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Culture & Literature
Poets & Writers Magazine

Poets & Writers Magazine May - June 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
Read More
6 Issues

In this issue

2 min.
more to the story

I HAVE BEEN CARRYING AROUND A STORY, LIKE A STONE IN my brain, for nearly twenty-five years. It’s a true story; or rather, the events upon which the story could be written actually happened. Maybe that’s why I’ve had such a hard time writing about it— though honestly, I find it difficult to even tell the story. I’ve tried on a number of occasions to recount the long moments as they happened on that cold January night deep in rural Wisconsin, back in 1992: A man held a woman at gunpoint; I unwittingly intervened; he pointed the gun at my head while she escaped, then turned the gun on himself. But there is so much more to a story than its time line. In conversation I can’t quite capture the…

3 min.

STRESS-FREE RETREATS Thank you for the honesty and inspiration in “A Residency of One’s Own: Navigating the Complicated Path to a Writers Retreat” by Melissa Scholes Young (March/April 2016). [She] took me along on a journey of soul-searching that made me feel as if [she’d] been eavesdropping on my fears, my responsibilities, and my family dynamics all these years. I know I’m not alone in saying that the layers of this text make it so meaningful: Part travelogue, part marriage confessional, part love letter to [her] children, part unity to other women writers across time...and mostly an embrace of [herself] and [her] talent...just loved it. Thank you! Excerpted from a comment posted on pw.org byCGMARTINEZ As a fellow writer and mother, I enjoyed reading [Young’s] piece about the Bread Loaf residency in Cassis,…

5 min.
recovering the classics

The early editions of Bram Stoker’s 1897 horror novel, Dracula, feature covers that might seem, at least to modern eyes, a little understated given the macabre machinations of its vampire protagonist. One shows a plain red title on a muted yellow background. Another depicts a small garland of roses on an otherwise-empty beige background. And while we’ve all been told not to judge a book by its cover, sometimes it can be hard not to, especially with books that were published more than a century ago. Enter Recovering the Classics, a project launched in 2013 to crowdsource new cover designs for classic works of literature in the public domain, with the goal of reviving the canon for a new generation of readers. Launched by two San Francisco– based companies, Recovering the…

1 min.

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. MORGAN JERKINS is a writer and the web editorial assistant at Catapult. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, BuzzFeed, the Atlantic, and Fusion, among many others. ANDREW MCFADYEN-KETCHUM is a freelance writer, editor, and writing coach. He is a senior editor at F(r)iction, founder and editor in chief of poemoftheweek.org, and the founder of the Colorado Writers’ Workshop. He is the author of the poetry collection Ghost Gear (University of Arkansas Press, 2014). His website is andrewmk.com. DANA ISOKAWA is the assistant editor of Poets & Writers Magazine. CAT RICHARDSON is the managing editor of Bodega Magazine and a poetry editor at Phantom Books. Her work…

2 min.
page one

“I Have a Time Machine // But unfortunately it can only travel into the future / at a rate of one second per second, // which seems slow to the physicists and to the grant / committees and even to me.”So Much Synth (Copper Canyon Press, May 2016) by Brenda Shaughnessy. Fourth book, poetry collection. Agent: None. Editor: Michael Wiegers. Publicist: Kelly Forsythe. “Ten years ago, I helped a handful of men take my little brother’s life.”The Reactive (Two Dollar Radio, May 2016) by Masande Ntshanga. First book, novel. Agent: Jessica Craig. Editor: Eric Obenauf. Publicist: Eric Obenauf. “In June, the book club was at Zoe’s house, which meant that Elizabeth had to carry her heavy ceramic bowl of spinach salad with walnuts and bits of crumbled goat cheese a grand total…

3 min.
activating public space with books

The Uni Project, a New York City–based organizat ion that has created hundreds of pop-up reading rooms throughout the city to encourage reading and inspire learning, particularly in underserved communities, is marking its fifth anniversary this year by doing the kind of work that has made its first five years so successful. “It has always been about activating public space with meaningful ways for people to gather,” says Sam Davol, who, with spouse Leslie Davol, started the project in 2011. The idea for the Uni Project began to take shape two years earlier, in 2009, when the couple became frustrated that Boston’s Chinatown, the neighborhood where they lived with their two kids, had no library. In response, they created the Storefront Library, a temporary community library in a borrowed storefront. Emboldened…