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Dispatches From Lesvos

I am at the meeting point at the jetty by Mytilini Harbor just after 8 am. A lone slender bearded figure sits and smokes by the quai (he is H___ the barber, I learn later). Instead of approaching I retreat to dash off a sketch of the harbor mouth and a little coast guard tug against the rising terrain.

On Writing Place: An Interview with Inez Tan

“When I teach, my analogy is that fiction is a huge tree while poetry is a bonsai. It’s immensely helpful to toggle between working on different scales. Fiction helps me infuse my poems with narrative. Poetry makes my fiction more deft, descriptive, and concise.”

You Are How You Think

by Greg Schutz

“Character is action.” “You are what you do.” These adages are behaviorist: they imply that identity is reducible to externally observable data. They argue that the question of who we are—always the topic, in some sense, of literary fiction—is answerable in terms of the impact our actions have on the world around us. Like the ubiquitous Show, don’t tell, they take a common problem and offers an overcorrection. They advise us to steer into the skid of interiority, bringing the story out of a character’s mind and into the external narrative world. Furthermore, such thinking is corrosive to the very moments in literature I find most compelling, moving, and meaningful. They repress the particular species of felt experience I hunger for as a reader, and which I seek to capture in my own work.