April 6, 2018

In Defense of “Show Don’t Tell”

By Aatif Rashid

Part One of Mark McGurl’s The Program Era (2009), the now-classic history of the influence of writing programs on twentieth-century American literature, uses as its title two of the hallmark […]

February 8, 2014

An Alternate Second Half of the Aeneid

By Amit Majmudar

A story about Virgil on his deathbed, possibly apocryphal, tells how he ordered his literary executors to destroy the Aeneid because it was imperfect; that he preferred that the poem […]

December 28, 2013

Epic Fail

By Amit Majmudar

The most inflated reputation in literary history came about as the result of genuine literary merit crossed with a transnational empire and language. Many people would assume I speak of […]

November 23, 2013

Turning (Back) to Performed Language

By Amit Majmudar

Why sit down and read quietly? Is this really the only way, or even the best way, to experience language? The three central works of Western literature were never, and […]

September 9, 2013

Human Beings Writing about Human Beings

By Amit Majmudar

  I am, I am told, an “Indian-American” writer, and my novels are Indian-American novels. Sometimes they’re called “immigrant fiction,” even though I’ve never immigrated from or to anywhere. My […]

March 25, 2013

Why I Don’t Teach Poetry Writing

By Amit Majmudar

  What are we teaching when we teach the writing of poetry? Much of what we call the “teaching” of poetry is actually the teaching of contemporary conventions governing poetry. […]

August 7, 2012

On “Literary Fiction” and “Genre”

By Amit Majmudar

If you look at Wikipedia’s list of the bestselling fiction writers of all time, you’ll notice that the majority are English-language authors of the 20th century. So Barbara Cartland’s on […]

May 20, 2012

The Reproductive Success of a Poem

By Amit Majmudar

There’s more than one way of conceiving of the “success” of a poem; one that’s never talked about is its biological/evolutionary success, that is: How effectively does it replicate itself? […]

May 13, 2012

The Reconquest of the Long Form

By Amit Majmudar

There are, by my count, only two things that can save a long poem in English. Heterogeneity (Eliot and Pound; and those polyphonic, formally quite various sustained dramatic poems of […]