“I have been building some shanties of houses …,” wrote Melville to Hawthorne, “and likewise some shanties of chapters and essays.”
Louise Fitzhugh, author of Harriet the Spy, and the poet James Merrill were joined by friendship, craft, and graphomania: the compulsion to write.
Despite welcome diversification, literary culture is also becoming more tied to elite educational institutions, and more difficult to enter.
Why read MFA-trained writers writing about writers training in MFA programs?
Students must choose to do the work that will facilitate learning, so teachers must give them reasons to make that choice, again and again.
“There are two ways of reading Black invisibility and one of them is futuristic.”
We don’t judge books by their covers, but we do sort people based on which academic presses match their personality types.
What should climate-change writing be? What is its ambition as it moves forward?
“When I write, I try to begin from a place of authority and then I try to lose it over time. I want to transfer it to the reader.”
“I strongly lay claim to imagination, because to us Black women for a long time the possibility of imagination had been negated.”
How should readers and scholars look on the tangible traces writers leave behind?
The late literary scholar hoped the writings of older feminists in the academy would help younger women “name their anger and find companionship in enduring it.”
Paper was never simply a writing surface, but a complicated substance that folded itself into the fabric of culture and consciousness.
The collective ventures of the Federal Writers’ Project force us to think about how writing might be reinvented in the context of economic crisis.
Are our phones the bane of critical thought? Or might they be our latest texts to read and interpret—objects worthy of inquiry and analysis?
“You don’t tell children not to grow. And you don’t tell a writer not to write.”
The fires that are burning across Australia are changing this place, quite possibly forever, and with it our natural, social, cultural, and political narratives.
The late 19th and early 21st centuries share a common loss of technological innocence.
Ishmael Reed is one of the most significant literary figures of our time. He has ...
Carlo Rotella is a professor of American studies, English, and journalism at Boston College; he’s also one of the most talented writers in the humanities ...