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Writing Fiction: A Good Story Must Be Disturbing

Whether you're writing a literary novel, a psychological, medical, legal or spy thriller, or even a cozy mystery, for a novel to be engaging, it must center on human conflict and disturbance. Here's what you need to know. The post Writing Fiction: A Good Story Must Be Disturbing appeared first on

Manchester Poet Responds to Tragedy

At the New Yorker, Ed Caesar applauds Manchester poet Tony Walsh’s poem, written and performed as a tribute to the concert-goers who died at the end of an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester on Monday. Caesar makes an interesting point, that although the circumstances might have called for a poet of wider-renown, Walsh’s connection to […]

A New Biography Examines John Ashbery’s Youth

At Harper’s, Matthew Bevis reviews a new John Ashbery biography that focuses on the revered poet’s childhood. The Songs We Know Best: John Ashbery’s Early Life, by Karin Roffman, looks into his relationships with family, early academic accomplishments, and, most revealingly, his diaries. Bevis writes, “The biography is certainly revealing, but it’s noteworthy that the […]

2018 Federal Budget Seeks to Eliminate Everything That Makes America Great

It’s been posted elsewhere but we’ll pick up with Hyperallergic’s coverage of the proposed 2018 budget, which, yes, seeks to eliminate the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, theShow More Summary

How Do You Know When Your Writing Career Is Over?

8 hours agoArts / Writing : LitReactor

At what point can you consider yourself a writer? And how do you know when it's time to call it quits? Column by Ed Sikov This dark question is one I’m willing to bet most of us have asked ourselves at least once, if not much more regularly. Show More Summary

Think if Jeopardy! when you craft your first page

You’re familiar with the quiz show Jeopardy!, right? What American hasn’t come across it? As writers, maybe looking at how the show opens reveals clues on how to create our first pages. The show starts with scene-setting—the host and the...

Your Writing Platform: Letting Readers Know the (Sort of) Real You

Need an online platform but feel squeamish about connecting with strangers? Here’s how to create the illusion of intimacy on social media. The post Your Writing Platform: Letting Readers Know the (Sort of) Real You appeared first on

National Endowment for the Arts Interviews Barbara Jane Reyes

On the National Endowment for the Arts’s Art Works blog, Rebecca Sutton hosts an Art Talk with poet Barbara Jane Reyes. Reyes is based in Oakland; her poetry blends “multiple languages, multiple cultures, and multiple meanings, offering a richly layered look into the complexities of identity.” Let’s pick up with Sutton’s intro and move into […]

Hack Dad’s No Good Very Bad Day

11 hours agoArts / Writing : LitReactor

Hack Dad gets all whiny and complain-y about life not going how he wants it to. Column by Keith Rawson The last month has sucked. I started things off by cutting my hand while opening a can of chili for nachos (this happened at the end of April). Show More Summary

A Vote Cast for David Larsen’s Literary Stardom

Wave Books recently published a new edition of David Larsen’s cult-classic translation, Names of the Lion, and at Arabic Literature, in her review of the text, Sarah Irving writes, “Larsen still isn’t some kind of literary superstar. The world’s unfair.” Let’s start there: It’s unlikely that his edition of Al-Husayn ibn Ahmad ibn Khalawayh’s Names […]

Letting Go When the Book isn’t Working

14 hours agoArts / Writing : Writer Unboxed

In a corner of my garden, I keep a compost bin. Next to it is a bunch of things I might reuse at some point—stakes for tall plants, a few cinderblocks, pots of various sizes, some tools I don’t use all the time. It’s a workaday little spot, not glamorous but useful. Much like a […]

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 394

Earlier this week, my car broke down around Lexington, Kentucky. So I spent the night in an unexpected place while my car got repaired by a nice mechanic named Tony, who owns Tony’s Automotive Repair. For today’s prompt, write a repair poem. Show More Summary

9 Handy Tips For Planning A Successful Book Launch

17 hours agoArts / Writing : Writer's Edit

If you'll be releasing your self-published book sometime soon, you've probably wondered whether or not to throw a book launch. You might have been asking yourself whether it's even possible to throw a successful book launch as an indie...Show More Summary

Writing Tips: Creating Believable Characters

Characters are important in every book you write because people care about people and you need to get personal as soon as possible in your writing. As EB White said, “Don't write about Man. Write about a man.” (Or woman or alien or child!) This is applicable for non-fiction as well. You will find bestselling […]

Jen Hyde Reads Jennifer Nelson’s Aim at the Centaur Stealing Your Wife

At Coldfront, Jen Hyde introduces the online periodical’s readers to Jennifer Nelson’s 2015 Ugly Duckling collection, Aim at the Centaur Stealing Your Wife. Hyde writes, “in many ways I think her speaker serves as a model for those young girls told by their father not to speak their minds.” Yes! Let’s start there: It’s nothing […]

Bookshots: 'Wicked Wonders' by Ellen Klages

yesterdayArts / Writing : LitReactor

Fantastic occurrences and unexpected worlds from Ellen Klages. Review by Gabino Iglesias Bookshots: Pumping new life into the corpse of the book review Title: Wicked Wonders Who wrote it? Klages is a talented storyteller with a knack...Show More Summary

Bookshots: 'Black Mad Wheel' by Josh Malerman

yesterdayArts / Writing : LitReactor

What's that sound? Review by Max Booth III Bookshots: Pumping new life into the corpse of the book review Title: Black Mad Wheel Who wrote it? Do not pass on this one. Consume it before it consumes you...just don’t forget the earplugs. ... [Continue Reading]

PBS NewsHour Introduces One Poet’s ‘Humble One-Liners’

Elizabeth Flock speaks with Egyptian-American poetry and prose-writer Yahia Lababidi on the latest episode of PBS NewsHour. Humor, timing, and the current moment are some subjects at hand. His new book, When Epics Fail, explores the aphorism, “an ancient art form that’s part poetry and part philosophy, often consists of just a single line; it’s […]

Saving Your (Fill in the Blank) From Committing Suicide

One of the items in your house has decided to commit suicide, but you will not let it happen on your watch. Write the scene where you catch the item on the verge of taking it's life and your attempt to talk the item out of it. The post Saving Your (Fill in the Blank) From Committing Suicide appeared first on

Reading List: May 2017

The Reading List is a feature of Poetry’s Editors’ Blog. This month contributors to the May 2017 issue share some books that held their interest. Moniza Alvi From Vita Sackville-West to Virginia Woolf: “I am reduced to a thing that wants Virginia. I composed a beautiful letter to you in the nightmare sleepless hours of […]

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