Category: Editor Notes

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“Responsibility to the Word” et al.: Four Lessons Derek Walcott Didn’t Mean to Teach Me about Conceptualism

by Andy Verboom

The following piece appears as part of the month-long series “Conscientious Conceptualism and Poetic Practice” on the blog, curated by guest editor Andy Verboom.

1. I am responsible to others and responsible for my words.

This is one thing I learned from late-great formalist poet Derek Walcott—despite his best pulpit thunder on the poet’s “responsibility to the word”—and it’s a lesson that has come to inform my understanding of Conceptual poetics.

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Poetry Could Be Bullshit: From Scatology to Conscientiousness

by Andy Verboom

“Poetry is bullshit.” This is, regretfully, how I opened my call for submissions for this month on The Town Crier. In qualifying the statement by linking to Harry Frankfurt’s 1986-philosophical-essay-repackaged-as-2005-bestselling-book, On Bullshit, I was trying to suggest that writing poetry, like Frankfurt’s notion of bullshitting bullshit,

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Announcing Morton VI: The Puritan Writing Contest

by The Puritan

The Thomas Morton Memorial Prize for Literary Excellence is back! The Puritan is proud to announce the launch of Morton VI, this time with more cash prizes! We’re introducing a runner-up category in both fiction and poetry and, for the first time ever, we’ll be announcing a shortlist here on the blog and on the magazine in early November.

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Where We Must Go from Here: Writing as Righting

by Natalie Wee

This piece concludes Natalie Wee’s month-long guest series on “Post-Truth Politics and the Creative Craft.”

Wole Soyinka, the first African writer to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, spoke recently in The Atlantic about the irony of America’s political trajectory: once a safe haven for those fleeing civil unrest like himself,

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On the Creative Craft as the Craft of Correcting

by Natalie Wee

It was February 1st. Following a poetry reading with many other creators and activists on January 20th, poet Moez Surani sent a package addressed to Secretary-General António Guterres of the United Nations. Enclosed in this package was his third book, ةيلمع Operación Opération Operation Oперация,

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Rambo of Green Gables: Part 4

by Cian Cruise

(Previously, Part 1: Intro, Part 2: Rambo, Part 3: Anne)

I never expected a manhunt to interrogate the fundamental assumptions of Western ontology. Nor did I expect a Victorian Bildungsroman to present a unified field theory of inchoate gender equality. But they both did,

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Rambo of Green Gables: Part 3

by Cian Cruise

(Previously, Part 1: Intro and Part 2: Rambo)

It took an awful lot longer to read Anne of Green Gables than I had originally anticipated, what with all the crying. Nobody told me Matthew died. I couldn’t take it. I tried pleading with the pages, my voice cracking,

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Rambo of Green Gables: Part 2

by Cian Cruise

Now that we’ve set the ground rules for this month of essays that unearth the hidden beauty of popular literature and sketched out a few of the basic premises, I want to dig deep into these frothy wonders. It’s all fine and good to claim that non-literary works are bursting with latent literary value,

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Rambo of Green Gables: Part 1

by Cian Cruise

When you crack open the 1972 edition of David Morrell’s First Blood, this hand-cut inscription awaits: We envy you the experience of reading this book for the first time. – The Editors.

I can think of no better frontispiece for the collection of essays, articles, and nonfiction features storming The Puritan’s Town Crier this November.

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The Multilingual In-Between

by Klara du Plessis

This poem
in another language
would be a different poem

I read these lines by Ana Martins Marques translated (by Alison Entrekin) into English from the original Portuguese, suggesting that it is already another poem. Peeling away the self-conscious context of translation,