Culture & Literature
Poets & Writers Magazine

Poets & Writers Magazine March - April 2018

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

2 min.
the space to create

WE ASKED THE AUTHORS WHO CONTRIBUTED TO THIS ISSUE’S special section, “The Writers Retreats Where Big Books Are Born” (page 52), to list three things about their residency or retreat that helped make it such a successful experience. The responses run the gamut from specific (Tayari Jones recalls that “the hikes are gorgeous” on the prairie near the Ucross Foundation in Sheridan, Wyoming) to more general (Viet Thanh Nguyen lists “time” as a point of productivity at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts, and, really, no one can argue with that). But one element was mentioned by nearly half of our contributors: food. This was an unexpected detail that, on the surface, may seem like a fanciful perk for those talented and lucky few who score a spot…

3 min.

WRITERS & SURVIVORS I just finished reading Jay Baron Nicorvo’s essay “Why We Write: The Unwilling Suspension of Disbelief” (January/February 2018), and I am so happy you chose to publish it. When I published my first book of poetry, The Silence of Men, released by CavanKerry Press in 2006, which examines my experience as a survivor of childhood sexual violence, very few people were acknowledging that people like Nicorvo and me existed, let alone acknowledging the significance of writing about our traumas. I know this is not the first time Poets & Writers Magazine has welcomed the voice of a male survivor of sexual violence into its pages, but especially now, in this moment of #MeToo and the awareness that movement has brought to the issue, it is both gratifying and…

5 min.
i, too arts collective

For nearly ten years the brownstone at 20 East 127th Street in Harlem was silent. Once the home of celebrated Harlem Renaissance writer Langston Hughes, who lived there for twenty years until his death in 1967, the three-story row house sat vacant, its dark stone walls overgrown with ivy, the paint of its once grand interior chipped throughout. The only evidence of the building’s literary history was a small plaque on the facade bearing Hughes’s name and designating it a landmark. But today, thanks to the I, Too Arts Collective, the brownstone is once again bustling with creativity. On any given day one might hear the voice of a teen writer reciting Hughes’s poem “I look at the world,” or a community member reading at an open mic for the first…

1 min.

LATOYA JORDAN is a writer from Brooklyn, New York. Follow her on Twitter @latoyadjordan. ANDREW MCFADYEN-KETCHUM is a freelance writer, editor, ghostwriter, and writing coach. His poetry collection, Ghost Gear, was published by the University of Arkansas Press in 2014. His website is andrewmk.com. MAGGIE MILLNER teaches creative writing at New York University, where she is pursuing an MFA in poetry. Previously she was the Diana & Simon Raab Editorial Fellow at Poets & Writers Magazine. DANA ISOKAWA is the associate editor of Poets & Writers Magazine. NADIA Q. AHMAD is the Diana & Simon Raab Editorial Fellow at Poets & Writers Magazine.…

3 min.
page one

“The universe heaves with laughter, and I’m all about my lopsided, self-defining tale.” Men and Apparitions (Soft Skull Press, March 2018) by Lynne Tillman. Fifteenth book, sixth novel. Agent: Joy Harris. Editor: Yuka Igarashi. Publicist: Megan Fishmann. “I was having dinner with old friends in Rome when one of them turned to me and said: ‘But of course your writing so far has been a fifteen-year psychodrama.’” Feel Free (Penguin Press, February 2018) by Zadie Smith. Eighth book, second essay collection. Agent: Georgia Garrett. Editor: Ann Godoff. Publicist: Juliana Kiyan. “You remind me of the Underground Railroad.” Threat Come Close (Four Way Books, March 2018) by Aaron Coleman. First book, poetry collection. Agent: None. Editor: Martha Rhodes. Publicist: Clarissa Long. “Seated in a copper bathtub, Bear Bavinsky dunks his head under steaming water…

5 min.
a different kind of march madness

Every March, sixty-eightmen’s college basketball teams battle it out on the court in the NCAA tournament. Bets are laid and rivalries stoked as millions of fans tune in to watch the games. Meanwhile, a different kind of March Madness—complete with brackets, rivalry, and trash talking—has been taking place in the literary world for the past thirteen years: the annual Tournament of Books (ToB). Hatched in 2004 by writers Rosecrans Baldwin, Andrew Womack, and Kevin Guilfoile, the ToB pits books of fiction published in the previous year against one another in a format similar to the NCAA tournament, until one is crowned champion at the end of the month. “Over booze, that’s how,” jokes Baldwin, when asked how the tournament began. “Isn’t that how all good stupid ideas are born?” Hosted on…