Author: Staff

Scott Condon: Notes on Rae Armantrout’s Poem “Thrown”

By Scott Condon | Contributing Writer The title of Rae Armantrout’s poem “Thrown” immediately brings to mind philosopher Martin Heidegger’s notion that human life is thrown into the world. This concept plays a key role in his book Being and Time, and I’ll return to Heidegger a little later. But I’d like to begin by looking at the poem through the lens of James Longenbach’s essay “Poetry Thinking,” focusing in particular on a couple of passages that address the way Shakespeare’s characters speak their thoughts.

Someone Dies One Day // Julie Larios on Russell Edson

by Julie Larios, Contributing Writer  “Two cups in a cupboard. Someone looks in, I do not know which cup is which cup. Now someone looking in faints and falls to the floor. Someone on the floor wakes up. One of his feet has a fedora tied to it, the other foot is bound up in an apron; father’s hat and mother’s apron.” These were the words I encountered in 1966 on first opening The Very Thing That Happens by the poet Russell Edson. His prose poem, titled “Someone Falls to the Floor,” goes on for another three paragraphs, but it was this opening that stopped me in my tracks. More, more, more – that’s what I could hear the little rebel’s voice in my head saying.

Afterwords: AWP 2014 // Panel Summary: Turning Your Thesis Into a Book

by Mark Neely, Contributing Writer   At this year’s AWP conference, I was on a panel called From Thesis to Book: The Stretch Run, along with the authors of a novel (Celeste Ng), a poetry collection (Marcus Wicker), a book of essays (Elena Passarello), and a memoir (Bonnie Rough). The room was packed, mostly with current or recently graduated MFA and PhD students eager for advice, and since there was so much interest in our topic, I thought I’d write a few words about the conclusions we came to during our conversation. Each of us had a different story—there is no template you can follow—but here are a few of the ideas we tossed around: There is often a vast distance between the thesis and the book.  We agreed it would be productive for creative writing students and faculty to view the thesis as the start—the complex seed of a flower that might take years to bloom—rather than asking a thesis to be “publishable” or even “book-length,” as many programs do.