December 2006 Cover Image

Ouija, Canoe, Haiku: A Collaborative Inquiry into Collaborative Poetry

Article Image

Isaac Cates & Chad Davidson
Evocative second lines force one to read the first line in multiple ways (its likely intent and its repurposed meaning-in-context). Finishing a two-line poem gracefully takes a different skill than drafting a batch of forty first lines quickly.

Read more...


The Realization of a Writer

Article Image

Walter Mosley
Walter Mosley When I was asked to give this talk I quickly, but very nervously agreed. I was eager to address this assembly for reasons that will become obvious later on-but I was worried because of the nature of the AWP. I feel, and have always felt, that this is a very special and specific organization. You are all active members of writing programs around the country and the world. I didn't see how I could be construed as a member of that singular group; and therefore qualified to address you in a keynote capacity.
Read more...


A Conversation with Alicia Ostriker

Article Image

Edited by Laure-Anne Bosselaar
For some time, I have interviewed poets writing in America today with a new slant to make those conversations somewhat different than the "classical" interview: I ask each interviewee to give me a list of five to ten authors and/or friends they would like to be interviewed by—instead of just being interviewed by me.
Read more...


An Interview with Alice Mattison

Article Image

Sarah Anne Johnson
I wrote only poetry for a long time, and then I began writing fiction-short stories. I didn't know I'd ever write a novel, and I certainly didn't think about writing essays. I spent quite some time trying to write both poetry and fiction, and felt obscurely that the fiction was not any good and would not be any good until I turned my attention to it.
Read more...


Literature and the Cultural "Landscape"

Article Image

Edited by Sydney Lea
What follows is a patchwork of literary-historical speculation and an elderly poet's cultural rant. It is, quite typically for that poet, at once opinionated and self-suspicious. I trust it will not be too hard to follow as it backs and fills and digresses, flitting from assertion to apology to something like criticism.
Read more...


Time's Harrow: A Study in the Nature of Time and Fiction

Article Image

Brian Tierney
Waking with the definitive thought that time is circular. Indeed, reasonable people could debate the specific form of time: time is triangular, time is helical, or, of course, the compelling assertion that time is rhomboidal. Reasonable people might debate the issue, that is, if they believe that time exists at all.
Read more...


The Music of Prose

Article Image

Richard Goodman
Language is sound by which we communicate. You could say it's organized sound. Or patterned sound. Or sound charged with meaning. But it's still sound. You listen to me speak, and you're listening to sound. But it's variable sound. It's sound with-pauses. With emphasis. With, well, you know, a certain rhythm.
Read more...


Painful Howls From Places That Undoubtedly Exist: A Primer Of Deceit

Article Image

Robin Hemley
When Faulkner bought his house, he named it Rowan Oak, after two talismanic trees, one denoting strength, the other a shield against evil spirits, in this case, reporters and visitors who were forever invading Faulkner's beloved privacy.
Read more...


Who Keeps Killing Poetry?

D.W. Fenza
Every few years, the experts decide that she is moribund, comatose, wounded, infected, deranged, or dead. The experts declare a state of emergency and the need for intervention to save her. Even when she is happily talking, laughing, and dining with her dearest friends-the paramedics barge in to drag Poetry away and force her into the ambulance.
Read more...