Articles

Articles from Poet & Writers Magazine include material from the print edition plus exclusive online-only material.

UN Establishes Literacy Decade

by Dalia Sofer

News and Trends

Posted 5.1.03

May/June 2003

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The UN has declared the next ten years the UN Literacy Decade. During this period the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization will initiate its "International Plan of Action," designed to mobilize national governments, public and private organizations, universities, and local communities to create literacy programs, research who will most benefit from such programs, and find ways to monitor their success so that they can be improved upon and replicated elsewhere.

 

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An Interview With Fiction Writer Harry Mark Petrakis

by Martin Northway

Direct Quote

Online Only, posted 4.22.03

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The ninth novel and eighteenth book by Harry Mark Petrakis, who turns 80 on June 5, will be published by Southern Illinois University Press in the same month. Twilight of the Ice is set in the Chicago railyards, in the blue-collar, industrial neighborhoods of the early 1950s. In this elegy to a rough crew of railroad car icemen facing obsolescence in the advent of modern refrigeration, the Chicago author who was twice shortlisted for the National Book Award again finds nobility in the struggles of immigrants and working people.

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An Interview With Fiction Writer Colum McCann

by Joseph Lennon

Direct Quote

Online Only, posted 3.14.03

Colum McCann's most recent novel, Dancer, published by Henry Holt in January, reimagines the life and the international milieu surrounding the Russian ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev, who died in 1993.

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Literary MagNet

by Kevin Larimer

News and Trends

Posted 3.1.03

March/April 2003

Literary MagNet chronicles the start-ups and closures, successes and failures, anniversaries and accolades, changes of editorship and special issues—in short, the news and trends—of literary magazines in America. This issue's MagNet features Rosebud, Pleiades, Fizgig, American Letters & Commentary, Shiny, Brevity, and Canary River Review.

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The United State of Poets Laureate

by Denise Hart

News and Trends

Posted 3.1.03

March/April 2003

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During the past year, poets laureate have been the unlikely recipients of national media attention. New Jersey's Amiri Baraka was excoriated for reading a poem that some labeled anti-Semitic, and California's Quincy Troupe resigned after inaccuracies were discovered on his resumé. With their public profiles growing, the role of poets laureate is being called into question. In April the nation's first conference for state poets laureate will convene in Manchester, New Hampshire, where they will discuss poetry and their responsibilities as public representatives of their art. 

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Jimmy's Place: A Haven on Water Street

by Sarah Gorham

The Literary Life

Posted 3.1.03

March/April 2003

When James Merrill died in 1994, he willed his large, turn-of-the-century house on Water Street to the Borough of Stonington, Connecticut. The village improvement committee was free to use the building any way it desired; Merrill made no stipulation in his will. But the National Book Award–winning poet had been an important figure in the village's ongoing literary tradition. The committee decided to keep Merrill's legacy alive by creating a writer-in-residence program. Since 1996, a lucky poet or scholar has lived, for either six months or a full year, in Merrill's curious home across from the harbor. Writers chosen for residency are notified more than a year in advance. Several Merrill House residents have reported "the happiest period of my life," surrounded by Merrill's books and knickknacks, far removed from the snarl of city life—Boston, New York, or Louisville, in our case.

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"Best" Anthologies: A Global Trend

by Dalia Sofer

News and Trends

Posted 3.1.03

March/April 2003

Anthologies compiled annually by editors who scan diverse sources and publish the poems they deem "the best," are quickly gaining popularity worldwide. The latest of these is an online publication called Best New Zealand Poems.

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LOA Launches American Poets Project

by Ava Wilder

News and Trends

Posted 3.1.03

March/April 2003

To coincide with National Poetry Month, the Library of America, a nonprofit publisher of American classics, will launch the American Poets Project, a new series of books devoted to individual poets and anthologies exploring particular themes, genres, and eras. 

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Writing a Life One Moment at a Time

by Timothy Schaffert

News and Trends

Posted 3.1.03

March/April 2003

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Careful storytelling, along with careful marketing, has helped American Lives—the memoir series at the University of Nebraska Press—attract the attention of talented authors, national reviewers, and bookstore sales reps.

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An Interview With Poet Brian Henry

by Nick Twemlow

Direct Quote

Online Only, posted 2.14.03

In 1995 Brian Henry joined forces with Andrew Zawacki to resurrect Verse magazine. In 2000 he elicited the help of Matthew Zapruder and co-founded Verse Press. Along the way Henry, an assistant professor of English and director of the creative writing program at the University of Georgia, established a broad international reputation, both for his editorial and critical efforts, and for his sizable creative output.

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