Roxane Gay Archive

Round-Down: Historical Underpinnings of Continual Sexism in Publishing

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  Writer Catherine Nichols’ recent experiment, in which she submitted a manuscript to agents under a male pseudonym and received eight-and-a-half times the number of responses that the same manuscript received under her real name, confirms a gender bias in publishing that desperately needs addressing. Nichols is not without precedent in

Round-Down: A Year of Publishing Only Women

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In a surprising move, And Other Stories, an independent publisher in the United Kingdom, decided last week to take up novelist Kamila Shamsie’s call for publishers to take a stand against gender bias by publishing only women in 2018. Publisher Stefan Tobler said that he and his colleagues had realized

“It’s All About the Panic”: An Interview with Mary Biddinger

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Mary Biddinger’s poems are poignant, playful, a little mysterious, in love with language, and full of surprising connections: between music and meaning, between memory and imagination, between nostalgia and a yearning for what’s next. I’ve read and admired her poems since we were in the same undergraduate workshops at

Why I’m One Bad—But Well-Read—Feminist

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It’s been a long time since I’ve felt like an adequate representation of “feminist.” When I married my husband a little over seven years ago, I barely waited a month before giving notice at my full-time job so I could give full-time freelancing a try. Since then, I’ve slowly become ever

The Power of An Author Who Can Share Her Insides

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At least sixteen years ago, maybe more, I read Elizabeth Wurtzel’s Prozac Nation and saw myself. These days, it’s de rigueur to dismiss Wurtzel as a chaotic, self-involved mess. But back then, after receiving a diagnosis of chronic depression with bipolar tendencies, I ate up Wurtzel’s navel-gazing, book-length confessional. I read about her

Episodia 2.6: TV-Based Beach Reads

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Ah, summer. That sweltry time of year when some of our favorite television shows go on hiatus and we head outdoors for lots of sun, swimming, and—if you’re like me—lots of literature. I love the feeling of reading poolside on a sunny afternoon, and the right book can transform

Ploughshares Fantasy Blog Draft Finals: The Holden Caulbabies vs What the Chuckin’ Buk?!

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It’s been a long, tortuous path from the inception of the Fantasy Blog competition to the finals, full of upsets and surprises—but here we are, left with two teams standing after the semifinals three weeks ago which brought surprises of its own. After a cross-country move, the commissioner was

Ploughshares Fantasy Blog Draft Round 2 – The Mighty Duck Palahniuks vs The Holden Caulbabies

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After a fevered start to the competition, with spirited fights from each side, the competition slowed this last week as Buckle Your Corn Belts and Vonnegut to the Chopper! tortoised their way through the match-up. The teams ended at a stalemate, and we were forced to implement a tiebreaker:

The Books We Teach #2: Interview with Roxane Gay

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The Books We Teach series will feature primary, secondary, and post-secondary educators and their thoughts about literature in the face of an evolving classroom. Posts will highlight literary innovations in teaching, contemporary literature’s place in pedagogy, and the books that writers teach. In the spirit of educational dynamism, we

Fantasy Blog Draft – Round 3 – Wildcard Picks!

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[Editor’s note: If your March Madness bracket got busted, never fear! You can now redeem yourself with our Fantasy Blog Draft Bracket! Starting June 11, our completed teams will be facing off against each other, with reader votes on Facebook determining the winners. Until then, you can pick your