reading Archive

Series Junkies: We Are All “Loving Tyrants”

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What to do when, as a writer, you’re ready to move on from a world you’ve created, but your fan base is not? L. Frank Baum, the originator of the Oz world and all its charming characters, had exactly that experience. It goes like this. Beginning in 1900, he

“It’s Not You, It’s Me” & Other Reasons We Don’t Finish Good Books

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You’re sitting across from someone you really dig. One of you is fiddling with a napkin edge or straw wrapper, avoiding eye contact. One of you finally says: It’s not you. It’s me. And then the unraveling begins. One-sided endings are tough, and they occur in more than just

My Ideal Bookshelf* (*For Today)

Author: | Categories: Reading, Writing 12 Comments
The package arrived earlier than expected, its corners sharp, its weight hardbound. I tore open the seal and inhaled its out-of-print mustiness. This was the book with all the answers. This book contained all I needed in the world right then. Giddily, I flipped through photos of crosscut saws

The Best Story I Read in a Lit Mag This Week: “My Parasite” by Gina Frangello

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The thing about a well-developed setting is that in many ways it’s invisible: it’s hidden in a sentence that reveals a character’s flaw, it sits quietly beside an emotional truth, it’s the catalyst for a surprising behavior. Setting grounds us in a specific context so that we can believe

Patricia Hampl Reads at Emerson (October 4 @ 8:00)

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Mark your calendars! Fall 2012 guest editor and award-winning author Patricia Hampl will visit Emerson to read from her work and introduce her all-essay issue of Ploughshares. This event is free and open to the public! WHEN: Thursday, October 4 @ 8:00 p.m WHERE: Bill Bordy Theatre: 216 Tremont

How Much of Your Salary Would You Spend on a Book?

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Last year my husband, Adam Stumacher, and I moved to Guatemala so we could work on our novels. That was the plan. Our first week there, he worked diligently, often using Freedom on his computer so he could stay focused on his daily word count goal. Me? Not so

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

Nick Flynn: Q&A and Reading (with videos and blurry photos!)

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Spring guest editor Nick Flynn stopped by Emerson last night to read, introduce the issue, and chat with Ploughshares poetry editor John Skoyles. He was introduced by poet and novelist Pablo Medina and Ploughshares editor-in-chief Ladette Randolph. Nick read his Introduction from the Spring issue and also pages from

Fanny Howe and Martha Ronk reading at the Blacksmith House

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Former Ploughshares guest-editor Fanny Howe (Vol. 2/1, Spring 1974) and Ploughshares contributor Martha Ronk will be reading from their work on December 7th at the Blacksmith House. Fanny Howe is the author of over twenty books of poetry and prose. She is the recipient of several literary awards, including