Author: Staff

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.

Afterwords: AWP 2014 // Superlatives

by Rich Smith, Contributing Writer For all the general debauchery, hedonism, hooliganism, missed drinks, missed sleep, frowns above triple digit bar tabs, poetrybomb readings, skipped panels, hangovers, retroactive hangovers, I still managed to read, hear, and talk about a whole lot of exciting contemporary poetry and prose. Here’s a roundup of the best moments from the best AWP I’ve ever been to. Best Quote About Seattle: I’m torn between “You mean there’s more than one pie place?” and “That’s the most beautiful tree I’ve ever seen—no, that one is!”

Afterwords: AWP 2014 // Beaker Full of Sarah Shotwell

by Sarah Shotwell, Contributing Writer On Sunday afternoon at SeaTac Airport, I stood in line to board a rickety little plane half-full of writers bound for Los Angeles. It was all too easy to spot them: they had purple-stamped canvas bags slung over their shoulders. They were slowly thumbing expired editions of Tin House and trying to cram conference materials into over-stuffed carry-ons. They were silent and pallid and greasy. Earbuds were stuck in their ears. They shared the countenance of a bunch of introverts, well over capacity. The 2014 Association of Writers & Writing Programs Conference, hosted by the University of Washington Creative Writing Program, drew more than 10,000 outsiders to Seattle last weekend. Since 1972, AWP has pulled its unwieldy community of writers, publishers, teachers and readers together under one roof for a long weekend of paneling, browsing, networking, reading, and partying. The conference also is the host to the largest book fair in North America, where MFA programs attempt to draw applicants, and where publishers and foundations come to hawk subscriptions, promote …

A Late Winter Reading List: Poet Diana Khoi Nguyen Curls Up with Prose

Greetings, poets + persons of poetic constitution. It’s me, Diana Khoi Nguyen. As a peddler + dabbler/dribbler/lover of poetry, and as earthling, I’ve always wondered about what others (like me and not like me) are reading. As much as I hate/guilty-pleasure-love lists (especially lists of poetry ilk), I am constantly starving to find the next life-altering/favorite-book-of-all-time. Sure, as a poet, I’ve had hundreds of poetry collections recommended to me–and many of these have been especially instrumental to my poet/human-development, but there’s something I discovered within the past 14 months: my brain is wildly stimulated in strange and wondrous ways when I read life-altering fiction and non-fiction. This is where I will admit that I don’t see myself as a well-read person. But I am a lover of books. And I’d like to share with lovers of poetry–some meaningful works of prose that I’ve been reading/read recently. I hope you don’t mind. My hope is that: I can share a book, author, feelings with you that might lead you also to experience feelings. I hope I’m able to bring …

The Fridges of Famous Poets

Curated by Katharine Ogle Associate Editor     Rilke’s Lemon A lemon came home from the grocery, nestled in the net bag with the rest of the produce, but he hadn’t bought it. How did you get here? Rilke puts the lemon in the fridge next to the lemon juice. Someone has cut a slice from it. Like the corpse of a saint, the lemon remains fresh and sweet-smelling for a suspiciously long time. Rilke thinks: Like a girl almost or like the refrigerator gremlins who eat electricity to stay alive, you have to learn to live with longing. You just have to learn to live with longing. Every waking moment, the lemon is rolling slowly looking for the fridge within the fridge that it knows is there. –Sarah Kathryn Moore   All’s Despite (or, Paul Celan’s Fridge) shellacked and scrubbed green, yawning fingernail caught in a sunken jamb, wailing tin mantras; color of fresh- puckered mint on a rubberrack next to two carrots ocher-stain blush in so styrene a crypt (o and who levered …