Magazine Issue
November - December 2017
Poets & Writers2 min read
THE WRITERS I HAVE THE PRIVILEGE OF TALKING WITH these days have one thing in common: They are all incredibly busy. I believe the most precious gift one could offer a creative person is time: unscheduled, unencumbered, unhurried time. But when I hear
Poets & Writers2 min read
Thank you for Douglas Trevor’s article “Consider the Novella: Making the Case for a New Workshop Model” (September/ October 2017). I love reading novellas, and I recently shortened one of my novel manuscripts to novella length. I noticed, however, th
Poets & Writers3 min read
The African Poetry Book Fund
It is not surprising that several world-class writers collaborated to bring the African Poetry Book Fund (APBF) to life. Nor is it surprising, given the vast number of prolific African American and African-born writers in America, that such a fund—wh
Poets & Writers3 min read
Page One
“Why do people keep asking to see / God’s identity papers / when the darkness opening into morning / is more than enough?” Devotions: The Selected Poems of Mary Oliver (Penguin Press, October 2017) by Mary Oliver. Thirty-fourth book, twenty-seventh p
Poets & Writers3 min read
Aligning Literature and the News
Ayear ago BeenishAhmed was working as a daily news reporter in Washington, D.C., tracking big stories and crafting them into articles that would help her readers make sense of the world around them. Although she knew her work was important, Ahmed, th
Poets & Writers3 min read
A Public Space Expands to Books
In 2015 Brigid Hughes, the editor of the literary magazine A Public Space, was browsing the dollar bin at Manhattan’s Housing Works Bookstore Café when she came across W-3, a book written by Bette Howland and published in 1974. Howland’s name didn’t
Poets & Writers2 min read
Small Press Points
When Michelle Tudor and Peter Barnfather started Platypus Press ( in 2015, they considered themselves a bit of an odd fit, since neither had worked at a press or published much of their own work. But with a love of reading and a w
Poets & Writers3 min read
Literary MagNet
In her third poetry collection, Witch Wife—forthcoming from Sarabande Books in December—Kiki Petrosino reckons with the decision of whether or not to have a child. It’s a question she says has no yes-or-no answer: “This is one terrain I can’t navigat
Poets & Writers3 min readSociety
Wilson Leads the Feminist Press
In July writer, activist, and media commentator Jamia Wilson was named the new executive director and publisher of the Feminist Press (FP), a forty-seven-year-old nonprofit known for highlighting feminist perspectives and prose. Located at the City U
Poets & Writers3 min read
The Time Is Now
Suggested Reading: Pep Talks for Writers: 52 Insights and Actions to Boost Your Creative Mojo (Chronicle Books, October) by Grant Faulkner The executive director of National Novel Writing Month,cofounder of 100 Word Story, and frequent contributor to
Poets & Writers14 min read
The Art of Reading James Baldwin
WILLIAM GIRALDI is the author of the novels Busy Monsters (Norton, 2011) and Hold the Dark (Norton, 2014), and a memoir, The Hero’s Body (Norton, 2016). A collection of criticism, American Audacity, is forthcoming from Norton in 2018. I WENT looking
Poets & Writers16 min read
The Poet at Work
THE Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture is located at the intersection of 135th Street and Malcolm X Boulevard in Harlem. It is eight blocks from Langston Hughes’s famous brownstone, seven blocks from where James Baldwin once attended high
Poets & Writers1 min read
5 over 50
All of the published authors who appear in the pages of this magazine have roads behind them—paths to publication that are as unique to each writer as their own poems, stories, and essays. Some of these roads cut a straight path, while others turn th
Poets & Writers3 min read
Jimin Han
Age: Fifty-one. Residence: South Salem, New York. Book:A Small Revolution (Little A, May), a novel that unravels the intertwined narratives of a hostage crisis on the campus of a college in central Pennsylvania, two young people finding love, and a s
Poets & Writers3 min read
Laura Hulthen Thomas
Age: Fifty-one. Residence: Ann Arbor, Michigan. Book:States of Motion (Wayne State University Press, May), a collection of vividly rendered stories set in small-town Michigan that follow characters broken by economic hardships, betrayal, and conflict
Poets & Writers3 min read
Karen E. Osborne
Age: Sixty-nine. Residence: Port Saint Lucie, Florida. Book:Getting It Right (Akashic Books, June), a novel about half-sisters—one the product of an abusive foster-care situation, the other of dysfunctional privilege—who finally meet during their fat
Poets & Writers3 min read
Tina Carlson
Age: Sixty-four. Residence: Albuquerque, New Mexico. Book:Ground, Wind, This Body (University of New Mexico Press, March), a poetry collection exploring the vestiges of war and redemption as a traumatized soldier returns home from WWII carrying a leg
Poets & Writers3 min read
Peg Alford Pursell
Age: “Over fifty.” Residence: San Francisco Bay Area. Book:Show Her a Flower, a Bird, a Shadow (ELJ Editions, March), a collection of intense hybrid prose—flash fiction, prose poetry, and other forms that resist categorization—that pulls a world of a
Poets & Writers9 min read
Digging Deeper
WE’VE all read the same go-to advice about submitting to literary magazines: Do your research, format your manuscript correctly, submit simultaneously whenever possible, be a good literary citizen by reading and subscribing to journals, and so on. Th
Poets & Writers10 min read
Getting Paid
MICHAEL BOURNE is a contributing editor of Poets & Writers Magazine. LET’S say you’re a first-time author who has just landed an agent for your novel or memoir. Your agent has sent the book around to editors at top New York City publishing houses, an
Poets & Writers9 min read
Your Rights Revert
STEPHANIE DICKINSON is an Iowa native who lives in New York City. She is the author of three books published by Spuyten Duyvil, including the novel Half Girl (2008), the novella Lust Series (2011), and Love Highway (2014), a true-crime book based on
Poets & Writers11 min read
The Savvy Self-Publisher
DEBRA ENGLANDER is a freelance editor and writer in New York City. She managed a business-book program at John Wiley & Sons for nearly seventeen years and previously worked at Money magazine and Book-of-the-Month Club. She has written about business
Poets & Writers35 min read
POETS & WRITERS MAGAZINE ANNOUNCES state, national, and international prizes in poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and translation. We list only prizes of $1,000 or more, prizes of less than $1,000 that charge no entry fee, and prestigious nonmone
Poets & Writers21 min read
Recent Winners
SANDRA STATON-TAIWO Broadside Lotus Press Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award DOUG CRANDELL Glimmer Train Press Family Matters VICTORIA SAYO TURNER Hidden River Arts William Van Wert Award in Fiction POETRY AWARD Mary Ann Samyn of Morgantown, West Virgin
Poets & Writers9 min read
Conferences & Residencies
POETS & WRITERS MAGAZINE ANNOUNCES application information for writers conferences, literary festivals, residencies, and colonies of interest to poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers. Applications for the following events are due sh
Poets & Writers3 min read
Finding Gold on Skid Row
POETS & WRITERS IS MORE than a magazine. We are a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving creative writers. We pay fees to writers giving readings and leading workshops, provide information and advice to authors, and help them connect with one an