At the Paris Review, Kendra Allen shares the inspiration behind her new poetry collection, The Collection Plate, including her obsession with closely reading music lyrics. “I literally would not be writing anything if I was not obsessed with reading lyrics. I think that’s what sparked my interest in creative writing. So many of my greatest memories are me in the car listening to a specific song or me buying a CD and just replaying it over and over and over. […] Music has sustained me with something to write about. I can always find a line in any song and make a prompt out of it and apply it to my own life.
Leslie Jamison and Francine Prose discuss the ways reading can affect your life for the worse, with potential results ranging from murder to being bad at sports.
“There’s no doubt that Life A User’s Manual takes an approach to depicting reality that is very different from the standard realist novel, which we have been conditioned to believe is the best and most-preferred way of representing our world…Though not without its enlightening aspects, this conversation has generally fallen into a simplistic dichotomy, where realist writing is described as giving us the real world of everyday life, and anything other than realist writing is seen as directing its energies toward a vague something that no one cares to define very well.” A look at Oulipo and its legacy from Lauren Elkin and Scott Esposito, who recently wrote an Oulipo-themed Year in Reading for us.