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Poets & Writers Magazine

Poets & Writers Magazine January/February 2019

For more than twenty years, Poets & Writers Magazine has been a trusted companion to writers who take their vocation seriously. Within its pages, our readers find provocative essays on the literary life, practical guidance for getting published and pursuing writing careers, in-depth profiles of poets, fiction writers, and writers of creative nonfiction, and conversation among fellow professionals.

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United States
Poets & Writers, Inc
6 Issues

in this issue

1 min.

Visit The Time Is Now, our series of weekly writing prompts for poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers. While you’re there, check out our recommendations of the best books for writers and sign up to get The Time Is Now delivered to your inbox every Friday. Read the expanded version of this year’s debut poets roundup, featuring related audio recordings and videos. Check out Writers Recommend, the online exclusive in which we ask authors to share books, art, music, writing prompts, films—anything and everything—that has inspired them in their writing. Read Ten Questions, our weekly series of interviews with authors on the day their new books are published. Check back each Tuesday for another installment. Watch Poets & Writers Theater, featuring daily author readings, book trailers, publishing panels, craft talks, and more. Filter…

2 min.
editor’s note

THE NEXT CHAPTER THIS PAST AUTUMN I HAD THE BLESSED OCCASION TO TAKE a long walk with my kids, ages eleven and thirteen, in the wilds of Otter Creek State Forest, in the western Adirondack region of New York. This particular forest is about five hours north of where we live in the city, beyond the reach of our cell-phone provider, which afforded us a much-needed respite from the glare of screens both large and small. So it felt especially good to set off on foot, unencumbered, in search of nothing, or something, or everything, with only the sunlight in our eyes. After some time alone in the woods, our feet sweeping the fallen leaves with every step, we started making up a story—a dramatic tale with many chapters—so that every…

2 min.

Poets & Writers Magazine welcomes feedback from its readers. Please post a comment on select articles at www.pw.org, e-mail editor@pw.org, or write to Editor, Poets & Writers Magazine, 90 Broad Street, Suite 2100, New York, NY 10004. Letters accepted for publication may be edited for clarity and length. LETTERS Feedback from readers Susan Orlean (“Talking to Strangers” by Kate Tuttle, November/December 2018) is part of one of the strangest, briefest vignettes I’ve had in all my years as a New Yorker. I was sitting in a Manhattan café, circa 2000, dimly aware—or not aware at all—that the woman at the next table was engrossed in The Orchid Thief. Suddenly Orlean herself appeared and informed the woman who she was and that this was one of the rare times she’d arbitrarily come across someone…

5 min.
national cowboy poetry gathering

Every January thousands of cowboys, ranchers, musicians, and craftspeople journey to the high-desert town of Elko, Nevada, for the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering. The festival features six days of poetry, music, dancing, and folk art exhibits, as well as numerous workshops on everything from storytelling and rodeo swing dancing to rawhide braiding and spit cooking. This year the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering turns thirty-five, and for many of the performers and participants who return annually, it will be a time to celebrate, ref lect, and honor the past—and, as usual, to share poems and tell stories. The first Gathering, coordinated by Elko’s Western Folklife Center, was held in 1985—though many agree that cowboys were meeting and sharing poetry long before then. “Some journalists say it’s the most honest and open-hearted festival…

1 min.

THEA PRIETO writes and edits for Portland Review, Propeller, the Gravity of the Thing, and Oregon Music News. Her website is theaprieto.com. MARWA HELAL is a poet and journalist who lives and teaches in Brooklyn, New York. She is the winner of Bomb magazine’s 2016 poetry contest and the author of the poetry collection Invasive species (Nightboat Books, 2019). Her website is marshelal.com. ADRIENNE RAPHEL is the author of the poetry collections What Was It For (Rescue Press, 2017) and But What Will We Do (Seattle Review, 2016). Her work has appeared in the New Yorker, the Paris Review Daily, Lana Turner, Prelude, and elsewhere. DANA ISOKAWA is the associate editor of Poets & Writers Magazine. CAT RICHARDSON is the editor in chief of Bodega. Her work has appeared in Ploughshares, Narrative, Tin House,…

3 min.
page one

“Perhaps there is one book for every life.” All the Lives We Ever Lived: Seeking Solace in Virginia Woolf (Crown, January 2019) by Katharine Smyth. First book, memoir. Agent: Anna Stein. Editor: Claire Potter. Publicist: Julia Bradshaw. “I’ve known Death a long time, but now Death knows me.” The End of Loneliness (Penguin Books, January 2019) by Benedict Wells, translated from the German by Charlotte Collins. Fourth book, novel. Agent: Susanne Bauknecht. Editor: Casey Denis. Publicist: Colleen Boyle. “The pose is stolen from Monroe, struck/in the sun’s floodlight, eyes lowered, /a long-stemmed plastic rose between her teeth.” Only as the Day Is Long: New and Selected Poems (Norton, January 2019) by Dorianne Laux. Sixth book, poetry collection. Agent: None. Editor: Jill Bialosky. Publicist: Sam Mitchell. “When I was a girl I would sneak…