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"I am not the editor of a newspaper and shall always try to do right and be good so that God will not make me one."
Mark Twain

Random picks

  • The Summer 2011 of Beloit Poetry Journal includes Jeff Crandall, Garth Greenwell, Peter Pereia, and Brian Teare in conversation on Gay Poetry, Politics, and Poetics. The symposium is also available full-text (pdf) on BPJ's website.
  • Custom designed graduation announcements and graduation invitations can turn personal accomplishments into the public celebrations they deserve to be. Family photographs and personal messages combine to create unique congratulatory messages shared with family and friends.
  • In the weeks leading up to the March 13 announcement of the 2013 NBCC award winners, Critical Mass highlights the thirty finalists. Today, NBCC board member Benjamin Moser offers an appreciation of Mark Thompson's biography finalist, "Birth Certificate"  (Cornell University Press). How do you write a literary biography? Every biographer longs to discover a form more exciting than the obvious one, the one that seems to be imposed by the chronology of a life, that succession of birthdays, schools, lovers, and books that leads inexorably toward death. When all else fails, that...
  • What makes a person deeply fascinating?  Knowledge?  Mystery?  Complexity?  Command?  Allure?  Everyone’s answer is likely different, but I suspect there’s one quality that universally makes others absorbing to us: passionate engagement in life. Awake, aware, discerning, curious, compassionate, gripped, immersed…we could define this quality in any number of ways.  We can also understand what it [...]
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Fast fact about writing

Well-known writers who have suffered from writer's block include George Gissing, Samuel Coleridge, Ralph Ellison, Joseph Mitchell and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Writers who overcame writer's block and published new work after a hiatus of decades include Harold Brodkey, whose novel The Runaway Soul appeared some 30 years after it was first projected, and Henry Roth, whose first novel, Call It Sleep, was published in 1934; his second, Mercy Of A Rude Stream, did not appear until 1994.