Through the Looking Glass

Creative Nonfiction, Fall 2013/Winter 2014 Issue  This is the fiftieth issue put out by CNF editor Lee Gutkind, and the essays and interview here speak more about the magazine and its struggles, about publishing and writing than about any external thing. It’s as if (and retrospection can be and is a good thing occasionally) the…

Braiding ‘Em

Some years ago I was a writer in residence at a college in eastern North Carolina – there were a group of us, it turned out – with one outlier. I don’t mean someone who was a terrible writer, nor a ringer. Instead, she was a non-fiction writer among liars (fiction writers).

Bowing To Anger

 Creative Nonfiction Magazine – Issue 43 – Fall/Winter 2011       image via creativenonfiction.org On the whole, I like what editor Lee Gutkind does with this magazine. It’s a good forum for beginning nonfiction writers as well as the more experienced, and Gutkind’s staff selects well. With this issue, however, an issue devoted largely…

Smiling at the Reporting

I continue to be fascinated by Harper's Magazine's reportage. While the newsweeklies and even some monthlies skim the froth from relevant national and international issues, Harper's seems to settle for nothing less than on-the-scene reporting.  Two memorable articles from the March 2012 issue: "Ivan the Recumbent, or Demjanjuk in Munich," by Lawrence Douglas – The…

Atlantic Monthly Gets It Right This Time

I've commented infrequently on Atlantic Monthly, a magazine I've read for many more years than I wish to count. I've had my problems with Atlantic; the editors have often tackled important subjects in the magazine, but all too often they've done so with provocative articles that did too little to inform. But the March 2012 issue…

What a Strange World

Pulphead, by John Jeremiah Sullivan  image via cnsnews.com Thematic strength isn’t something you usually find in a book of journalistic essays, but apparently Sullivan is drawn to strangeness wherever it rears its head. And in this world, strangeness is de rigueur.  These essays wander from a Christian rock festival to a brother of Sullivan, who…

A Poetic Addendum

I wanted, after thinking about it, to add this to my previous post about my somewhat pragmatic use of poetry: I do like poetry, and I do like writing it. I'm reading a book of essays by T.S. Eliot at the moment, as I contend with trying to write coherent poetry. His essays are largely…