Culture & Literature
Poets & Writers Magazine

Poets & Writers Magazine July - August 2016

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.

United States
Poets & Writers, Inc
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6 Issues

In this issue

1 min.

Begin your search for an agent with our carefully curated Literary Agents database, which includes contact info, submission guidelines, client lists, tips, and even Twitter feeds to follow for daily dispatches from the agenting world. And don’t miss Agent Advice, in which some of the best literary agents in the country answer the questions writers most frequently ask. Read the expanded interviews with agents Julie Barer, Faye Bender, Brettne Bloom, and Elisabeth Weed; Carolyn Kellogg of the Los Angeles Times; and Ruth Curry and Emily Gould of Emily Books. Join author, agent, and contributor Betsy Lerner for a Twitter chat on June 29 at 12 PM EDT. For details, visit www.pw.org/author-connect/betsy_lerner. Use the Reading Tour Manager to plan and promote your upcoming author events. Create a tour, add and confirm your tour stops, then…

2 min.
editor’s note

IN APRIL I WAS INVITED TO ATTEND THE ICELAND WRITERS Retreat and give a talk about publishing at the University of Iceland in Reykjavík. If you’ve never been to Iceland, I highly recommend it. It’s by far the most geographically diverse—so beautiful yet stunningly bizarre—place I’ve had the pleasure of visiting. And Eliza Reid and Erica Green’s program is an ideal occasion to make the trip, as it combines a compelling lineup of lectures, workshops, and readings with opportunities to explore the country’s incredible geothermal pools, geysers, glaciers, and lava fields. And while I felt inspired and recharged in a way that only such long-distance travel can offer, I read astonishingly little during my visit—nothing, in fact, except a few pages of Rebecca Solnit’s A Field Guide to Getting Lost…

2 min.

Poets & Writers Magazine welcomes feedback from its readers. Please post a comment on select articles at www.pw.org/magazine, 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. J. T. BUSHNELL’S BRAIN Over the many years that I’ve been a reader of Poets & Writers Magazine, a number of articles have proven helpful to me. Without a doubt, J. T. Bushnell’s “This Is Your Brain on Fear: Trauma and Storytelling” (May/June 2016) is by far the most helpful, directly applicable exploration of craft I have read. My novel has been languishing, largely ignored, for years, in large part because the traumatic event that underpins the story does not ring true as I…

5 min.
traveling stanzas

Since 1992 the Poetry Society of America has installed hundreds of poems on New York City trains and subway cars, reaching millions of commuters each day, as part of Poetry in Motion, a project that has since expanded to twenty other cities nationwide. In 1997, when Robert Pinsky launched the Favorite Poem Project during his tenure as U.S. poet laureate, nearly eighteen thousand Americans sent in letters about their favorite poems, an initiative that grew into a video series, anthologies, and public readings and events across the country. Now, Traveling Stanzas, a project similarly designed to democratize and celebrate poetry, seems poised to reach that same kind of broad audience. Established in 2009 at Kent State University’s Wick Poetry Center in Kent, Ohio, to “facilitate a global conversation through the intimate…

1 min.

ANDREW MCFADYENKETCHUM is a freelance writer, editor, and writing coach. He is the acquisitions editor of Upper Rubber Boot Books, founder and editor in chief of poemoftheweek.org, and founder of the Colorado Writers’ Workshop. His poetry collection, Ghost Gear, was published by the University of Arkansas Press in 2014. His website is andrewmk.com. JONATHAN VATNER is a fiction writer in Brooklyn, New York. He is the staff writer for Hue, the magazine of the Fashion Institute of Technology. MAYA C. POPA is a writer and teacher based in New York City. Her website is www.mayacpopa.com. DANA ISOK AWA is the associate editor of Poets & Writers Magazine. CAT RICHARDSON is the managing editor of Bodega Magazine and a poetry editor at Phantom Books. Her work has appeared in Ploughshares, Narrative, Tin House, and elsewhere.…

3 min.
page one

“Some people hate cats.”How to Set a Fire and Why (Pantheon, July 2016) by Jesse Ball. Fourteenth book, seventh novel. Agent: Jim Rutman. Editor: Jenny Jackson. Publicist: Josefine Kals. “When I was a child, I had reoccurring nightmares about wolves—tall beasts the size of skyscrapers that walked on their hind legs around New York City blocks, chasing and eventually devouring me.”Sex Object (Dey Street Books, June 2016) by Jessica Valenti. Fifth book, first memoir. Agent: Laurie Liss. Editor: Julia Cheiffetz. Publicist: Katie Steinberg. “It matters what you call a thing: Exquisite a lover called me.”Look (Graywolf Press, July 2016) by Solmaz Sharif. First book, poetry collection. Agent: None. Editor: Jeff Shotts. Publicist: Caroline Nitz. “In ninth grade English, Mrs. X required us to memorize and recite a poem, so I went and asked…