May/Summer 1998 Cover Image

Pretending To Be Ourselves: The Contemporary Dramatic Monologue

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Phillip Sterling
We should begin with Robert Browning. After all, Browning is the poet most often touted as the geneticist of the dramatic monologue as we know it. His oft-anthologized verse portraits of psychological miscreants—like "My Last Duchess," "Fra Lippo Lippi," and "Soliloquy in a Spanish Cloister"—exemplify the form.
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An Interview with Edward Hoagland

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Heather Heilman
Edward Hoagland is among the most well-regarded essayists of our time, and possesses one of the more unique, independent voices in contemporary letters. In a single loping essay, for example, he will consider turtles, ocean voyages, circus knife-throwers, and the dangers of solitude. In another, he will profile a man who has devoted his life to jumping from ever-increasing heights into ever-decreasing amounts of water.
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An Interview with Alice Fulton

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Barbara J. Petoskey
Alice Fulton's first volume of poetry, Dance Script With Electric Ballerina, won the Associated Writing Programs Award Series in 1982 and was recently reissued by University of Illinois Press. This collection has been followed by Palladium (1986, U. of Illinois Press), winner of the National Poetry Series; Powers Of Congress (1990, Godine); and Sensual Math (1995, W.W. Norton).
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Weaving a Chapbook of Poems

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Robert Miltner
As a developing poet, there is a point at which you eventually arrive: you have enough finished poems to fill several folders on your desk, your work has appeared in few dozen regional and national magazines with well-established reputations and name recognition, and you've been reading regularly at local coffee houses and book stores. It is time to consider collecting your work together and assembling your first book of poems.
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On Not Bringing Your Mother to Creative Writing Class

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Michael Blumenthal
"'I write for myself and strangers,' is what Gertrude Stein said, and that, I think, is whom all real writers write for," I tell my Friday morning nonfiction writing seminar.
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Writers Behind Bars: PEN Writers in Prison

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Joanne Leedom-Ackerman
One of the first ex-prisoners I met when I took over as Chair of International PEN's Writers in Prison Committee was a journalist from the Maldives. He had come to London, as many ex-prisoners did, to be treated for the torture he endured in prison. He had been sentenced to two years for criticizing the government.
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Hall's Index

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Donald Hall
A young poet friend calls my letters the Dead Metaphor Bulletin. It is possible that I am a crank about dead metaphors. Another friend sent me a completed manuscript, which I read with pleasure, and when I wrote him I congratulated him on writing a long book with only four dead metaphors in it.
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Showing & Telling: The Necessary Partnership

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Catherine Brady
In nearly every workshop I've taught, whether the students were gathered for a weekend writing conference, taking creative writing as curious undergraduates, or enrolled in a graduate writing program, I have taken a poll on how many class members are familiar with the dictum "show, don't tell," only to be answered by a unanimous show of hands.
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