Mary Ruefle Archive

On Sentimentality: Zoe Heller, Leslie Jamison, Nate Pritts, & Mary Ruefle

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When we talk about sentimentality in literature, we talk about the “contemporary, pejorative sense of the word,” Zoe Heller writes for the New York Times. A word defined by Merriam-Webster as “the quality or state of being sentimental especially to excess or in affectation.” A word with synonyms such as

Ruefle, Hokusai, and the American View of Asia

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Katsushika Hokusai, contemporary of Goya and Turner and Ingres, artistic godfather of Monet and Van Gogh, was recently the subject of an exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts here in Boston. He’s been on my mind ever since. Most of us know Hokusai’s artwork from the image above,

A Gathering of Particulars: On Building a Word-Hoard

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It is fitting that the bowerbird roosts in the opening lines of Ted Hughes’s poem “A Literary Life,” for there is perhaps no better mascot for reader and writer both. The species is a known collector, spending the better part of the year building complicated huts from assorted novelties:

Madness, Rack, and Honey

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Madness, Rack, And Honey: Collected Lectures Mary Ruefle Wave Books, August 2012 327 pages $25.00   Dear Dr. Poetry, I’ve been hiding my poetry for 3 years now, and I’m dying to finally tell my family I’m a poet. But there’s always been a lot of stigma about poetry ever

Black Ocean, An Interview with Janaka Stucky and Carrie Adams

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Continuing my quest to learn about interesting small presses, I had the opportunity to interview Black Ocean editors, Janaka Stucky and Carrie Adams.  Black Ocean has generated a fair amount of buzz around their small press and I was curious to learn more about them and what they’re working on.

“I Pledge My Death-Wattle to the Cause of Poetry”

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Guest post by Peter B. Hyland One of the finest readings I can remember attending took place a few years ago. It was held at the Museum of Printing History in Houston, a serene little building displaying so many typographical wonders that each time I leave I feel compelled