February 1990 Cover Image

Poetry as Democracy: A Letter to AWP

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Garrett Hongo
Ships and plans bring bad news to me slowly here on the volcano. I've just now read the AWP Chronicle from last May when you ran the symposium featuring the essay "Who Killed Poetry?" by Joseph Epstein, editor of The American Scholar, our national magazine of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, and a dozen or so responses from interested poets around the country.

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Responding to Censorship: New Coalition Enters Turmoil in the Arts

AWP Editor
On November 26, 1989, The Coalition of Writers Organizations (COWO), as the group calls itself, met to consider plans for advocating public support for the arts and for preserving freedom of expression. Pulitzer prize-winning novelist and president of PEN, Larry McMurtry, was elected to be chair of the coalition.
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Political Crossfire and the NEA

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Frank Conroy
During the twelve years that the Pushcart Prize series has been in existence, many observers have noted a narrowing down of literary activity in the commercial arena, and an opening up in the small presses and lit mags. This has happened despite the best efforts of many good people in the commercial world to hold up their end.
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Letters: Mr. Frohnmayer Responds

John E. Frohnmayer
Thank you for the opportunity to respond to your open letter to your members and to me. I believe that one of the things we must do at the Endowment is to uphold the integrity of the peer panel review system and find ways to improve the internal workings of the panel system. To persuade the American people, the Congress and the arts constituency that it is sound, the system must be beyond reproach.
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An Interview with Vance Bourjaily

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Dinty W. Moore
Vance Bourjaily has spent thirty-two years teaching creative writing, most of them at the Iowa riters Workshop, then at University of Arizona, and, since 1985, as Director of a new MFA Program at Louisiana State University. He has published nine novels along the way, including The End of My Life (1947), The Man Who Knew Kennedy (1967), and The Great Fake Book (1986), as well as two books of nonfiction and numerous short stories.

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Notes From a Cell: Creative Writing Programs in Isolation

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Eve Shelnutt
In a recent issue of Salmagundi devoted to the topic of intellectuals, William Pfaff, a political writer for The New Yorker, argued that "the intellectual life and teaching have always been connected, but never more so than in the United States today." Yet, as a teacher in a university Master of Fine Arts creative writing program, I barely recognize his description of academe.
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