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Posts by: Nancy Smith

Magazine Review #11: AWP Lit Mag Round-Up

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The book fair was the highlight of AWP Chicago for me. Sure, there was the misguided, and somewhat enraging debate over John D’Agata’s The Lifespan of a Fact, or the fascinating discussion of the modern essay as it relates to Virginia Woolf and her contemporaries, or Ben Percy’s creepy/awesome reading of a story about a bear that kills a family in their house—also all highlights.

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Magazine Review #8: Boat Magazine, Issue 1

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Boat Studio, a small creative firm based in London, packed up their office and moved to Sarajevo for a month to make a magazine. The idea: to get people to take notice of forgotten cities around the world and to update people’s views of these places.

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Magazine Review #7: Annalemma, Issue 8: Creation

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Annalemma’s eighth issue is dedicated to “the creators, the people who make things, the people who use ingenuity and creativity to work around barriers. To the people who adapt to fit their surroundings, to the people who aren’t satisfied with a problem, and instead of ignoring it, they face it and try to make it better.” Editor Chris Heavener writes, “This issue is devoted to the makers of the world.”

Creation is a fascinating theme for writers to explore, and every piece in this issue revolves around the act of making.

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No One Can Take a Bath for You: Why I Write

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The other day, a friend of mine said he was giving up writing. This friend happens to be a very good writer. Why? I asked. Too many people already write about the things I write about, he said. I thought about this for a long time, and while I understand (and even sympathize) with this idea, I feel compelled to call bullshit on it.

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Magazine Review #6: Paris Review, Issue 196

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The most important—and surprising—thing about this issue of The Paris Review: Roberto Bolaño’s lost novel.

This is very exciting for fans of the Chilean writer (I happen to be a somewhat obsessive one) and even more so because The Paris Review will be publishing this “lost” novel in its entirety over the course of four issues.

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Magazine Review #2: Zoetrope: All-Story (Fall 2010)

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One of the most remarkable things about Zoetrope: All-Story has always been their use of guest designers.

Every issue carries the unique stamp of the contributing artist but this issue feels especially extraordinary. Kara Walker is the guest designer, and I wouldn’t have expected her work to translate so well in magazine format, but it seems even more beautiful on the page than it does on a gallery wall.

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Magazine Review #1: Ploughshares

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In his introduction to the issue, guest editor Jim Shepard says, “I’ve been drawn to protagonists who are geniuses at knitting together self-indictment and self-exoneration in ways that are both unconscious and calculated. Protagonists who leave us to sort through what they’ve figured out, what they can’t figure out, and what they won’t try to figure out about themselves.”

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