Poets & Writers Magazine

Poets & Writers Magazine July/August 2021

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
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6 Edições

nesta edição

1 minutos

Join Clint Smith and Destiny O. Birdsong on July 8 at 7 PM EDT for a live virtual reading and discussion of Smith’s new book, How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning With the History of Slavery Across America. RSVP at.pw.org/ClintSmith. Learn how literary agencies work, how to craft a query, how to find an agent who is right for you, and more with Demystifying the Agent Search, a seminar led by contributing editor Michael Bourne, on July 10 at 3 PM EDT. Register at.pw.org/agentsearch. Research more than 160 agents with our carefully curated Literary Agents database, which contains contact information, submission guidelines, client lists, tips, and more. Don’t miss Agents & Editors Recommend, a weekly series in which publishing professionals suggest new ways of thinking about writing and the business of books. Read…

2 minutos
editor’s note

CERTAIN BOOKS, IF WE ARE LUCKY TO ENCOUNTER THEM at just the right moment, exert a kind of emotional-intellectual-gravitational force on us. Time slows down; the mind opens up. Maybe this is what we mean when we say a work of art “speaks” to us. I was drawn to Kristen Radtke’s new graphic book of nonfiction, Seek You: A Journey Through American Loneliness, in this way, and I was similarly pulled to her essay “The Loneliness Project: My Journey Through American Loneliness” (page 25). One passage in particular resonates: “If there is one thing I can say I’ve learned to be unequivocally true in my life as a writer and a person thus far, it’s that everything takes longer than I think it will,” Radtke writes. “The beginning of a…

3 minutos

LETTERS Feedback from readers I feel such gratitude and admiration for two articles from the Literary Life department of the May/June 2021 issue of Poets & Writers Magazine. Both Sarah Ruhl’s “Not Writing Right Now: Writer’s Block During a Pandemic” and J.T. Bushnell’s “The Thousand Pages: Tips for Transitioning to the Novel” were such welcome reads. Each of them addresses the hard work of being a writer with the perfect mix of compassion and rigor. I loved Ruhl’s thoughtful advice on how to keep writing during such a deeply stressful epoch as the one we’ve been living through, balanced with her acknowledgment of how we must also sometimes mourn (or “compost,” or attend to other pressing matters). I am grateful to Bushnell for sharing his own journey from writing stories to writing…

4 minutos
conservation stories

This spring, writer Susan Tacent co-taught a virtual workshop called The Art and Science of Migration to twelve writers interested in animal migratory patterns. By the last of the workshop’s five weekly sessions, Tacent says, students saw migration everywhere. They began thinking of poetry “as a migratory journey that isn’t complete until the reader reads the poem.” They talked about how, when writing prose, “you don’t know where you’re going, but you’re committing to getting there.” The workshop was offered through Creature Conserve, a nonprofit founded in 2015 by Dr. Lucy Spelman, a zoological medicine specialist. The growing organization is dedicated to bringing together artists, creative writers, and scientists “to foster informed and sustained support for animal conservation.” Specifically, Creature Conserve seeks to address a failure of communication around conservation, encouraging…

2 minutos
page one

“Black boy in the backseat of a cop car / across the street from my daughter’s jr. high, // hands cuffed behind his back: hard to see / him like that.” Worldly Things (Milkweed Editions, June 2021) by Michael Kleber-Diggs. First book, poetry collection. Agent: None. Editor: Daniel Slager. Publicist: Claire Laine. “Herein I begin my account, with the help of my neighbor Simon Satler, since I am unable to read or write myself.” Everyone Knows Your Mother Is a Witch (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, June 2021) by Rivka Galchen. Fifth book, second novel. Agent: Bill Clegg. Editor: Eric Chinski. Publicists: Brian Gittis and Lottchen Shivers. “This is a female text, composed while folding someone else’s clothes.” A Ghost in the Throat (Biblioasis, June 2021) by Doireann Ní Ghríofa. Sixth book, first…

4 minutos
of the diaspora, in the spotlight

In the fall of 2017, Erica Vital-Lazare, a professor of creative writing at the College of Southern Nevada, was on the phone with her dear friend Brian Dice, a member of the board of the nonprofit publisher McSweeney’s. They were laughing and talking about Black literature, a familiar back-and-forth that has become the soundtrack of a friendship forged years earlier in the Nevada desert. The two had originally met in April 2017 at the Believer magazine’s literary festival in Las Vegas, where they bonded over a shared concern for overlooked works of Black literature, books that were under-reviewed, out of print, or otherwise obscured. Now, a year after a presidential election that still had her reeling, Vital-Lazare was sparked into action. She and Dice wondered aloud over the phone, what…