Guest Bloggers Archive

The Best Way To See

Author: | Categories: Writing 14 Comments
In distance running circles, we talk about the “shelf life” of our legs. The hips, knees, ankles, and feet can sustain only so much wear and tear before they start to give out. What does impending expiration look like? One day I run a solid 8-miler; the next day

Hearing Voices: Women Versing Life presents Phillis Wheatley

Author: | Categories: Writing 4 Comments
Now you’re on an auction block, struggling to stand, naked except for a scrap of blanket wrapped around your shoulders. You watch as money exchanges hands and realize that you are owned now, someone’s belonging. These new people call you Phillis, again and again, as if the name your

“Pineapples Don’t Have Sleeves”: On Assessing Absurdity

Author: | Categories: Reading 3 Comments
In the days immediately following my last post, in which I stumbled semi-sensically through the difficulties of assessing images that are designed (at least in part) to resist explanation, Facebook lit up with a series of articles about a talking pineapple that recently appeared on a New York Public

Small Presses—Where to Look for Intriguing Poetry

Author: | Categories: Reading 8 Comments
As a poet, I am always trying to do new things with my own work, trying to push my own boundaries so that I don’t end up writing the same poem over and over in the same way for the rest of my life. The tough question is, how

First Drafts: Fiction

Author: | Categories: Writing 2 Comments
A Conversation with Lauren Groff, Kevin Moffett, and Christine Schutt This week, I’m excited to introduce a series of conversations I’ll be posting in the coming months: First Drafts. I’m talking to writers across genres about that tenuous and thrilling moment when something new arrives and, in one way

Some Notes on Narcissism, The Line and Poets By Name

Author: | Categories: Writing 9 Comments
A fiction writer once told me that she thought most American poetry was apolitical and self-centered. Here’s the poem she made up to go along with her feeling: I was looking out the window upon a field thinking about myself. The line breaks are mine. I can see her

Hearing Voices: Women Versing Life presents Sun Yung Shin

Author: | Categories: Writing 1 Comment
I was fifteen when I decided I would make myself appreciate Emily Dickinson. One summer afternoon I sat down on my bedroom floor with a small book of Dickinson poems I’d been given as a gift and a dictionary. I’d never looked up so many words (I was not

Gatekeepers (Part Three), on comparing apples to desperate, near-extinct marsupials braving the Pacific in coconut dinghies

Author: | Categories: Publishing No comments
At its most basic, a literary editor’s job is a series of “either/or” decisions, or a long and hopefully-not-very-drunken game of “would you rather”: the editor takes a stack of poems/stories/essays and weighs them against each other to choose what gets published and what does not. This is the

The Death of Poetry?

Author: | Categories: Uncategorized 10 Comments
  With Easter and Passover falling early in April, Poetry Month began in full earnest later than usual here in New York City, about the middle of the month. While some continue to wait their turns in line to decry the end of poetry in these United States, the

Book People

Author: | Categories: Writing 1 Comment
Apparently, E.L. Doctorow once taught a course that only had one book on the syllabus. The class read the one book and decided from there what the next book should be. If it was Jane Eyre, somebody might then suggest The Wide Sargasso Sea, which was a prequel and