interview Archive

It Never Rains on National Day: an interview with writer Jeremy Tiang

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Jeremy Tiang is a fiction writer, playwright, and translator from Singapore. His short story collection It Never Rains on National Day was published by Epigram Books in 2015, and is available at Epigram Books’ website. He lives in Brooklyn and was recently featured in the Singapore Writers Festival. We caught up

Artistry is a Kind of Citizenship – Ploughshares Interviews Allan Gurganus

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I’ve been aware of Allan Gurganus since I was a few years old; we hail from the same small town, Rocky Mount, North Carolina, and his books lined the shelves of homes I visited, and the local library. Turns out his name was also in the New Yorker, and

“So that the poem is an act of discovery”: An Interview with Brian Komei Dempster

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Brian Komei Dempster received the 15 Bytes Book Award in Poetry for his debut collection, Topaz (Four Way Books, 2013), which examines the experiences of a Japanese American family separated and incarcerated in American World War II prison camps. Through their interwoven narratives, his poems show us how the past

Novelists, You’re Doing It Right

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You’re trying to write a novel. Sometimes, it’s exhilarating: characters wake you in the night, yammering, springing into action. Sometimes, it’s excruciating: you stare into blankness, and finally, when the words arrive, they reek of your incompetence. It’s taking forever, this novel of yours. It’s ugly. It’s full of

Reading Cookbooks Like Novels: Bookseller Bonnie Slotnick

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Looking for an international cookbook by horror-film actor Vincent Price? A 1920s etiquette manual suitable for Jay Gatsby? Or Alice B. Toklas’ infamous tome with its recipe for fudge spiked with hashish? Bonnie Slotnick‘s got you covered. With a collection of some 4,000 out-of-print and antiquarian culinary titles stocked

How to Feed Your Characters: The Food Timeline

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Writing about some hungry characters? In a time or place very different from your own? The Food Timeline might just save your bacon. Founded by New Jersey-based reference librarian, Lynne Olver, FT is a free, open-access website and research service devoted to the history of all things culinary. I

Roundup: Conversations and Collaborations Among Writers

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As we launch a new blog format for the new year, we’re also looking back at all the great posts since the blog started in 2009. Our roundups explore the archives and gather past posts around a certain theme to help you jump-start your week. This week we have posts

Hearing Voices: Women Versing Life presents: Deborah Clearman

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“You can say anything with kindness” is the oft-repeated phrase of most professors in writing workshops. It’s a reminder, of course, to speak the truth in our criticism of each other’s work, but to speak it gently. It’s one way to make the workshop environment feel safe and comfortable.

The Physics of Fiction, the Music of Philosophy: an Interview with Rebecca Newberger Goldstein

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Rebecca Newberger Goldstein’s astonishments as a philosopher and as a novelist are too numerous to list here. Already launched in her career as a philosophy professor, she reached a moment in her own life when philosophical inquiry no longer felt like a broad enough arena in which to explore

Tips and Tricks: an Interview with Tom Parker

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For today’s post, I am interviewing my long-time writing coach and mentor Tom Parker. I first met Tom at a writer’s workshop run out of University of California, Berkeley six years ago. He was the professor, and I was an overconfident young writer who needed guidance. Since then, he