Community Archive

The Black Aesthetic: Lyrical Dominance in Kendrick Lamar’s Damn

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Kendrick Lamar’s latest album Damn maintains his position as the most profound rap lyricist alive. With songs such as “DNA” Kendrick asserts his Black male dominance despite the media’s emphasis on Black male inferiority.

How to Tell a Story in a Quiet Year

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There is no one way to tell a story and at the table. Some stories can be told with a map, a deck of cards, and a group of friends trying their best to build a civilization.

Survival of the Readers

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In eighth grade, my science class included a unit about Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution. I built a diorama of clay giraffes meant to represent how offspring with longer necks were more likely to survive and reproduce since they were more capable of eating leaves from tall

The Ploughshares Round-Down: “Not Everything We Need Is In Ourselves”

Author: | Categories: Round-Up, Writing 1 Comment
Creation is often imagined as inherently isolated and intimate: a Walden Pond-esque activity improved by seclusion and destroyed by wifi, phone calls, and . . . well, friends. So I’ve been thrilled this month to see a few books being celebrated for challenging the Lone Genius Myth: Walter Isaacson’s The Innovators, Joshua Wolf Shenk’s Powers

Writing in a Changing World: Craft, Readerships, and Social Media

Author: | Categories: Publishing, Writing, Writing Advice 3 Comments
What do you wish your MFA program had taught you? How is the literary world—and media in general—changing? How should we change with it? These are the questions that motivate Stephanie Vanderslice‘s work as a writer, professor, and HuffPost blogger. I heard Vanderslice speak at the International Great Writing Conference this June, where she

“1984” As Told Through Internet GIFs

Author: | Categories: Reading 3 Comments
Everyday in Airstrip One (the country formerly known as England), Winston Smith goes to work. At work there is a girl named Julia. Winston gets pretty nervous around her because he’s convinced she’s part of the Thought Police.

Writing Lessons: Colleen Abel

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In our Writing Lessons series, writing students—and this month, writing instructors!—will discuss lessons learned, epiphanies about craft, and the challenges of studying and teaching writing. This week, we hear from Colleen Abel, the Joan Beebe Graduate Teaching Fellow at Warren Wilson College. You can follow her on Twitter @circadias. —Andrew Ladd, Blog

Episodia 1.10: Artistic Disappointment

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You’ve felt it before—that sinking feeling a writer gets when the project she’s been working on for months or years doesn’t meet her expectations. Your latest novel or short story doesn’t have cohesion despite your repeated attempts. You don’t get into the MFA program of your choice, or any

Why Poetry Can’t Find Its Public, Part Two

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A couple months ago, my blog, “Why Poetry Can’t Find Its Public” nearly caused a riot. Teeth were bared! F bombs thrown! I wanted readers to learn from pop music’s ability to connect with more people. Readers translated this as a suggestion that poetry be like pop music, sell like pop music, sell out like

Episodia 1.8: Bromantics

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Call it phileo, call it friendship, call it brotherly love—any way you slice it, I’m a sucker for a good bromance. After my most recent post (which dipped a toe into the treacherous territory of love triangles), I started thinking about the other kinds of love available for us