Articles

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

Move Over, Oprah

by Joy Jacobson

News and Trends

Posted 7.1.02

July/August 2002

Writers, publishers, and bookstore owners who have profited a great deal from the success of Oprah's Book Club reeled from the announcement on April 5 that Oprah Winfrey had made her last monthly book club selection, for nothing else could elevate a book to the status of best-seller quite like it.

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Putting a Price on Writers Who Read

by Diana Abu-Jaber

News and Trends

Posted 7.1.02

July/August 2002

Giving a public reading, for most writers, involves a good deal of anxiety, a powerful dose of pride in one's work, and the cool relief of getting through the experience without humiliation. Payment often comes in the form of applause. But for those writers whose names regularly appear on book jackets and prize announcements, public readings can mean big business—and big paychecks.

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On Essays: Literature’s Most Misunderstood Form

by Michael Depp

The Literary Life

Posted 7.1.02

July/August 2002

This is not an essay. Though maybe, in a way, it is. Because it's a strange thing about essays—even talking about them, trying to get at what they are, it's hard not to cleave to the spirit of the essay, that inconclusive, most outwardly formless of forms, which spills and seeps into so many other kinds of writing-memoir, feature, commentary, review—and punctuates every assertion with a qualification, a measure of doubt, an alternate possibility.

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Directions for Armchair Travelers

by Dalia Sofer

News and Trends

Posted 7.1.02

July/August 2002

In January, National Geographic Books launched a series that offers a different kind of travel book—one that uses the unique perspective of a writer to explore the larger implications of place.

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An Interview With Editor Dave Smith

by Ethan Gilsdorf

Direct Quote

Online Only, posted 6.1.02

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Poet and editor Dave Smith will resign in July from The Southern Review, the literary journal based at Louisiana State University that he has been co-editing since 1990. Smith, who turns 60 in December, will leave Baton Rouge and the literary post of his hero, the poet Robert Penn Warren who started the journal, for a Chair in Poetry at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. The move will allow him to remain in the South, his home and the inspiration for much of his work.

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W. S. Merwin at the Village Voice: Postcard From Paris

by Ethan Gilsdorf

Postcard

Online Only, posted 5.31.02

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W. S. Merwin made his first appearance at the Village Voice bookstore on May 27, the same evening a hailstorm hit Paris. Merwin is the author of 20 books of poems, four books of prose, and nearly 20 books of translations, including one of the Middle English Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, which is scheduled for publication in October by Knopf.

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An Interview With Editor Jenny Penberthy

by Andy Carter

Direct Quote

Online Only, posted 5.3.02

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Lorine Niedecker: Collected Works, edited by Jenny Penberthy, a professor of English at Capilano College in Vancouver, was published in April by the University of California Press. The collection presents all of her surviving poetry and plays.

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Swenson Named Academy Director

by Mary Gannon

News and Trends

Posted 5.1.02

May/June 2002

On April 1 Tree Swenson took up the post of executive director of the Academy of American Poets, the New York City–based membership organization responsible for founding National Poetry Month. Swenson succeeds William Wadsworth.

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A Brief History of the "P" Word

by Julia Kamysz Lane

News and Trends

Posted 5.1.02

May/June 2002

Public allegations of plagiarism are leveled at unsuspecting authors at least once a year, but their frequency doesn't diminish the calamitous results: bruised reputations, soured accusers, disenchanted readers, and riled media. This spectacle isn't, however, an invention of our media-saturated age. Public fascination with plagiarism is as old as our appetite for scandal.

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PSA Celebrates a Decade of Poetry in Motion

by Eleanor Henderson

News and Trends

Posted 5.1.02

May/June 2002

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This year the Poetry Society of America is celebrating the 10th anniversary of Poetry in Motion—the program that brings poems to subways and buses across the country. The 92-year-old literary nonprofit is printing newly designed posters, sponsoring a poetry contest, and hosting readings in Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York City.

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