March/April 1998 Cover Image

An Interview with Mark Doty

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Dale Boyer
Mark Doty is the author of five volumes of poetry: Turtle, Swan; Bethlehem in Broad Daylight; My Alexandria; Atlantis; and Sweet Machine, which has just been published by HarperCollins. He has also written a critically acclaimed memoir Heaven's Coast. He has received numerous grants and awards, including the National Book Critics Circle Award and The Los Angeles Times Book Prize.

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An Interview with Patricia Hampl

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Laura Wexler
Patricia Hampl is the author of two memoirs, A Romantic Education and Virgin Time, both named by the New York Times Book Review a Notable Book of the Year. She has also published two volumes of poetry, and a prose meditation on Antonin Dvorak's 1893 visit to Iowa entitled Spillville. She has just finished I Could Tell You Stories, a collection of essays on memory and imagination.

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Honesty, Confession, & Other Dramas of "Creative Writing"

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Thomas Larson
My undergraduate creative writing class begins with the same assignment every semester, an idea I stole from the fiction writer and essayist, Carol Bly: each student must write a ten-page autobiographical essay about a significant person, place, or phase in his or her life, in one week. Raw is fine; first draft encouraged.
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The Stillness of Sleeping Birds

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Joan Frank
I am reading Schwartz on the long, jostly bus commute to an office job. Brown hills ripple alongside like a movie backdrop; young black men boast and swear cheerfully a few seats behind me; the soft hiss of someone's walkman floats over the grind of bus engines; colognes commingle. These usual distractions fade as I stop dead at the word in Schwartz's sentence, sounding it again in my reading ear: uninterrupted.
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Out of the Ashtray: Revivifying Creative Writing Classes

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Maurice Kilwein Guevara
I fall back in memory to a day in mid-November, a dozen years ago, in Bowling Green, Ohio: my first months as a graduate student in fiction writing. The trees are mostly bare, the sky as dark as a pigeon feather. Ken, a second-year student with a cigarette in his hand, is crossing Main Street on his way to the MFA workshop in poetry. "How's the workshop going?" I ask, new in town and really wanting to know.
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Love's Artifice & Fernando Pessoa

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Stephen Dunn
We don't expect love poems written in the initial stages of love to be very complicated. They tend to extol the beloved, or celebrate love itself. We can be pretty sure they won't have a "but" in them. They are poems of the heightened moment, often exuberant, sometimes hyperbolic.
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