Our Winter 2014-15 Issue is Now Available!

3D-cover-winter201415We are elated to announce that our staff-edited Winter 2014-15 Issue is available for purchase! Each year, two of our three issues are guest-edited by prominent writers who explore different personal visions, aesthetics, and literary circles, while the Winter Issue staff-edited.

The Winter Issue of Ploughshares features a diverse collection of poems, essays, and stories. The prose ranges from surreal humor–David Cameron’s “Mannequin,” about a man’s relationship with a life-size doll he buys to use the HOV lane–to tragedy, in Lisa Gruenberg’s essay on the experiences of her Viennese father and his family during the Holocaust. Sherrie Flick’s Plan B essay looks at the joy and rage of gardening, and Nancy Kang and Silvio Torres-Saillaint write an appreciation of the Dominican-American poet Rhina P. Espaillat.

The Winter Issue also features poetry by Philip Levine, Sherod Santos, Nalini Jones, Laurie Sewall, and Gary Young; an interview with Zacharis Award winner Roger Reeves; and work by the winners of our annual Emerging Writer’s Contest.

If you would like to read our Winter issue, and you aren’t already a subscriber, subscribe to Ploughshares today! You’ll get great reads, ideas for your own writing, and the ability to submit your work to us for free!

This issue is also available for Amazon Kindle.

You can purchase single copies of our issues or subscribe by visiting our website: www.pshares.org.

Snack Time with Sherrie Flick

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Sherrie and the beloved Bubs the dog

When writer Sherrie Flick coordinated events at the immensely popular Gist Street Reading Series in Pittsburgh, one thing was certain, beyond the high caliber of the visiting writers and the fact the space would be packed: there would be fabulous food. Crusty bread, gooey cheese, in-season vegetables, jugs of wine and—Sherrie’s specialty—plenty of pie.

Sherrie’s flash fiction often incorporates food as a driving metaphor too, and her novel, Reconsidering Happiness, primarily takes place in a bakery. But in recent years, Sherrie’s culinary ventures have moved out of the kitchen and off the page—she teaches food writing at Chatham University, and she is a food columnist, an urban gardener, and the series editor for At Table, an evolving book list at University of Nebraska Press that seeks to “expand and enrich the ever-changing discussion of food politics, nutrition, the cultural and sociological significance of eating, sustainability, agriculture, and the business of food.”

As Sherrie Flick’s blend of food and writing continues to expand, I wanted to discover how this focus on food has evolved in her writing and her life.

KF: You just published a wonderful essay on bread baking and the creative process in Necessary Fiction, where you explain that for you the two skills evolved almost hand-in-hand. Have you also discovered a creative connection with urban gardening?

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Sherrie’s garden in the heart of Pittsburgh

SF: I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately because I’m writing another essay for the Necessary Fiction series that links my gardening to learning how to play the ukulele. That’s a more complicated connection than my garden’s connection to my creative process though.

For me, some days—most days, really—the garden is a physical manifestation of my creative process. I look at it all crazed and wandering and beautiful and weird in my yard and I think: yes, my friend, that is what the inside of your head looks like.
As fiction writers we rarely get to SEE a physical manifestation of our work. Words on the page become images in a reader’s mind. Gardening helps me see the way I organize—or more correctly—disorganize structure.

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Writers and Their Pets: Sherrie Flick

The ‘Writers and Their Pets’ series began with my own desire to celebrate my dog Sally, and over the coming months I will also invite other writers to share with the rest of us the details of their lives with beloved pets. —Ladette Randolph, Editor-in-Chief

SherrieBubsXmasEve2011Blu was born on July 3, 2006, and he is a good boy.

It just so happens that my birthday is also July 3rd, but we are bonded over much more than that. Blu is a Yorkshire Terrier and he is my first dog. Before he came into my life I was a confirmed cat person but all that changed.

I had never wanted a dog, and I didn’t want this one. When he arrived at our house, Blu was no bigger than a guinea pig and I wondered how he would ever be able to go up and down the stairs. The first walk we took him on, he couldn’t make it up onto the curb by himself.

The rule was that I was not responsible for this puppy. The other rules were: No sweaters. No toys. Well, just a couple toys. But no sweaters!

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