December 1994 Cover Image

An Interview with W.P. Kinsella

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Jonathan Thorndike
The same goes for Anne Tyler. I think Tyler is our best living writer today. She just has a style of her own that I couldn't approximate. I have my Joyce Carol Oates story, my Bernard Malamud story, my Alice Munro story, but I was consciously thinking of those writers as I wrote.
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The Refrain of the Repressed: Incest Poetry in a Culture of Victimization

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Allison M. Cummings
In a recent Newsweek article on incest in American fiction, Linda Shapiro suggests incest stories are the new "all-purpose ingredient" in fiction, nonfiction and on daytime TV due to market demand in a "culture of victimization."1 Shapiro ignores contemporary poetry, although the trend is perhaps even larger within that genre. As a poetry editor for a little magazine and a reader for poetry contests, I have noticed a distinct increase in submissions about incestuous abuse over the past few years.
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Breaking the Code of Silence: Ideology and Women's Confessional Poetry

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Judith Lynn Harris
In the past few years, critics have given the term confessionalism negative connotations. Poets that have found their way by the constellation of Plath, Sexton, Berryman, and Lowell—to name but a few representatives of the confessional school—have been belittled for writing poems deemed as private, exhibitionistic, self-indulgent, narcissistic, or melodramatic.

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The Questions of Postmodernism

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David Lehman
What is postmodernism? Nobody knows for sure, except you're supposed to say that before talking confidently about it. Best not to be too solemn. Nobody, with the exception of a few academics, really likes the term, but it won't go away, and it does afford a way to make sense of some recent developments in American fiction and poetry.
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