The Proposal

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Here’s my proposal: I think all of us who write and submit creative work for publication should, for every ten submissions we send out, review at least one book for publication somewhere—Bookslut, Rain Taxi, the Rumpus, wherever. There should be some cut-off point—let’s say after you’ve got at least

Editor in Chief, Ladette Randolph, reads at Newtonville Books

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We would like to congratulate our editor-in-chief, Ladette Randolph, on the release of her novel, A Sandhills Ballad, in paperback.  To celebrate, Ladette will read from the novel on April 13th at 7 pm at Newtonville Books in Newton, MA.  She will read along with Monica McInerny, author of At

The Fine Art of Saying No

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Whether I’m a spectator at a reading or taking part in one, two questions that I often hear during the Q & A session are “When do you get your writing done?” and “Do you have a set schedule?”  Despite having heard these questions many times before, I’m still

Poetry Dialogue: Jake Adam York

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Originally from Alabama, Jake Adam York is Associate Professor of English and Director of Creative Writing at the University of Colorado Denver. He is the author of three books of poems—Murder Ballads (Elixir Press, 2005), A Murmuration of Starlings (Southern Illinois University Press, 2008), which was a winner of

Interview with Valerie Brennan, cover artist for the Colm Toibin Issue

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Valerie Brennan is the artist whose painting appears on the cover of our Spring 2011 issue, guest edited by Colm Toibin.  I (the web/marketing editor here at Ploughshares) asked her a few questions about this particular painting, current inspirations, and her work in general. Ploughshares: First off, is there

Interview with Cate Marvin Part II

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If you have, at any point this year, had a conversation about the number of women in publishing–the number of female-authored books reviewed in newspapers, say–you’ve had that conversation (likely) because of some numbers which were researched and published by VIDA, an organization devoted to women in literary arts.

Wherefore and Why the MFA?

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I realize there is no shortage of essays justifying or vilifying the creative writing MFA degree, which some consider the educational equivalent of fool’s gold and the universities that offer this degree little better than diploma mills.  At the college in Chicago where I teach creative writing and literature courses,

Poetry Dialogue: Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon

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Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon is the author of Black Swan (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2002) which was a winner of the 2001 Cave Canem Poetry Prize, and ]Open Interval[ (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2009), which was a finalist for the National Book Award and for the L.A. Times Book Award.

Interview with Cate Marvin Part I

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  If you have, at any point this year, had a conversation about the number of women in publishing–the number of female-authored books reviewed in newspapers, say–you’ve had that conversation (likely) because of some numbers which were researched and published by VIDA, an organization devoted to women in literary

Ed Skoog on his poems “Lighting” and “Get Free”

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Ed Skoog’s poems, “Lighting” and “Get Free” appear in the Winter 2010-11 issue, of Ploughshares edited by Terrance Hayes. “Lighting” opens with these lines: Note the surface that surrounds the word, and how unlike its meaning, which you step over to avoid, the word raised and untouchable. Pitted prune,