Posts Tagged: Ploughshares

The Generosity of Kristin Dombek

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In her new book, The Selfishness of Others, Kristin Dombek turns her deliberate inquisition and dry humor on the suddenly ubiquitous if “sketchy” word narcissism. In conversation with Laura Creste at the Ploughshares blog, Dombek talks about the origins and offshoots of her interest in narcissism, refracted by the memoir form, polyamory, and a kind of basic […]

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Voting Across the Pages

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The political becoming local and, in effect, personal, is what I think we saw playing out all across Columbia last week.  If Ocosingo War Diary teaches us anything, it’s that what might seem like an obvious choice—ending a war of 52 years—from the global perspective actually might be quite a bit more complicated when the […]

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Finding Your Voice

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Authenticity of voice can only come from authentic work. And authentic work doesn’t come from the head; it’s an outgrowth of authentic feeling. In a post for the Ploughshares blog, Annie Weatherwax considers how writing an artistic statement can help artists and writers find their voice. She writes: “As an artist, the artistic statement requires […]

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A Tumblr Full of Lolitas

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On the Ploughshares blog, Mishka Hoosen explores the phenomenon of young women claiming for themselves the “nymphet” moniker on various Tumblr pages. Hoosen argues that it is more than simplistic fetishization of the themes induced by Nabokov’s Lolita—these women are owning their forbidden sexuality within the protections allowed them. Like the Lolita character, they claim this […]

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VISIBLE: Women Writers of Color: Jaquira Díaz

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Jaquira Díaz discusses the challenge of writing about family members, her greatest joy as a writer, and her literary role models.

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Carving the Uncanny Valley

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Any Luddite with half a brain has already begun stockpiling nonperishables for the inevitable moment the robots rise up against us. Over at the Ploughshares blog, Joelle Renstrom recounts how writers were awakened to the threat of artificial intelligence: A certain likeness to humans inspires kinship, but when the line blurs, that kinship turns to […]

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Rooting for Folk Tales

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But the question that’s been on my mind for a while now is how and why we’ve come to recognize certain tales as perennial (and universal) and have relegated others to complete obscurity. Or, to be more exact, how we’ve codified and solidified certain interpretations of certain folk tales as the unalterable classics and neglected […]

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What’s in a Name?

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But as writers, what are we supposed to do if we have a super common name? Do we get a pen name? Do we find an SEO expert? Do we just kind of ignore the issue and hope our names will float to the top of the Google search results someday, somehow? Over at the […]

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Of Boston and Poetry

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But any poet today who shared Longfellow’s taste would be laughed out of the room. He wanted heroism; we want the ordinary. He wanted grand dramas; we want insightful understatement. He wanted music; we want images. Over at the Ploughshares blog, Tim Ellison writes about wandering through Boston with American poetry in his mind.

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Subway Stories

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The project brings physical books back into the public’s routine, and in some ways obviates the debate over the necessity or function of the print object. The Ploughshares blog recently featured an innovative project by a Brazilian publishing house to promote literacy on the subway: issuing books as subway tickets!

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An End Has a Start

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At the Ploughshares blog, E. V. De Cleyre considers the many ways to find the right moment to end a nonfiction story: The aftermath, Cusk writes, is “life with knowledge of what has gone before.” Writers are not seers. Armed with the “knowledge of what has gone before,” we mold events, truths, into narrative, and hope […]

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Reading on Reading on Reading

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For Ploughshares, Clare Beams talks about the strange effect of reading a story in which someone reads a story: Paintings of people looking at paintings, like this one, can make me fall into a dizzy sort of hole. Gazing at the painting to find, there, painted people gazing at a painting, suddenly I’m not quite […]

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Little White Lies

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Over at the Ploughshares blog, Alex Chertok writes about every author’s necessary little white lies: As adults, we should hold each other’s work to high standards, and our own work to the highest of all. As writers, we shouldn’t settle for a single pale line. But before the poem is written, I say, we should lie to […]

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Your Next Story

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WRITER: Thank you. Thank you. Really. Because my whole problem is I’m incapable of noticing things I might want to write about. I walk through this world blind, and it’s not till helpful people shove things in my face and suggest that I write about them that I ever have an idea. Over at the Ploughshares blog, Rebecca Makkai writes […]

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Growing Up with Little Women

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Four sisters, each vivid, but composed, really, of just a few brushstrokes. Here, neatly categorized for us before we’ve made it out of the first chapter, are four different ways of being a girl. There’s something tempting about this drawing of lines. For the Ploughshares blog, Clare Beams discusses why Little Women continues to appeal […]

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Rescuing Asian Art from American Artists

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Generations of American writers have approached Asian cultures with the best of intentions but repeatedly missed the mark. How can we rescue Asian artists and thinkers like Hokusai from our own desire to experience them as foreign? How can we experience Hokusai not as the Japanese artist, not as one of the roots of European […]

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