Moons Over San Diego, La Petite Z, Metrosexuals, Muldoon, New Pioneers of the American Short Story, and More
||Editor: Michael Neff
Assistant Editor: Sara Holliday
The Literary Midway
What's New at WDS
Since 1997, What's New at WDS has established itself as the ne plus ultra bravo channel of literary heat and life. Conservatives, luddites, bleeding edgers, internationals, new media artists, they're all here. Come and browse the exhibits, listen to the barkers, carouse with the elite of the literary scene.
An Interview with Azar Nafisi
From Atlantic Monthly
In 1979, Azar Nafisi returned to her native Iran after a seventeen-year absence. From the moment she stepped off the plane, she found herself in a place that was dark and unfamiliar. The cheerful and cosmopolitan Tehran airport that she remembered from her youth, with its terraced restaurant and stylishly dressed women, now seemed barren except for giant posters of the ayatollahs tagged with menacing slogans in black and red: "DEATH TO AMERICA! DOWN WITH IMPERIALISM & ZIONISM! AMERICA IS OUR NUMBER-ONE ENEMY!" As a customs official searched her bags, he picked up her books—most of them modern American novels—with particular disdain, as though handling dirty laundry ... [more]
Moons Over San Diego
From Germ Bag
Suz Redfearn reports to us in the buff, from the nude beaches of “booty land,” where she encounters plenty of nakedness and even a personal idol.
New Pioneers of the American Short Story
From Boston Review
In the landscape of literary history, short story writers have been shape shifters, pioneers of a personal and visionary art that can put a mirror to American society in a way no other medium can. Tom Bissell reviews the books of Elizabeth Crane and Marshall Boswell, two budding talents in American short story writing.
Lit Traveler in the Aran Islands
"The day before, standing out on the strange landscape of the Burren in County Clare, looking out to sea, we could make out the Arans in the mist. They seemed shapes at the edge of the world, for they are the westernmost land in Europe and there was nothing but ocean beyond. Seeing them, I recalled Miss Ivors' invitation to Gabriel Conroy in Joyce's “The Dead”: "O, Mr. Conroy, will you come for an excursion to the Aran Isles this summer? We're going to stay there a whole month. It will be splendid out in the Atlantic. You ought to come. . . ." [more]
A Conversation with Paul Muldoon
From Online NewsHour
Muldoon's writing straddles the line between the influences of the garden state and his native Ireland. "So in that sense, I suppose there's a little bit of the tightrope walker's unease," he tells interviewer Jeffrey Brown. "In fact, it's probably... most tightrope walkers would feel much more at ease." A Conversation with this year's Pulitzer Prize winner for poetry. [more]
New La Petite Zine: Issue 13
EULA BISS n 1: an organism composed of one or more cells containing visibly evident nuclei and organelles adj 1: of or relating to two states; GABRIELLE TORRES; adj 1: headlong, precipitate 2: caused by or resulting from action of rapid streams; GUILLERMO CASTRO adj 1: insidiously cunning 2: appropriate for informal occasions; HEIDI PEPPERMINT n 1: an extinct early human of the Pleistocene epoch that is known mainly from a fossilized jawbone 2: a small 18th-century pistol ... [more]
Mark Doty on America, Home, and the Poet as Spokesperson
From Poets and Writers
"I have seen firsthand poetry's power to awaken, deepen, provoke compassion," Poet Mark Doty said in an interview with Poets and Writers Magazine. "I have to believe that the practice of poetry...is an act of paying attention to experience, of responsive awareness. And in that sense it does make the world a bit more human." Mark Doty reflects on confessional poetry, the artist's response to tragedy, and what it means to be an "American" poet. [more]
Poetry Magazine Sues for Lilly Largesse
Poetry Magazine and Americans for the Arts were ecstatic when they learned that the ailing 87 year old heiress Ruth Lilly had made gifts of $100 million and $86 million. But after alleged mismanagement of the funds by Lilly's attorney, which led to an estimated $25 million loss, in one case, both organizations are suing. [more]
Strange Food: Metrosexuals and Faux Vikings
Retailers in Los Angeles, New York and Miami say more and more young, urban, heterosexual men are choosing to dress in women's tight, low-slung jeans and to use stylish lotions, fragrances and hair-care colors and products, according to June reports in the Los Angeles Times and New York Times. Some marketers call men who are eager to embrace their feminine sides "Metrosexuals" and point to English soccer star David Beckham (who braids his hair and paints his fingernails) as an icon.
To publicize an April 1 town festival near Cedar City, Utah, the mayor dreamed up a fanciful narrative: that a 10th-century, Viking-discovered island had been carried ashore by a Pacific Ocean volcano, to a point near what is now Cedar City, and by a 19th-century treaty, the U.S. had swindled the Vikings out of ownership of the island's artifacts, allowing Vikings only the privilege of the April festival. Everyone took the story in good spirit until several residents of nearby St. George grimly wrote the mayor claiming to be Viking descendants and demanding "their" artifacts back. When the mayor told them it was a joke, the claimants accused the mayor of a coverup.
The call of the word
From The Guardian
Named after Edgar Allan Poe, “America’s greatest bad writer,” novelist EL Doctorow began his writing career at the age of nine, penning morose tales in the tradition of Poe and Shelley. But it wasn’t until his high school journalism class that he learned how to tell a story.[more]