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Communists and Cassoulet: Julia Child on Dried Herbs, Dull Knives and Joseph McCarthy

Author: | Categories: Book Reviews, Nonfiction No comments
If Julia Child and Avis deVoto were here today, they’d be great Facebook friends. Julia and Avis bonded over food—buying it, cooking it and eating it. But since they were without technology, they wrote letters, which Joan Reardon collected into a book titled As Always, Julia: The Letters of Julia Child and Avis

From Swaddles to Slang: Creative Problem Solving in Translation and Motherhood

Author: | Categories: Writing No comments
In late February I finished up the translation of a novel. In mid-March my son was born. Caring for a baby is not all too different than dealing with a challenging translation, though granted the hours are less convenient and the boss often poses unreasonable demands. In both cases

On and Of the Page: The Life–Art Collapse

Author: | Categories: Reading, Writing Advice No comments
A few years ago at a conference, I read a section from my long poem “Sublimation” in which the speaker describes a miscarriage that, in its vicious pain and effusions, wakes her up in the middle of the night. After the reading, as I was mingling my way toward

Social Media and Literature

Author: | Categories: Reading, Uncategorized No comments
I seem a little less in love with literature because of social media. My apologies to the Ploughshares staff who have to Tweet about this post, but it’s true. For a few months I was an intern for an online literary magazine, helping with their social media. I’d done

Is Anyone Reading Your Blog Posts?: Building a Literary Community in the Age of Facebook

Author: | Categories: Reading, Series, Writing No comments
In the creative writing for new media course I teach at the University of Iowa, we spend the first few weeks talking about ways in which technology has changed the way we communicate with one another, for better or worse. When it comes to Facebook in particular, it’s interesting

Ploughshares Gets a Makeover

Author: | Categories: Announcements No comments
You may be noticing that the blog looks a little different today. Or maybe you’re not–maybe you’ve never been to this website before. If that’s the case, I hope you stick around. Regardless, today you’ve stumbled on (or have been intentionally prompted to visit, courtesy of our Twitter or

Writers You Want to Punch in the Face(book)

Author: | Categories: Uncategorized 73 Comments
This is the story of Todd Manly-Krauss, the world’s most irritating writer. He’s a good enough guy in real life (holds his liquor, fun at parties, writes a hell of a short story)—but give the guy a social media account, and the most mild-mannered of his writer friends will

Paper Trials

Author: | Categories: Writing 5 Comments

Sending Out Work: The Job Part of the Writing Job

Author: | Categories: Publishing, Publishing Advice 5 Comments
Well, folks, September is here and we all know what that means…literary journals are open for submissions! Yes, yes: time to update that bio, polish up that cover, and put the final touches on your best work. Remember that a piece of literature is only half done until it

Why Poetry Can’t Find Its Public, Part Two

Author: | Categories: Uncategorized 18 Comments
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