“Innovators In Lit” Interview #1

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We are currently having trouble attributing posts with WordPress.  This post was written by Laura van den Berg. I’m very excited to start my guest-blogging tenure at Ploughshares, where I will be bringing you nice people weekly interviews with “innovators in literature.” Whether it’s a different vision of what

Ninth Free Ploughshares!

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This is the ninth week of our free Ploughshares contest, and this time we’re featuring our Spring 1988 issue, guest edited by the poet Maxine Kumin. This issue also feature work by Joyce Carol Oates, Donald Hall, and Susannah Kaysen.   In order to win this wonderful issue, please

You Are My Heart

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You Are My Heart and Other Stories Jay Neugeboren Two Dollar Radio, May 2011 194 pages $16.00 All authors have subject matter to which they constantly return, consciously or not. For Dickens it was the lower classes, for John Irving it’s small town New Hampshire—and for Jay Neugeboren, in

The Cruel Side of the Desk

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Like most of us, I spent the early stages of my literary career wondering off and on what They wanted.  You know Them:  the Editors.  The mysterious voice of validation or doom (usually doom.)  They accept or reject without comment from the cloudy pinnacles of Olympus, or (as I

If You Knew Then What I Know Now

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If You Knew Then What I Know Now Ryan Van Meter Sarabande Books, April 2011 176 pages $15.95 In “First,” the opening essay of Ryan Van Meter’s autobiographical collection, Van Meter’s five-year-old self tells his best friend Ben that he loves him. When Ben responds the same way, Van

A Writer’s Life

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Awake.  This far north the sun is an early riser, though it stays groggy with fog till mid-morning.  The red-checked garter snake still sleeps beneath the front stoop; the window spider still clings to the center of last night’s web, spangled with wings.  The desultory cries of a crow. 

Free Ploughshares! Featuring Rita Dove

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We’ve arrived at week eight of our free Ploughshares contest, and we’re reaching back in the archives to feature our Spring 1990 issue, guest-edited by Rita Dove and featuring work by Marilyn Hacker and many others! Fun fact: this issue is actually a few months older than the intern

America Pacifica

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America Pacifica: A Novel Anna North Reagan Arthur Books, May 2011 304 pages $24.99 In her debut novel, Anna North dares to enter the dystopic territory staked out by the ruling high priestesses of literary speculative fiction, Margaret Atwood and Octavia E. Butler: America Pacifica features an ordinary heroine with

Why I Reread The Writer’s Chapbook

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I love The Writer’s Chapbook. Compiled by the late, great George Plimpton from the Paris Review’s Writers at Work series, this volume is a collection of wisdom from 20th Century writers about anything and everything literary, from first efforts to children’s books, from sex to writers’ colonies (which often

Reflections on Lorrie Moore

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We’re pleased to present the second reader review following our weekly Free Ploughshares contest. Today, reader Lynette D’Amico will be looking at our Fall 1998 issue, guest edited by Lorrie Moore.   Ploughshares Fall 1998 Fiction Issue, guest-edited by Lorrie Moore. Featuring work by Mona Simpson, Charles Baxter, and