Free Ploughshares, Featuring Guest Editor Martin Espada

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This week’s free Ploughshares contest features our Spring 2005 issue, guest edited by Martin Espada and featuring work by Melissa Bank, Robert Creeley, Adrienne Rich, and a Pablo Neruda poem translated by Ilan Stavans.   In order to win this issue, leave a comment below detailing why you love

The Seamstress and the Wind

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The Seamstress and the Wind César Aira New Directions, June 2011 144 pages $12.95 César Aira is a deconstructed Kafka; a compact, comprehensible Roberto Bolaño obsessed with the frightening nonsense of civilization. The latter comparison terrifies academic readers, because if Bolano is made compact and comprehensible, how can they pretend

Innovators in Lit #9: Lookout Books

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Lookout Books, the literary imprint at UNC Wilmington, was founded by Emily Louise Smith, director of The Publishing Laboratory, and Ben George, editor of Ecotone. Lookout gained national attention when their debut title, Edith Pearlman’s Binocular Vision, landed a cover review in the New York Times, with Pearlman going

Interview with Curtis Harnack

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Sometimes the right thing simply happens at the right time, and everything falls into place so beautifully that it’s almost impossible to remember how you existed beforehand. So it was for me when I was accepted to Yaddo last fall, and ended up in a wonderful group of people.

Power Ballads

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Power Ballads Will Boast University of Iowa Press, October 2011 160 pages $16.00 This post was written by Lynne Weiss. A lot of writers are drawn to music. There is nothing scientific about this impression, but I think there are more novels, poems, and stories about music and musicians

Free Ploughshares! Special Poetry Issue

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Free Ploughshares time! For this week, we’re featuring our Spring 1982 special poetry issue, featuring an interview with Robert Bly and poems by Maxine Kumin, Jane Kenyon, Donald Hall, and Sharon Olds.   To win this issue, simply comment in the space provided below with a reason why you

An Interview with former Ploughshares Senior Reader Kate Flaherty

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Until recently, Kate Flaherty was our Senior Reader for fiction. We sat down and talked to her over e-mail about literary magazines, reading slush, and her own work. Ploughshares: Tell us a little about your literary life – what were the first important books for you, when did you

Wunderkind

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Wunderkind Nikolai Grozni Free Press, September 2011 289 pages $24.00 Anger, sarcasm, and longing fuel Nikolai Grozni’s autobiographical novel Wunderkind, set in the late 1980s in a communist Sofia that is stony, backlit red. Crows and ravens populate a landscape overwhelmed with death; necrologies are tacked to trees and

Innovators in Lit #8: Dalkey Archive Press

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It’s hard for me to give a succinct introduction to Dalkey, as they are one of my all-time favorite publishers, so I’m going to keep it brief: if you don’t have any Dalkey books on your shelves, run, don’t walk. They will set your world on fire. Associate Director

Non-Writing Things that Nevertheless Help Me Write: The Boston Red Sox

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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