Herman Melville Archive

The Dark Side of the Wild

Author: | Categories: Critical Essays No comments
How does the idea of the “wild” manifest itself in the lives, and ways of living, that contemporary America remains both fascinated by and deeply ambivalent about?

Lilies in the Yard: On Getting Away

Author: | Categories: Writing No comments
I reread Sylvia Plath this summer on a fairly remote island off Ireland’s Connemara coast. Plath had been there once in September of 1962. She and Ted Hughes accepted an invitation from the Irish poet, Richard Murphy, to visit him at his home in the country’s heralded west.

Throwback Thursday: Bartleby, the Scrivener by Herman Melville

Author: | Categories: Series No comments
Though Bartleby, the Scrivener was published in 1853 and documents a world that’s vastly different from our own, it’s a strangely prescient text. The words and situations may be dated, but the sentiment feels familiar: it’s a horror story you’d expect to hear in our era of modernity.

A White Man Used An Asian Woman’s Name To Publish A Poem. Does That Change The Poem? Yes: A Brown Man Explains

Author: | Categories: Industry News, Reading No comments
By now you’ve probably read about the 2015 Best American Poetry scandal. For the uninitiated, the story goes like this: the anthology comes out with a contributor note by the editor, Sherman Alexie, which states that one of the poets included in the anthology, Yi-Fen Chou, is actually the

Harold Bloom’s Song of Self

Author: | Categories: Reading, Writing No comments
Here’s the story of my first and only encounter with Harold Bloom. It was the first week of a new semester, my last semester of graduate school, and I was waiting in a stuffy seminar room packed with sharply dressed undergraduates. The luckiest students had secured seats around the grand

“An Essay Needs to be about Exploring”: An Interview with Angela Pelster

Angela Pelster is the author of Limber (Sarabande Books, 2014), for which she won the Great Lakes College Association New Writer Award. This book was first described to me as a “collection of essays about trees,” which is like saying Moby Dick is a book about a whale. Trees

Suggestions for the Next iBooks Update

Author: | Categories: Reading No comments

The Newest Big Thing From Latin America

Author: | Categories: Reading, Writing No comments
Every once in awhile a book comes across my desk that I read and can’t believe hasn’t blown up bigger already. Jennifer Clement’s Prayers for the Stolen is the thing I’m big on right now, a novel about the dangers of being a girl in contemporary Narco Mexico, narrated

A World of My Own

Author: | Categories: Uncategorized 1 Comment
When I was a kid, I would spend hours drawing maps of fictional towns. Sometimes, it would start with a river running down the page; other times, a mountain. Each street I added carried a name. Construction would continue over time: homes, schools, hospitals, even sport stadiums (Melville, home

Writing Lessons: Judith Conte

Author: | Categories: Writing 8 Comments
In our Writing Lessons series, writing students will discuss lessons learned, epiphanies about craft, and the challenges of studying writing. This week, we hear from Judith Conte, a student at the 2013 Kachemak Bay Writers Conference. You can follow Judith on Twitter @JudithConte. —Andrew Ladd, Blog Editor At the 2013