Poets & Writers5 min letti
Twelve Photographs That Make Me Want to Write About What It Means to Be Alive
1. Untitled photograph from Nydia Blas’s series The Girls Who Spun Gold. The heart of this photograph is a length of shiny gold fabric that covers the faces of two Black women who are seated on a couch, joining them as one magical unit despite the sp
Poets & Writers3 min letti
Twelve Tips for Collaborating With a Cat (Who Wants to Help You Write)
1. Mind-set. The first thing to know about collaborating with cats is that they don’t have owners. They have staff. You’re their staff writer. Some writers think they want total independence, but others know the value of productive constraints, assig
Poets & Writers4 min letti
Twelve Poems to Compel a Poet
1. King Lear, Edmund’s soliloquy (Act 1, Scene 2) by William Shakespeare. Edmund was my Shakespeare villain crush, and his soliloquy lives permanently in my head. Hear the crescendo: “villains by necessity; fools by / heavenly compulsion; knaves, thi
Poets & Writers3 min letti
Twelve Things That Help Me Set My Table
1. Black tourmaline. I’m a big crystals person, and on my desk I keep black tourmaline. Tourmaline is good for reducing stress and boosting mental awareness, things I desperately need. 2. Pyrite. Speaking of crystals, I also keep pyrite, which is tri
Poets & Writers4 min letti
En Construcción
For more than fifty years, Poets & Writers has paid writers to give readings or teach writing workshops in partnership with grassroots organizations. While the mini-grants we distribute through our Readings & Workshops program are modest, they can pr
Poets & Writers2 min letti
Chia-Lun Chang
Nightboat Books (Nightboat Poetry Prize) to balance the system some have split the skin a few have hidden most cut off tails to survive or sign up for surveillance —from “Do Not Grow Flowers for Oxygen” How it began: For a while I couldn’t grasp the
Poets & Writers4 min letti
Audience for Audiobooks Grows
Last year, Randye Kaye, an author and prolific audiobook narrator, was looking to create audio versions of her own two books, Happier Made Simple: Choose Your Words. Change Your Life, which she self-published with Ignite Press, and Ben Behind His Voi
Poets & Writers2 min letti
THERE WAS A POINT DURING THE EDITING OF THIS ISSUE’S special section on inspiration when, I must admit, I felt a little overwhelmed by the veritable sea of ideas flooding my e-mail inbox each day, as contributors responded to my invitation to compile
Poets & Writers2 min lettiDiet & Nutrition
Twelve Food-Related Writing Prompts
When food or drink is mentioned in writing, the mind races and rushes for associations or memories. Food or drink often has a subtext—a layering or, forgive me, a flavor—tinged with grief, joy, shame, desire, nostalgia. In The Hungry Ear: Poems of Fo
Poets & Writers2 min letti
Small Press Points
Movement is the modus operandi of nonprofit publisher Nomadic Press (nomadicpress.org). Geographically, philosophically, and creatively, the press aims to cross boundaries. “It’s about moving away from the idea of a focus on product to a focus on pro
Poets & Writers26 min letti
A fellowship of $25,000 is given biennially for the translation into English of a work of modern Italian poetry. The winning translator will also receive a five-week residency at the American Academy in Rome. Jennifer Scappettone, Graziella Sidoli, a
Poets & Writers3 min letti
Submission Calendar
COLGATE UNIVERSITY Olive B. O’Connor Fellowships FREE NEW AMERICAN PRESS New American Poetry Prize NORTH CAROLINA WRITERS’ NETWORK Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition POETRY SOCIETY OF VIRGINIA North American Book Award UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS Dobi
Poets & Writers4 min lettiCrime & Violence
Writers at Risk
It was one terrible night during the forest fires that finally convinced Anouar Rahmani to leave Algeria. Yes, the frequent interrogations got to him, as did the lengthy trial for “insulting state officials.” But until then it all felt worth it: publ
Poets & Writers3 min letti
Literary MagNet
“If I could only see more clearly my own seeing—” writes Katherine Indermaur in the first line of her book-length lyric essay, I|I (Seneca Review Books, November 2022). The book’s title is pronounced by repeating the pronoun “I,” with a pause after t
Poets & Writers2 min letti
James Fujinami Moore
Four Way Books In this moment we are both relentlessly alive. (Brother, in the garden they said there was a tree for you.) —from “tendering” How it began: This is a hard question to answer. I’ve periodically put together collections of work throughou
Poets & Writers2 min letti
Katie Marya
Alice James Books (Alice James Award Editor’s Choice) There is no country for me except the body. And my mother’s body. —from “Exaltation” How it began: Oh, who knows! My lived experience. A burning desire. I know I got serious about the oldest poems
Poets & Writers1 min letti
ALISSA GREENBERG is a writer at PBS Nova and a freelance journalist reporting at the intersection of science, history, and culture. Her work has appeared in print and online at the Atlantic, the Washington Post, the New Yorker, and more. PRISCILLA WU
Poets & Writers1 min letti
Start Dreaming A Sea of Ideas for the Year of Writing Ahead
In anticipation of a new year of writing, we asked some of our favorite authors—who also happen to be some of the most inspired and inspiring people around—to share exactly what moves them to write. The result is a veritable sea of ideas and recommen
Poets & Writers19 min letti
Conferences & Residencies
The 2023 General Artist Residency Program offers residencies of two weeks or one month during July, September, October, and November to poets, fiction writers, creative nonfiction writers, and translators at Tower View, a 350-acre historic estate in
Poets & Writers2 min letti
Courtney Faye Taylor
Graywolf Press (Cave Canem Poetry Prize) I crept to mom ’n’ pops where bells above doors snitched to mention my entrance.But I tolled them bells. I was toys to be bothered. I had made such toyish mistakes.In any Black sentence, you’d love nothing mor
Poets & Writers3 min letti
U.S. Poet Laureate Ada Limón
This past fall Ada Limón began her tenure as the twenty-fourth U.S. poet laureate, succeeding Joy Harjo, who served two terms. Limón’s main task during her 2022–2023 term will be to raise awareness and appreciation of poetry at a national level—a res
Poets & Writers3 min letti
Twelve Films That Put Me in the Mood to Write
1. Somewhere (2010), written and directed by Sofia Coppola. Coppola is our greatest living director. The interiors (and exteriors) of the Chateau Marmont hotel in L.A. are beautiful here. So is watching a man (Stephen Dorff) in existential trouble. A
Poets & Writers4 min letti
Twelve Ways to Create Space to Write No Matter Where You Are
1. Turn your mind inside out. One of my favorite discoveries has been dry-erase paint. I fully painted two of my office walls, and it’s where I do my first project outlines. The temporariness of it gives me permission to be messy and the space to con
Poets & Writers3 min letti
The Time Is Now
Suggested Reading: Black Women Writers at Work (Haymarket Books, January 2023) edited by Claudia Tate Originally published in 1983 by Continuum, the late Claudia Tate’s collection of interviews has long been out of print. This new edition, with a for
Poets & Writers1 min letti
Twelve Reasons You Should Keep Writing
Sometimes I forget why I should keep writing. I hope you make a list of your own. Here is mine: 1. Write for God. The cave. The envelope. 2. Write for your mother. Your father. Your friend who is sick. 3. Write for the future. Write for the past. Wri
Poets & Writers3 min letti
Twelve Paintings That Make Me Want to Write Poetry
1. Untitled (2006) by Ellen Gallagher. I encountered this untitled painting for the first time on the cover of Dawn Lundy Martin’s book Good Stock Strange Blood (Coffee House Press, 2017). I still remember submerging into the painting for the first t
Poets & Writers2 min letti
John Belk
Autumn House Press (Rising Writer Prize in Poetry) (no wrestler has ever used anAnnie Lennox song as entrymusicfor fearthe whole world might weep,splitapart at its belt, whistle itsconscience to make itself cry) —from “bar trivia: no wrestler has eve
Poets & Writers21 min letti
Recent Winners
Marilyn Nelson of Cleveland won the 2022 Wallace Stevens Award. Nelson, whose most recent collection is Faster Than Light: New and Selected Poems, 1996-2011 (Louisiana State University Press, 2012), received $100,000. The Academy’s board of chancello
Poets & Writers2 min letti
Shelley Wong
YesYes Books (Pamet River Prize) How has love brought you here? My head is heavy from the crown. —from “For the Living in the New World” How it began: After ending a decade-long queer relationship, I wrote to make sense of the heartache. I gave mysel
Poets & Writers5 min letti
Twelve Ways to Resurrect the Dead, Which Is to Say: To Write
1. The Egyptian Book of the Dead: The Book of Going Forth by Day (Chronicle Books, 2015) translated by Ogden Goelet, Raymond Faulkner, Carol A. R. Andrews, J. Daniel Gunther, James Wasserman. On not dying a second time. Nor losing your heart in the g
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