Deep River Night (Patrick Lane)

Deep River Night, award-winning poet Patrick Lane’s second novel, feels like a cross between the early novels of Cormac McCarthy, which revolve around sudden eruptions of violence in rural areas where savagery otherwise thrums as an undercurrent, and Sheila Watson’s marrying of mysticism to similar themes.  Lane’s story revolves around Art Kenning, an alcoholic veteran […]

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Natalee Caple on Writing Titles — 007

Natalee Caple, novelist, poet, and professor, discusses writing titles. Writing the Wrong Way with Jonathan Ball, PhD is the perfect podcast for serious writers who want to stand out in a crowded industry by becoming more productive while taking more artistic risks. Jonathan Ball, an author with a PhD in literature, interviews writers, screenwriters, musicians, […]

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Failed Projects — 006

Before I published my first book, EX MACHINA, I wrote 7 books and 8 feature-length screenplays that were never published or produced. This week, I walk through all of these failed projects one by one in order to show how much work a writer often has to go through before having what the world sees […]

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N0S4A2 (Joe Hill)

“What would you do for a lifetime pass to a place where every morning is Christmas and unhappiness is against the law?” Joe Hill’s N0S4A2 is, to some extent, a litany of horrible answers to this question. Christmasland is indeed a magical place, an otherworldly realm where Charlie Manx takes kidnapped children, leaving their parents […]

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Ilustrado (Miguel Syjuco)

‘No lyric has ever stopped a tank,’ so said Seamus Heaney. Auden said that ‘poetry makes nothing happen.’ Bullshit! I reject all that wholeheartedly! What do they know about the mechanics of tanks? How can anyone estimate the ballistic qualities of words? Invisible things happen in intangible moments. What should keep us writing is precisely […]

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Reading for Writers — 004

How should a writer read? I talk about my own process, and suggest a three-part structured approach for reading: thinking about your Selection, reading with Intention and Attention, and having a process of Reflection. Resources discussed in this episode: Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose (affiliate link) The Time Machine and The Chronic Argonauts […]

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Lazy Bastardism (Carmine Starnino)

The actual subjects of the individual essays in Lazy Bastardism, Carmine Starnino’s latest collection of critical prose, remain secondary to the book’s primary subject: critical prose itself. Fearing inept readers, Starnino begins with a prologue excerpting an interview with Patrick Warner, in which Starnino states that “To despise criticism . . . is to despise […]

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