Poets & Writers Magazine

Poets & Writers Magazine September/October 2020

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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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1 minutos

For updated information about more than 260 graduate programs in creative writing, including MA and PhD programs, visit our MFA Programs database, which includes details about funding, class size, core faculty, and more. Keep tabs on your applications to MFA programs using our free Submission Tracker. Listen to exclusive recordings of Catherine Cho, Yaa Gyasi, Srikanth Reddy, Raven Leilani, and others reading from their new books featured in Page One: Where New and Noteworthy Books Begin. Read Ten Questions, our weekly series of interviews with authors on the release of their new books. Explore the archive, including interviews with francine j. harris, Khadijah Queen, and more than 120 others. Browse Craft Capsules, our weekly series of micro craft essays, posted every Monday, by authors such as Joy Priest, Sejal Shah, and Carter Sickels. Stay informed…

2 minutos
editor’s note

ONE WAY OR ANOTHER, UNLOCK THE DOOR THE FRIDAY NIGHT BEFORE THIS ISSUE WAS DUE TO THE printer marked the end of a long week of final touches on the pages you are now reading. I was looking forward to an uneventful evening with my family: Dinner was over, the table was cleared, a beverage was poured, and in my mind I felt the small appreciations finally rising to the surface of the otherwise deeply unsettling world in which we are living. Sometimes all you need is a little time to write and a comfortable chair in a quiet room. Or so I had imagined. Then my son accidentally locked himself in the bathroom. In his defense the door is over a century old, its double-sided, warded lock requires a bitted key,…

2 minutos

LETTERS Feedback from readers Kevin Larimer’s “Maybe This Is Enough for Now” (July/August 2020), calmed the ruthless self-critic who kept nagging me for not using quarantine time to write. After reading the Editor’s Note, I recalled the 2019 Kauai Writers Conference, at which I posed a question to an esteemed panel of writers, Paula McLain, Meg Wolitzer, and Téa Obreht. What makes you happiest as a writer? McLain’s poignant reply lingered long after the waves of Kalapaki Beach receded: time. That precious commodity in which we lay down our muse is much revered. But as McLain knows and Larimer points out, our writing time must include the experiencing and processing of our environment. Thank you for reminding me that “it is enough to know that [I am] a writer” and, for now,…

5 minutos
hashtag highlights anti-black bias

The month of June brought the continuation of daily protests around the United States, and the world, in recognition of violence against Black people and the importance of Black lives. As protests progressed, waves of social media posts and newsletters from publishers proclaimed solidarity. Numerous publications made promises to stand with the Black community, insisting comprehension of the significance of Black lives and condemning racism. However, the numbers from various surveys—such as the Lee & Low Books Diversity Baseline Survey and Publishers Weekly’s annual salary survey—have continually reflected the dearth of Black people working in book publishing as well as the low numbers of Black authors published and supported within the industry. On June 5 on Twitter, Tochi Onyebuchi, author of the novel Riot Baby (Tor, 2020), noted the discrepancy…

5 minutos
writing in spanish elevates academia

An estimated fifty-threemillion Spanish speakers live in the United States. This is the largest Spanish-speaking population outside of Mexico and makes Spanish the second-most-spoken language in the United States. Reflecting this growing demographic, several creative writing programs that are taught in Spanish or taught bilingually have launched over the past few years. By bringing another language into an academic system that privileges English, programs such as those at the University of Houston, the University of Iowa, and the University of Texas in El Paso provide alternative and radical frameworks that challenge a historically white academy’s assumptions about writing—how it should be taught, who belongs in the U.S. graduate classroom, and why we write. In 2017, the same year that Donald Trump was inaugurated—and the surge of racist rhetoric around the border…

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the anthologist

When compiling Love After the End: An Anthology of Two-Spirit and Indigiqueer Speculative Fiction (Arsenal Pulp Press, September 2020), editor Joshua Whitehead writes that it was important “to queer it towards the utopian.” He adds: “We have already survived the apocalypse—this, right here, right now is a dystopian present.” The result is a collection of stories from writers such as Darcie Little Badger, Adam Garnet Jones, and Mari Kurisato that “enumerate the beauty, care, deadliness, and majesty of Two-spirited folx from a variety of Indigenous nations.” Resistencia: Poems of Protest and Revolution (Tin House Books, September 2020), edited by Mark Eisner and Tina Escaja, comprises urgent, incendiary verse from writers across Latin America. Translators, including former U.S. poet laureate Juan Felipe Herrera, offer English translations alongside the poems in their original…