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American Literature

5 Questions for Poets: Part 3

Jonathan Hobratsch | Posted 04.16.2014 | Books
Jonathan Hobratsch

"I know a handful (if not a heartful) of poems by heart. Lines surface and go under. They keep me company, whether on the tip of my tongue or in the basement of my unconsciousness."

5 Questions for Poets: Part 2

Jonathan Hobratsch | Posted 04.08.2014 | Books
Jonathan Hobratsch

Last week, some of America's top poets answered five questions from a pool of questions offered by readers of poetry for National Poetry Month. In this second part of the series, our poets tackle five more of their questions.

'The Wilde Passions of Dorian Gray', 'Foolish Hearts': Gay Love and Marriage?

Janet Mason | Posted 04.03.2014 | Books
Janet Mason

Love makes the world go round. And when it comes to LGBT civil rights, love is what all the fuss is all about. Two recent books from Cleis Press (both published in 2013) brought the idea of love to the forefront of my mind, in very different ways.

5 Questions for Poets: Part 1

Jonathan Hobratsch | Posted 04.02.2014 | Books
Jonathan Hobratsch

I have decided to celebrate National Poetry Month by submitting questions by readers of poetry to some of the top poets writing in America today.

The One-Day Guide to New Orleans' Literary Landmarks

WHERE | Posted 03.07.2014 | Travel
WHERE

Each spring bibliophiles and Brando buffs flock to the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival to pay homage to the late great playwright, who penned A Streetcar Named Desire in what he called his "spiritual home."

Langston Hughes: A Life Dreamed in Letters

Afaa Michael Weaver | Posted 04.05.2014 | Black Voices
Afaa Michael Weaver

Hughes' was a courage we speak of when we speak of great people, people of an imponderable depth of spirit. He gave his life to his work, and to his people, and to his nation in the face of adversity that would crush most aspiring poets.

Sins of the Father: 'Truth Like the Sun' Reviewed

Sunny Bjerk | Posted 01.23.2014 | Books
Sunny Bjerk

Ultimately, this novel's strength resides in its depictions of characters whose ethics and motivations occupy a liminal, grey space between good and bad, moral and immoral.

F. Scott Fitzgerald, Zelda Sayre, and Montgomery, Alabama in 2013

Anne Margaret Daniel | Posted 01.23.2014 | Arts
Anne Margaret Daniel

Last week I joined close to 200 Fitzgerald scholars, admirers, students, readers, and teachers from all over the world -- though readers, and admirers, serves to define us all.

Learning to Write About New York

Terence Clarke | Posted 11.30.2013 | New York
Terence Clarke

I lived in Manhattan for two years, during the late 1990s, and felt, the whole time, that I was little more than a tourist. I was aware of John Updike's remark that "the true New Yorker secretly believes that people living anywhere else have to be, in some sense, kidding."

Happy Birthday, F. Scott Fitzgerald

Anne Margaret Daniel | Posted 11.24.2013 | Books
Anne Margaret Daniel

A glittering success as a writer when he was just 24, Fitzgerald died 20 years later still a young man, with most of his works unread by the public in 1940, and his status as one of the finest, and most popular, American writers yet to be established.

Hi, I'm Thomas Pynchon

Anne Margaret Daniel | Posted 11.19.2013 | Books
Anne Margaret Daniel

Does anyone know about a Thomas Pynchon t-shirt offered for sale sometime around 1970? The whole t-shirt campaign for Bleeding Edge is making me wonder.

John O'Hara and F. Scott Fitzgerald

Anne Margaret Daniel | Posted 11.16.2013 | Books
Anne Margaret Daniel

O'Hara's admiration for Fitzgerald's first novel This Side of Paradise is well documented -- he fell in love with the book, that's how he put it. It's not surprising to find Fitzgerald the author he had to copy, and try to surmount.

Trayvon Martin, the Voting Rights Act, the Repeal of DOMA and The Sin Warriors: We Are All Connected

Janet Mason | Posted 09.25.2013 | Books
Janet Mason

Unfortunately, it is safe to assume that had the U.S. Supreme Court not reached its verdict in 1967, many states would have kept their laws against interracial marriage for as long as they could.

Praise for Annie Rachele Lanzillotto's Writing

Michael Carosone | Posted 09.17.2013 | Gay Voices
Michael Carosone

I had the privilege of attending one of Annie Rachele Lanzillotto's events for her two new books: her memoir, L Is for Lion: An Italian Bronx Butch Fr...

The Rhymers' Club, Part Two: Bob Dylan and Edgar Allan Poe

Anne Margaret Daniel | Posted 09.01.2013 | Arts
Anne Margaret Daniel

Doug Brinkley has called Dylan "our great American poet of drifting, inheriting a baton that was passed from Walt Whitman to Vachel Lindsay to Carl Sandburg to Allen Ginsberg." Brinkley forgot Poe -- poor Poe, the real drifter among the crowd.

The Rhymers' Club, Part One: Bob Dylan and Edgar Allan Poe

Anne Margaret Daniel | Posted 08.29.2013 | Arts
Anne Margaret Daniel

Would you like to understand Bob Dylan? Get in line. You can, however, understand, and appreciate more through his view of them, some of the writers who've had an influence on Dylan as an artist. Edgar Allan Poe, the fender-bender poet is a writer who matters to Dylan, and has for a long time.

Literature in Literature

Dave Astor | Posted 08.20.2013 | Books
Dave Astor

Literature in literature happens more often than we might think, and it's an effective device. We get a sense of a character's tastes, which helps open a window into her or his psyche and intellect. Heck, people who love books are usually smart and curious.

Our Naked Lives: Essays From Gay Italian American Men

Michael Carosone | Posted 08.07.2013 | Gay Voices
Michael Carosone

My book is a continuation of my work on giving voices to marginalized peoples, groups, and communities. The theme that stitches all of the essays together to create a colorful tapestry is the intersection of sexuality and ethnicity.

What Influence Did The Great Gatsby Have on American Literature?

Quora | Posted 07.09.2013 | Books
Quora

Much of American Literature is a consideration of our ability to head to the frontier, reinvent ourselves, free ourselves of the shackles of the past, the tragic fate of birth in a particular place. This is rather uniquely explored in The Great Gatsby.

Geographic Comfort Zones in Literature

Dave Astor | Posted 05.14.2013 | Books
Dave Astor

When it comes to fiction writers you read, which countries are most of them from? Why do you focus on literature from those countries? And what are your favorite books from outside your geographic comfort zone?

Blessed by Bless Me Última

Graciela Tiscareno-Sato | Posted 04.25.2013 | Latino Voices
Graciela Tiscareno-Sato

Bless Me Última turned out to be a tremendous treat for the senses and for our hearts. Rarely do we see and hear stories of the perpetual battle raging between good and evil, presented through the eyes of a young child.

Revolutionary Days

William E. White | Posted 04.23.2013 | Impact
William E. White

"We the People" create the institutions that serve us. It's easy to forget that we -- individual citizens -- are the ones responsible for our children's education.

Philip Roth's Fame Game

Derek Royal | Posted 03.25.2013 | Books
Derek Royal

So, Philip Roth is calling it quits after almost 60 years of writing. I don't want to suggest that Roth was being disingenuous about his retirement, but I do think that there is more going on than a mere statement of fact. After all, what writer announces his departure?

William Bartram's Bible, Early American Environmentalism And Animal Advocacy

Michael Gilmour | Posted 12.17.2012 | Religion
Michael Gilmour

Almost 70 years before "On Origin of the Species," Bartram wrote eloquently of the interrelatedness of the natural world, and out of this flowed concern to limit the suffering of non-human species.

Is Cold Calculus Behind One of Mitt's "Favorite" Poems?

John Lundberg | Posted 11.02.2012 | Politics
John Lundberg

It's a powerful piece of poetry -- a clarion call for the strong men of 1890s America (sorry, women -- you weren't included) to build a strong nation, and a fitting choice to inspire today's Americans to fight their way out of a recession. But Romney 's little literary story isn't as pure as it seems.