Robert Boucheron: Elizabeth Bishop at Harvard

Boucheron recounts learning poetry from Bishop @ Talking Writing. In the spring of 1973, I took Elizabeth Bishop’s poetry composition seminar at Harvard University.Admission was by writing sample, and enrollment was limited to ten. Most of the others were graduate students, while I was a college junior. I had written poems and stories since high… Read more »

When Failure Succeeds

Marion Wrenn considers  Against the Workshop: Provocations, Polemics, and Controversies by Anis Shivani (Texas Review Press), and wonders what happens when online writing turns to the page. “Criticism excites me, and prompts me to be a better writer—it is an addiction of sorts, perhaps the most positive one a writer can have, rewardingly self-serving in how… Read more »

Barrie Jean Borich on the Craft of Writing Queer

Borich considers what we ignore when we talk about blurring the boundaries of writing @ Brevity. When I discovered creative nonfiction I’d just turned thirty, was self-schooled in queer and activist literatures, newly in love with the woman who is still my spouse, newly sober, even newly tattooed, and recently returned to university. I’d dropped… Read more »

Geoff Dyer: Ship Write

Dyer contemplates Conrad’s Heart of Darkness while sitting on a boat in the Thames @ Guernica. Like Death in Venice or The Great Gatsby, Heart of Darkness is not just a book but a modern myth—everyone has read it, even if they have not done so personally. The actual book is far stranger than accounts of… Read more »

Emily Cooke on The Lonely Ones

Cooke reflects on the relationship between solitude and women writers @ The New Inquiry. By all accounts, Susan Sontag found being alone intolerable. In Sigrid Nunez’s 2011 memoir, Sempre Susan, Sontag didn’t even want to drink her morning coffee or read the newspaper without someone else around. When she was alone and unoccupied by books,… Read more »