Word of the Day: Atelier

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(n.); artist’s studio or workshop; c. 1840, from the old French astelier (“carpenter’s workshop, woodpile”)

“Part of what I loved about poetry was how the distinction between fiction and nonfiction didn’t obtain,” [Lerner] says, “how the correspondence between text and world was less important than the intensities of the poem itself.”

From “With Storms Outside, Inner Conflicts Swirl”

How the old French word for a splinter of wood (astelle, likely from the Latin astula) evolved to eventually refer to an artist’s abode may be fodder only for the most archaic linguist. The rest of us will be satisfied in the knowledge that such places do exist, and that from them we’re treated to tapestries of thought and poetry woven into sublime works of art. For example, take some satisfaction in reading the New York Time‘s review of Ben Lerner’s latest novel, 10:04, an intertextual tapestry of reality and metaphor. Or, take a gander at this poignant webcomic from Asaf Hanuka.


Sara Menuck is currently pursuing BA in English & Professional Writing at York University, Toronto, without being very professional at all. Having interned with a variety of small press publications, she currently works as a prose reader for The Winter Tangerine Review, a department editorial assistant, and, in her free time, a teacher of music to very small, adorable children. More from this author →