Non-Writing Things That Nevertheless Help Me Write: Music

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When I told a friend my idea for these posts, she said, “That’s great. Post 1: beer. Post 2: scotch.” This rather snarky answer actually reinforced one of my goals for these admittedly egotistical pieces: All writers have their crutches and vices, and while alcohol is often one of

Zazen

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Zazen Vanessa Veselka Red Lemonade, May 2011 $15.95 257 pages This post was written by Caitlin O’Neil. With the anniversary of the September 11 attacks just a few days past, Zazen isn’t the comforting book you might be seeking. But it is a book that could not have been

Free Ploughshares: Raymond Carver

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It’s once again time for another free Ploughshares contest, and this week we’re featuring our Winter 1983 issue, guest edited by Raymond Carver and featuring work by Mona Simpson, Tim O’Brien, Jay McInerney, and Tobias Wolff.   For anyone unfamiliar with the contest, the rules are simple: comment in

Coeur de Lion

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Coeur de Lion Ariana Reines Fence Books, September 2011 $15.95 128 pages Coeur de lion (“lion-heart”) is the brand of cheese pictured in the frontispiece to Ariana Reines’s second book of poetry. More famously, it’s the cognomen of Richard I of England, who also turns up, on page 65. 

Innovators in Lit #6: Melissa Broder

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Melissa Broder is the author of two poetry collections, Meat Heart (Publishing Genius, 2012) and When You Say One Thing But Mean Your Mother (Ampersand Books, 2010). She edits La Petite Zine and curates the Polestar Poetry Series. By day, she is a publicity manager at Penguin. I was excited to

Non-Writing Things that Nevertheless Help Me Write: Steve Martin

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When I told a friend my idea for these posts, she said, “That’s great. Post 1: beer. Post 2: scotch.” This rather snarky answer actually reinforced one of my goals for these admittedly egotistical pieces: all writers have their crutches and vices, and while alcohol is often one of

A. S. J. Tessimond’s Collected Poems

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Collected Poems A.S.J. Tessimond Bloodaxe Books, November 2010 256 pages $24.95 Wallace Stevens wrote that “The poem must resist the intelligence / Almost successfully.” That mischievous “almost,” of course, can be interpreted in many ways, and poets have always had different attitudes about how much of a fight verses

Free Ploughshares, featuring guest editor Seamus Heaney

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It’s time for our weekly free Ploughshares contest, and this time we are featuring Seamus Heaney again, and the first issue that he guest edited: our Spring 1980 issue. It also features work by Ted Hughes and Paul Muldoon.   UPDATE: I’ve made my selection, and so this posting

Wild Coast

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Wild Coast: Travels on South America’s Untamed Edge John Gimlette Alfred A. Knopf, June 2011 368 Pages $28.95 This post was written by Luke Epplin. In 2008, British travel writer John Gimlette trekked for months through the countries along South America’s northeastern rim, together known as the Guianas. Wild

Innovators in Lit #5: Paper Darts

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Paper Darts founders Jamie Millard, Regan Smith, and Meghan Suszynski are “taking back the lit scene, one lame pen and quill metaphor at a time.” Since 2009 Paper Darts has produced a reliably gorgeous magazine, and the organization recently expanded to include a press, which will soon publish its