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Archived Since:January 22, 2010

Blog Post Archive

Hit Job: Daniel DiSalvo on Public Sector Unions

Daniel DiSalvo doesn't like public sector unions. That is the main takeaway from Government Against Itself (Oxford University Press) DiSalvo's new book on public sector unions. In the course of reading the book they are likely to conclude that he is not especially fond of unions or workers in general. Show More Summary

The PenAmerica/Charlie Hebdo Controversy Ignores Jewish Suffering

On May 5th, the authors' association Pen America will give a freedom of expression award to Charlie Hebdo,the wildly iconoclastic Parisian journal. Ten of their staffers were gunned down along with two police guards back in January. That...Show More Summary

GATHERING PREY Is John Sandford At His Best

Book Review - Jackie K Cooper GATHERING PREY by John Sandford For some unknown reason John Sandford's skills as a writer have been revitalized lately. He has been writing mystery/thrillers forever but with his last few books he has been back as good as he ever was, even at the beginning. Show More Summary

'The Dismantling': A Conversation With Brian DeLeeuw

Photo: Genevieve Dellinger Brian DeLeeuw is a novelist and screenwriter. After graduating from Princeton, he received his MFA from The New School. His first novel, In This Way I Was Saved, was long-listed for the Dylan Thomas Prize.Show More Summary

Do "Poem in Your Pocket Day" One Better: Seven Tips for Memorizing a Poem

It's National Poem in your Pocket Day. For over a decade, the Academy of American Poets has been encouraging all of us to carry a poem in our pockets on April 30 and share it with people we meet, in honor of the last day of National Poetry Month. Show More Summary

PEN Group Blacklists Charlie Hebdo

An attack on free expression has come from one of the most unlikely places. A recent Times headline read "Six PEN Members Decline Gala After Award for Charlie Hebdo," (NYT, 4/26/15). Salman Rushdie, who was the object of a fatwa for The Satanic Verses: A Novel, was not part of the protest. Show More Summary

Small Matters of Life-Enhancing Poetry: Arshi, Fletcher, and K├Ânig

If all poetry is an autobiography of the author's inner life, then Small Hands (Liverpool University Press, 2015) gives us a striking glimpse into how beautiful and troubling it is to be Mona Arshi. These are sensual poems, in which mouth and hands recur, but always in service to a wistful surrealism. Show More Summary

Jesus Wants an Ethical Minimum Wage and a Serious Campaign Against Poverty.

Although his narrative never slides into an ardent polemic, it is arguable that Reza Aslan's Jesus is a bold and tireless advocate for the poor. A close read of Zealot, The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth makes this conclusion the...Show More Summary

Choose This Day: Author Kathryn Craft on Healing with Fiction

Kathryn Craft is the author of The Art of Falling and the new release, The Far End of Happy, a fictionalized account of the day her first husband choose to end his life in a suicide stand-off at the home they shared. Kathryn spoke to...Show More Summary

How Anyone Can Turn Into A Creative Genius

A few years ago I was invited to give a TED talk about crowdsourcing. When I started to prepare for the talk, I brainstormed ways I could share my ideas in a more creative and engaging manner. When I hit a roadblock in my thinking, I...Show More Summary

The 7 Most Annoying People In Every Book Group Ever

When you joined your book club, you thought it would be such a great way to meet new friends, expand your literary horizons and up your dinner party banter. Little did you know, you'd now be at the mercy some very annoying "characters."...Show More Summary

Learn the Secrets of Publishing Stardom!

It's never too early or too late: Throw out every writer's guide you've ever bought or downloaded. Shred all the notes you ever took at all those writing workshops. Forget everything your writing teachers told you in school. You wasted a lot of time and money. And don't even think of NaNoWriMo. E.L. Show More Summary

Living Like Worms

for Annie Dillard We are all worms. But I believe that I am a glow-worm. Winston Churchill I picked up my slimy, sticky, dried up body and carried it to the next reed of grass, into the next space of dirt. No die. No die. No die. I kept...Show More Summary

Overcoming Writer's Block: The Three Catalysts to Boost Your Writing Productivity and Performance

Spring has sprung, which means it's time to sow the seeds that with care and watering will grow into your very own field of dreams. The time is now. Don't wait, just do. How do you focus your watering can on the seeds that will sprout a book that can grow? I've failed on multiple projects. Show More Summary

Bettyville: A Writer Returns Home to Care For His Ailing Mother

What is Bettyville? It's a place where "people pray for angels, where the Second Coming would be much preferred to tomorrow's sunrise." Once a thriving depiction of Americana, it is now "the world of the Dollar Store, the Big Cup, the...Show More Summary

Forty Years Ago Today

Forty years ago today the city of Saigon braced itself for an uncertain future. People thronged the roof of the American Embassy. Warships sat out in the South China Sea, the American fleet prepared to let board anyone who could make it out to them. Show More Summary

50 Shades of "Nay!"

Warning: unpopular beliefs ahead. Unlike most teenagers, I'm not too psyched about the release of the Fifty Shades of Grey movie. Upon its literary release, the book sold over one hundred million copies, and gained a fandom seemingly overnight. Show More Summary

Why I Teach Mary Wollstonecraft

Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797). That's all I say and instantly my college students' eyes roll back in their heads. It's the first day of class -- Women and Literature -- and already they're bored. They text their friends, keeping their phones hidden under their desks, thinking I can't see. Show More Summary

Part and Parcel: Kelli Russell Agodon

In Part and Parcel, I talk with writers and artists about a fascinating facet of their work. What happens when romance meets substance? Is the world of art somehow separate from the world of routine? Artists must constantly confrontShow More Summary

Conversation With Allan MacDonell Regarding His New Memoir Punk Elegies

Allan MacDonell's terrific new memoir Punk Elegies published at Rare Bird Books is one of the most entertaining books I've read in sometime. It's at once horrific, well written and funny. Punk Elegies the only book in recent memory that can sit on the shelf along with the other classic books on LA punk. Show More Summary

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