Suspend Your Disbelief

Posts Tagged ‘fiction and poetry’

Shop Talk |

A Story Sung: Why Fiction Writers Should Read Poetry

Any writer who desires to get at the truth of human experience should read poetry, because it contains a multitude of possibility. Poetry is the mud that grows the seed that becomes the forest. It is the clay that makes the brick that forms the building. It is the blood that moves the body that holds the spirit. Poetry has the essence of life in it. Poets voice that which has no voice in this world. They speak in tongues, and hope their words reach the ears and touch the hearts of those who know what it means to live. […]


Reviews |

A Meaning for Wife, by Mark Yakich

“There are people who talk about themselves in the first person, people who talk about themselves in the third person, and people who don’t talk about themselves at all,” says a character in A Meaning for Wife. Yet poet Mark Yakich’s debut novel is narrated–quite successfully–in the controversial second-person.


Reviews |

The Beginners, by Rebecca Wolff

A bookish fifteen-year-old breaches taboos in the small New England town of Wick. Poet Rebecca Wolff’s masterful first novel is an Appalachian folk ballad rendered gothic–full of sex and ghosts, mixing caution and temptation, obsessed with origins but somehow timeless.


Reviews |

The Cat’s Table, by Michael Ondaatje

In The Cat’s Table, Ondaatje returns to Sri Lanka as the story follows three boys who, along with a cast of eccentrics, make their way from Colombo to England. By turns adventurous, mysterious, and wistful, the novel traces the search for belonging amidst strangers and strange lands. Charlotte Boulay considers Ondaatje’s latest beautiful offering in the context of his larger body of work.


Essays |

[POETRY FOR PROSERS] "We have poets? Do they wear capes?": A sort-of review of David Orr’s Beautiful and Pointless (and some meditations on poets and poetry)

Why did I feel such hope when I first heard about David Orr’s new book, Beautiful and Pointless: A Guide to Modern Poetry? I’ve read my share of poetry guides, and most of them have taken up residence in a particularly dusty neighborhood on my poetry bookshelf. But Orr’s book had a title that pretty much summed up my own weary but hopeful sentiments about contemporary poetry.


Essays |

[Contrasts & Charms] Bishop and Lowell Read Everything

What does our reading have to do with our writing, exactly? In this first installment of a new column, Contrasts and Charms, Charlotte Boulay departs from traditional talk about fiction, reflects on her own reading list, and finds comfort and enthusiasm in reading Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell’s letters to each other, in which they discuss everything they read—and the fact that they read all the time.



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