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Entries in #melissasipin (2)


The Loyalty of Water: Why Write?

Guest post by Melissa R. Sipin

Why do you write? What are your goals as a writer?

These questions haunt me. Whether it’s late at night after hours of writing or in a seminar with Juliana Spahr, who forces us to read articles on the gatekeepers of literature, the MFA Machine, AWP and its capitalistic complications (like its rejection of the proposed panel, “Principled Protest in Academia: the Story of the University of Houston Sit-in,” and its acceptance of another that encouraged a third [and probably expensive] degree), or Kathi Week’s book, The Problem of Work: Feminism, Marxism, Antiwork Politics, and Postwork Imaginaries. Juliana asks us to create graphs, maps, and trees of prizewinners in recent Poets & Writers (How many men have won awards? Women? Let’s re-look at the VIDA Count), asks us to interrogate the data of who gets into this or that journal, and asks us to examine the trends of who gets published in this or that prize-winning collection (like Cliff Garstang’s Journal Ranking based upon the Pushcart anthology). She asks us: what do you do with this data?

Faced with all of this: why do you write?

It’s a difficult question for me to answer, if only because the reason why I write is an emotive, intellectual choice, almost like falling in love.

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The Requisite Beyonce Post

I was working late the night her new album dropped, took a twitter break, and there it was. I think I listened to all of two song previews before I bought the whole thing, but I only got through a few songs that night before I had to stop. Too distracting! I think it was Partition that did me in.

There's been some great writing on this album already, way more than I can curate at this point, so I'll just send you over to a writer friend's take. I have nothing more to contribute other than awed appreciation. (And a major thank you, Mrs. Carter, for an excellent non-holiday holiday soundtrack to ladies' nights.)