Craft Essay

Wallace Stevens: Hillbilly Deluxe

Twenty years ago, I was cavorting around the Kentucky backroads one day and happened upon the village of Mackville. While there I briefly visited with a lady, Mrs. Leonard Carpenter, the proprietress of the general store, who was in a guff because she’d moments before shooed away an idle youth—whom…

Made Out of Words

If you’ve attended a few poetry and fiction readings, you’ve learned to cringe at the question, “Where do you get your ideas?” Usually, student writers ask like proselytes who need one key phrase to open up their own locked vision, and the writer stares at the floor, looking for an…

Tragedy on a Large Stage

In Raymond Carver’s iconic “What We Talk about When We Talk about Love,” the two couples at the center of the narrative never leave the kitchen table, and yet, over the course of its fifteen pages, the story dangles these characters over a dark existential abyss. Alice Munro’s “Runaway” places…
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