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crodery_EW_finalToday’s Throwback Thursday pick is, “...

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I recently told an artist friend how I had finally finished the book I had been writing for years, but that I couldn’t stop tinkering with it out of obsession because it was all I had...

One of the most salient revelations in The Great Gatsby, the origins of Jay Gatsby, née James Gatz, is embedded in Chapter 6 of the novel. We learn of Gatsby’s upbringing: a farm boy from North Dakota raised in poverty. He goes to college but drops out because he’s ashamed of having to support himself as a janitor.

Edward Fitzgerald, Fitzgerald’s father, whose wicker furniture business failed and who then lost a subsequent job with Proctor and Gamble, was reduced to living...

For a long time I subscribed to a savior ideal of writing: if I could develop enough skill and find myself a platform, maybe I could tell the stories of those unable to speak for themselves. While environmental and animal welfare were and remain situations that I’d like to learn how to speak up about, many of my concerns are more humanitarian, and I find these a lot more complicated to approach. In my teens, I told myself I would travel. I would observe and study, and maybe if I listened...

Today's Throwback Thursday pick is "Cleaning the Octopus," a poem by Arlene Distler. It was originally published in issue 291.2, Spring 2006. It was a finalist for the James Hearst Poetry Prize.

A note from the author: The publication of "Cleaning the...

When she was about nine years old, my daughter Lillian asked me to write a poem about her. I told her I would try.

She had seen me writing poems since she was a toddler, and she had heard me give poetry readings, and she had seen journals with my poems in them.  She knew I could write poems, and she really wanted me to write her a poem.

So I tried and tried.  I thought that I could write her a...

Writing starts from the world—doesn’t it?—something you see or hear, or hear about. Newspapers. TV. Restaurants. Coffee Shops. Family Reunions. Bus Stops . . . a “trigger,” was how Richard Hugo put it, and it arrives from anywhere, anytime, like meteors, fish bites, hail, or dawn. Sometimes it can be as simple as a word. Take sabotage, coming to us from sabot, the French word for wooden shoe. The first instances of “sabotage” were likely peasant revolts against oppressive landowners,...


My mom was in her hospital bed, smiling with rare warmth. The whiteness of the room was intense under the fluorescent lights. Maybe she was glad because I was the only one in our family to go to see her.

...

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