October/November 2000 Cover Image

On Emotional Investment & the Objective Correlative

Rob Davidson
One of the chief problems young writers face is the question of how to capture accurate, deep emotion on the page. The easiest way, of course, is to have a character simply state "I am sad," or to allow an omniscient narrator to articulate emotions and feelings the narrator can't or won't reveal.
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Bend Sinister: A Handbook for Writers

Alice McDermott
I am wary of any advice to fiction writers that smacks of "how to." I am happy to see fiction writers gainfully employed and serially published, but I am always hit with a wave of disappointment when a fiction writer I admire brings forth a book or an article about writing fiction.

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Entertaining the Eavesdropper

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Douglas Bauer
In an essay from his collection, Wormholes, John Fowles writes: "The most real dialogue is not the most conformable to actual speech. One has only to read a transcribed tape of actual conversation to realize that it is, in a literary context, not very real." Fictional "dialogue is a form of shorthand, an impression (italics mine) of what people actually say."
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An Interview with Elizabeth McCracken

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Sarah Anne Johnson
Elizabeth McCracken is the author of the short-story collection Here's Your Hat, What's Your Hurry and the novel The Giant's House. She holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and a degree in library science from Drexel University.
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Breaking into Book Publishing

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Benjamin Boyce Crader
According to the MLA, less than half of today's graduate students in English can expect to find sustainable academic jobs within a year of graduating. Lawrence Poston, a senior associate dean at University of Illinois at Chicago, says that graduate education "is a hefty investment. Who wants to make it if all that awaits at the end is a series of part-time or full-time but non-tenure-track positions that pay about a third of what one might make in the lower reaches of the computer industry the first year after the BA?"
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Blurbs, Authorial & Otherwise

Kevin Jackson
You know the form, I know the form, everyone knows the form. It goes something like this:
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A Tax Break for Writers

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Ronald Goldfarb
A bill which is very important to us all—HR 3249, The Artists' Contribution to American Heritage Act of 1999—is before the Congress, and it deserves our enthusiastic support and active encouragement. In a nutshell, it permits artists to deduct the fair market value of their "literary, musical, artistic, or scholarly compositions" as charitable contributions to their income tax.
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An Interview with Yusef Komunyakaa

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E. Ethelbert Miller
This interview between poet E. Ethelbert Miller, who acted as host on this occasion, and Yusef Komunyakaa, winner of the 1994 Pulitzer Prize in poetry (for Neon Vernacular: New and Selected Poems 1977-1989, Wesleyan, 1993), was conducted at the Arts Club of Washington, D.C. in conjunction with The Charlin Jazz Society's Duke Ellington Centennial Commission project. Komunyakaa's Thieves of Paradise (Wesleyan, 1998) was named a 1999 finalist for the National Book Critics' Circle Award.
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On the Poetry of Ann Stanford

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Maxine Scates
Ann Stanford was a poet whose poetry was both grounded in place and haunted by its erosion.
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Your're Only Young Twice

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Tim Morris
I teach in a university English department in which adults, children, power, and culture are strongly linked. The nature of the connections, however, is frequently ignored. We require our majors to take a course in children's literature if they are seeking teacher certification. Our children's literature courses are always full, but always taught by adjunct faculty.
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Riley: A Story About Writing & Teaching

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Tracy Daugherty
As a teacher of writing for over 13 years now, I've done my share of emotional counseling off the cuff, though I always tell my classes writing isn't therapy—if you weren't mentally stressed before trying to write a short story, you certainly will be after the attempt.
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Ann Stanford: In Memoriam

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Carol Muske-Dukes
When I met Ann Stanford, I thought of her as a kind of Vanishing Woman—she managed a great "impersonation of an ordinary woman," as in James Merrill's description of Elizabeth Bishop. I met her a year or so after I moved to L.A. from New York City.
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