By Editors Recommend

Against Decoration

Why paying so little attention to the essentially human elements of a poem makes a monster of poetry’s primary emotional self, so that the art becomes exclusively decorative and at times grotesque.

Mar 1991

Remembering James Laughlin

His death cut an unfillable void in American poetry and letters, and marked the end of an era.

Mar 1998

The Domestic Verses of Salman Rushdie

After wandering the world, the exiled author finally finds a place to call home in New York.

By Exclusive

The Race War—Won and Lost

The scenario had all the clichéd ingredients: a white kid, a black kid, a small inventory of stolen goods and a world-weary cop. And two very sad mothers.

Aug 1998
By Exclusive

On Hitting

Without warning, the blue-eyed boy hauled off and clobbered his chum in the face. Blood flowed. The blue-eyed boy was mine.

Jun 1998

The Liar’s Club

How I told my friends I was writing about my childhood—and what they said in return.

Mar 2007
By Exclusive

The Mellow Rose of Texas

The author tried dyeing it and frying it, but never looked like her family of blond Texas beauties.

Jul 1995
By Exclusive

A Witch Reports, Post–Witch Hunt

On the battleground of political correctness, its’s not the possibility of a lawsuit that’s scary. It’s the silence.

Feb 1999
By Exclusive

Memories of East Texas

Talking to my son about housing reveals how differently we've been affected by class.

By Exclusive

Houses of the Spirit

For her son’s sake, a born-and-bred agnostic decides to shop for God and, to her surprise, ends up taking a leap of faith.

Mar 1995

How to Read “The Waste Land”

So that it alters your soul rather than just addling your head.

Negotiating the Darkness, Fortified by Poets’ Strength

In the wake of 9/11, finding solace and resolve in verse.

College Try

Reflecting upon one of life’s rough patches.

Apr 2002

Dysfunctional Nation

Until her memoir was published, she thought only her family was full of freaks.

His So-Called Life

Understanding why memoirists—like James Frey and JT Leroy—commit literary fraud.

The Hot Dark

Mother, Daddy, and other summer worries.

Sep 2000

Facing Altars: Poetry and Prayer

Finding God in the written word.

Nov 2005

The Kindness of Strangers

She found herself thinking the worst of people―until she was graced with an act of simple, unexpected generosity that changed her perspective.

Dec 2009