goes both ways. Just last week I had lunch with a sculptor friend who said he really wishes he could have been a writer, that he constantly struggles against the limitations of what his medium can communicate. He’s South African, and his