Mark Strand Archive

Aloud Poetry

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For so long, I’ve heard academic poets and readers disparage poems written to be spoken aloud, condemning them as less thoughtful, as noisy and navel-gazey, their craft less delicate and considered.

Waiting for Hopper

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Woman in the Sun is located in the large hall next to the elevators on the sixth floor of the new Whitney Museum. The good thing is that most people go straight for the exhibition so that the space in front of the painting isn’t crowded.

Our Spring 2016 Issue is Now Available!

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We are pleased to announce that our Spring 2016 issue has been released! Acclaimed poets Tom Sleigh and Alan Shapiro guest-edit this poetry and prose issue of Ploughshares. In a heartfelt introduction the two dedicate the issue to Mark Strand, Philip Levine, C.K. Williams, and Seamus Heaney, they write,  “We wanted to bring

Letter to myself: On fatherhood and poems

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A published letter is a strange act. It’s like a whisper made into a loudspeaker. It’s a secret note the town’s tacked onto the city hall bulletin board after the carrier pigeon nosedived into the public square. It’s intimacy externalized. Some letters seem to speak to no one at

Harold Bloom’s Song of Self

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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

Round-Down: Is Evaluating Great Literature A Democratic or Elitist Prospect?

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With many year-end best of 2014 book lists pouring out on the tail end of the National Book Award announcements last month, as well as with prize nominations opening up this month for the Pulitzers, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about literary merit prizes and how they influence

Workshopping My Dog

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Hearing Voices: Women Versing Life presents Lavonne J. Adams and Historical Poetry

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This is a series about women writing life, but sometimes the lives we write are not our own. We may have a personal connection to the historical characters in our poems or we may feel an inexplicable kinship, an irresistible calling to tell their stories. I’ve been told that

Literary Boroughs #5: Brooklyn, NY

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The Literary Boroughs series will explore little-known and well-known literary communities across the country and world and show that while literary culture can exist online without regard to geographic location, it also continues to thrive locally. The series will run on our blog from May 2012 until AWP13 in Boston. Please enjoy the fifth

Five Books That Changed How I Think About Writing

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The best books I’ve read haven’t just been good: they’ve changed the way I think about writing, they’ve challenged what I think a book can and should do, they’ve encouraged me to go back to older texts and read them in a new light. In short, they’ve not only