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Posts Tagged ‘writing’

Poetry Friday: “Being the Song”

By Jeff GundyMarch 23, 2018

If you write poetry, odds are you don’t expect your work to achieve acclaim like that of a Robert Frost or a Mary Oliver. You consider yourself most fortunate if, now and then, you find a publisher and an audience who connect with your sensibility. There are moments, many of them, when you question why…

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The Spirituality of Sestinas

By Tania RunyanMarch 1, 2018

Several months ago, I found myself struggling with my hair—namely, snapping off my split ends in an obsessive manner, calling back to my teenage battles with trichotillomania. On some days, a half hour would pass before I realized I’d been zoning out and picking at my hair at the expense of folding laundry, writing, or…

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The Rhythm of Not Sleeping

By Christiana PetersonFebruary 22, 2018

I often rock my baby to sleep at the witching hour. These can be the hours when thoughts, either darkly vivid or hazily formed out of interrupted sleep, stray to mournful or anxious things. But on this night, my mind is pleasantly occupied with thoughts of my beloved grandmother who died a decade ago. My…

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A Conversation with Marilyn Nelson: Part 2

By Jeanne Murray WalkerFebruary 20, 2018

Marilyn Nelson is the author or translator of twelve books and three chapbooks. Her honors include two NEA creative writing fellowships, the 1990 Connecticut Arts Award, an A.C.L.S. Contemplative Practices Fellowship, a Fulbright Teaching Fellowship, a fellowship from the J.S. Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, three honorary doctorates, and the Commander’s Award for Public Service from the…

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The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’s Hidden Identity

By Cathy WarnerJanuary 31, 2018

My annual family Christmas letter swelled from a single paragraph into a sixteen-page spread before I finally admitted at age thirty-seven—to myself, more than anyone else—that I wanted to be a writer, a desire that’d been brewing during a decade as a fulltime wife, mother, and dedicated church volunteer. I hadn’t always wanted to write.…

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From Sophocles to Twin Peaks: What Killed Laura Palmer?

By David GriffithSeptember 20, 2017

This post originally appeared at Good Letters on June 1, 2012. One of the toughest and most important jobs I have as an English professor at a small, women’s liberal arts college, is teaching students to write well. I would love to hold forth on Flannery O’Connor—my lifelong literary crush—but getting students to care about…

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Why I’m Writing a Death Penalty Book for Teens

By Bryan BlissSeptember 14, 2017

1. I was standing in the kitchen of a rental house in the middle of forty acres of woods deep in the Willamette Valley of Oregon, when I told my agent I wanted to write about the death penalty, a topic that had chased me for over a decade. I’d only recently sold my first…

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How To Intuit a Book Title

By Richard ChessJuly 6, 2017

How do poets and writers choose their book titles? I didn’t have a good answer to the question, “Why did you choose the title Love Nailed to the Doorpost?” posed at a recent reading, though I knew that sooner or later that someone would ask. I did have a superficial answer, but I hadn’t thought…

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The Mysteries of Revision

By Bryan BlissJuly 5, 2017

When a former MFA professor asked me to come to her class and speak on revision, I immediately said yes. Not only was she a writer and an academic that I respected, there had been an ongoing, semi-inside, joke between me and some of my MFA cohort members about my desire to be acknowledged by…

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An Interview with George Saunders, Part 2

By Jenny ShankMarch 7, 2017

Beloved fiction writer George Saunders just published his first novel, Lincoln in the Bardo, an unconventional work of historical fiction about the moment when Abraham Lincoln was embroiled in the Civil War and lost his son Willie to typhoid fever. I recently spoke to George Saunders on the phone from his home in California about…

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