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From the Archives: The 2009 Bestseller Feature

October 1, 2015
From the Archives: The 2009 Bestseller Feature

In our second Bestseller feature, our writers temporarily put aside their dogeared copies of Hume and Mann, roll up their sleeves, and dig into the ten bestselling novels in the land as of September 6, 2009 – in the tranquil days before a certain Dan Brown novel began tromping all over that list like Godzilla in downtown Tokyo.

From the Archives: The 2008 Bestseller Feature

October 1, 2015
From the Archives: The 2008 Bestseller Feature

It’s been over 30 years since Gore Vidal wrote his penetrating and acerbic essay on the bestseller list, and we thought it was time to give that infamous mainstay of the literary world another look. Open Letters has cracked into the bestseller list and invites you to join us in discovering what’s really there…

Bill Knott, 1940-2014

March 13, 2014
Bill Knott, 1940-2014

Open Letters mourns the passing of a giant of American poetry.

Philip Seymour Hoffman

February 2, 2014


Peter O’Toole

December 15, 2013

Open Letters mourns the death of enchanting rogue Peter O’Toole.

A New Laureate

October 10, 2013

Congratulations to Alice Munro, winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature and, in the words of the prize committee, “master of the contemporary short story.” Small in its explicit scope but rich in meaning, …

From the Archives: Summer Reading 2012

July 1, 2013
From the Archives: Summer Reading 2012

As the haze and heat of summer kick into full swing, the folk of Open Letters break out their annual Summer Reading recommendations!

From the Archives: Summer Reading 2012 Continues

July 1, 2013
From the Archives: Summer Reading 2012 Continues

Our feature continues, as more Open Letters folk share their annual Summer Reading recommendations!

June 2013 Issue

June 1, 2013
June 2013 Issue

“96th Street” by Jeffrey Eaton

Roger Ebert

April 4, 2013

Open Letters Monthly mourns the death of indefatigable everyman movie critic Roger Ebert, who saw everything, mainstreamed a profession, and championed more than a few losing battles – including, ultimately, his own. Rest in peace.

Ruth Prawer Jhabvala

April 3, 2013

Open Letters Monthly mourns the death of Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, whose exquisite literary adaptations helped give new kinds of immortality to E.M. Forster and Henry James, and whose own fiction, delicate and sometimes dauntingly enigmatic, will …

April 2013 Issue

April 1, 2013
New York Dash

“New York Dash”
by Greg Waldmann

March 2013 Issue

March 1, 2013
March 2013 Issue

By the poet Paul Hannigan, who would have turned 77 this month

February 2013 Issue

February 1, 2013
February 2013 Issue

“Refinement and Elegance,” 2010
by Caleb Cole

“I’m interested in failure…”

February 1, 2013
“I’m interested in failure…”

a conversation with cover-artist Caleb Cole

Book Review: Scenes from Early Life

January 6, 2013
scenes from early life

A talented novelist writes the story of his husband’s family’s experiences in war-torn Bangladesh – but is it life, or art?

The Creative Subject

January 1, 2013
The Creative Subject

A conversation with cover artist Aaron Angello

January 2013 Issue

January 1, 2013
January 2013 Issue

A still from Face (triptych)
by Aaron Angello

2011 in reading: revisitation

December 21, 2012
2011 in reading: revisitation

As this year winds to a close we take another glance at the still-worthy books that moved us in days of old.

Our Year in Reading 2012

December 1, 2012
Our Year in Reading 2012

In this special feature, we look back at some highlights of the reading we did in 2012.

December 2012: The Burgess Issue

December 1, 2012
December 2012: The Burgess Issue

“Anthony Burgess”
by Rachel Burgess

Our Year in Reading 2012 Continues

December 1, 2012
Our Year in Reading 2012 Continues

In this special feature, we look back at some highlights of the reading we did in 2012.

Elliott Carter

November 6, 2012
elliott carter

Open Letters Monthly mourns Elliott Carter, whose gentle heart and endless good humor made him a warm glow of firelight in any room, and whose music was the brilliant, tangled sonogram of the 20th Century.

Book Review: Designing Nature

November 4, 2012

Japanese Rinpa-style artwork takes center stage in a stunning new book and exhibit from the Metropolitan Museum of Art

A conversation with David Abed

November 1, 2012
A conversation with David Abed

“Inside the Glass Origin” (detail)
By David Abed

Jacques Barzun

October 26, 2012

Jacques Barzun (1907 – 2012)

Comics: Essential Thor Volume 6

October 12, 2012
thor v absorbing man

Marvel’s resident thunder god-superhero Thor goes through some epic adventures in the latest volume of “Essential” reprints.

October 2012 Issue

October 1, 2012
October 2012 Issue

from “Ink” by Katie Caron

Guest Movie Review: Resident Evil – Retribution

September 18, 2012
8So which outfit is more ridiculous

Paul Anderson returns to the director’s chair for the new “Resident Evil” chapter – but does he still have that old zombie-fighting magic?

September 2012 Issue

September 1, 2012

“Prewar” by Kathleen Rooney

Photographic Fictions

August 1, 2012

“A few years ago I started sleepwalking, and (while inconvenient) this is kind of exciting to me, because it’s pretty much exactly the mood I’m going for in anything I create.” — a chat with cover artist Adrianne Mathiowetz

August 2012 Issue

August 1, 2012

from Useful Fictions by Adrianne Mathiowetz

July 2012 Issue

July 1, 2012

from Imeday Imeday Olladay Icklenay
by Jennifer Catron and Paul Outlaw

June 2012 Issue

June 1, 2012

photo by Jeff Proctor

An Interview with Kim Newman

May 25, 2012
bloody red baron – march 2012

An interview with Kim Newman, author of the fantastic “Anno Dracula” series of novels!

May 2012 Issue

May 1, 2012
private listening devices i will be so quiet

Theresa Anderson
“Bernie Bee”

Interview with Elspeth Cooper

April 12, 2012

An interview with author Elspeth Cooper!

An Interview with John Summers of The Baffler

April 2, 2012
anna and john photo

An interview with The Baffler‘s new Editor-in-Chief, John Summers.

“highly contrived and stylized”

April 1, 2012

“Spending a summer night alone in Hannibal, watching the Mississippi River, staying in a rundown motel, and getting drunk by yourself … that’s a solid way to spend a day.” — A conversation with poet and cover artist Joshua Ware

April 2012 Issue

April 1, 2012

Joshua Ware
“Hannibal Missouri”

New Edition: The Barnes & Noble King James Bible

March 20, 2012
resurrection of lazarus

A gorgeous new edition of the King James Bible arrives on bookshelves, packed with illustrations by Gustave Dore and, of course, some of the most beautiful poetry in the English language

March 2012 Issue

March 1, 2012
Five Years

Flexible and Ephemeral

February 1, 2012

” Paper is a ubiquitous material but it also can be alarmingly elegant. It has religious (holy books, Joss paper) and socio-political (money, contracts), and quotidienne (butcher paper, toilet paper) connotations.” — a conversation with cover artist Megan Heeres

Last Month’s Issue

February 1, 2012

The forgotten Brontë, a new Iago, coterminous terrorists, Prince Albert in 5 volumes, how to listen to music online, DeLillo, Bostonia, brand new editor, Tagore Redux and plenty more …

February 2012 Issue

February 1, 2012

Megan Heeres
detail from “Home Alone”

Now in Paperback: Reckless

January 21, 2012
reckless – pru – jan 2012

A daring teen hero must risk everything to save his brother.

For Singular Consideration

January 1, 2012

A conversation with Maureen Thorson, Open Letters’ new poetry editor, founder of NaPoWriMo, and publisher of Big Game Books


January 1, 2012
Me with Patriot

“I’ve never been terribly attracted to pretty things in general. Pretty and bland seem synonymous to me, and there’s certainly a lot of that in the art world already.” — a conversation with Bill Amundson

Last Month’s Issue

January 1, 2012

A new history of China, the year’s reading highlights, who was Terence Rattigan?, who was Horace?, mainstream perfumes!, a new James Bond, new fiction, and the end of the end of A Year with the Windsors

January 2012 Issue

January 1, 2012
The Promised Land-1

Bill Amundson
“The Promised Land”

Christopher Hitchens

December 16, 2011


Our Year in Reading

December 1, 2011

In this special feature, we look back at some highlights of the reading we did in 2011

Our Year in Reading Goes On

December 1, 2011

More highlights from our 2011 reading

Controlled Chaos

December 1, 2011

A Conversation with Cover Artist Pattie Lee Becker

December 2011 Issue

December 1, 2011

Rebirth to the Stars
by Patti Lee Becker

Last Month

November 1, 2011
Last Month

Alan Hollinghurst’s latest; an essay from Douglass Shand-Tucci; Sargent’s El Jaleo reconsidered; António Lobo Antunes’ thrillers; Ben Lerner’s latest; vintage scents; Akilah Oliver’s final volume and far more….

November 2011 Issue

November 1, 2011
objects_of_wonder_23 (1)

from “A Strange Beauty”
by John Bonath

October 2011 Issue

October 1, 2011

from “Collective Tissue”
by Katie Caron

Interview with Virginia Henley

September 10, 2011
the dark early – pru sept 2011

Romance author Virginia Henley talks with Open Letters about history, human nature, and a certain four-letter word

Do what the clouds do…

September 1, 2011

A talk about touching light with cover artist Charles Matson Lume

September 2011 Issue

September 1, 2011

“Do what the clouds do (for Charles Wright)”
by Charles Matson Lume

Immaterial Architecture

August 1, 2011

a talk on architecture and art with cover artist Quynh Vantu

August 2011 Issue

August 1, 2011

from “Chapel for One”
by Quynh Vantu

Author Interview: William Martin

July 6, 2011
william martin

We talk with William Martin, author of the newly re-released “Citizen Washington”

Summer Reading 2011

July 1, 2011

In last year’s special feature, our team of avid readers offered some suggestions for books a little off the beaten path of summer blockbusters.

Summer Reading 2011 Goes On

July 1, 2011

More of last year’s special feature, where we offered some less predictable ideas for books to tuck into your beach tote or suitcase.

July 2011 Issue

July 1, 2011

from “Keeping Up Appearances”
by Elizabeth Alexander

July 1, 2011

Sane and Insane

June 1, 2011

“In fact, many religions use the mandala type form to represent “Controlled Chaos.” Stained glass windows are an example I have a closer relationship to … they intrigued me for hours.”

June 2011 Issue

June 1, 2011

“Spiro #0114” by Tim Eads

laying down record player

May 1, 2011

A conversation with cover artist Julie Schustack about LA, worlds under glass, Frankenstein devices, and building a house just to take it apart.

May 2011 Issue

May 1, 2011
music box toaster9280

“Music Box Toaster” by Julie Schustack

tumultuous atmospheric spaces

April 1, 2011

“I learned about ‘letting go’, painting over areas in a piece that I might have loved at first (which often happens in my process, some of my first marks are my most adored), but which no longer worked.” A conversation with Carol Browning and Karen Roehl

The Cruellest Month

April 1, 2011


April 2011 Issue

April 1, 2011
Thicket by Karen Roehl

“Thicket” by Karen Roehl

Quiz – March 2011

March 1, 2011

Open to Love

March 1, 2011

“I find that you can get someone to do something outlandish that they would never normally do if you ask them in public as if it’s the most normal request ever.” — a talk with cover artist Rebecca Vaughan

March 2011 Issue

March 1, 2011

“Celestial Navigation” by Peter Illig and Rebecca Vaughan

Open Letters Monthly – February 2011 – Quiz

February 3, 2011

Dross of a Passing Dream

February 1, 2011
Jaime Carrejo, Denver – Reconstruction Time Again

A conversation with Open Letters’ new curator, Katie Caron, and an exploration of her upcoming show, “Displaced”

February 2011 Issue

February 1, 2011
Flint 4 MenAtDesks

“4 Men at a Desk” by Addie Langford

January 2011 Issue

January 1, 2011

from “After Usuyuki” by Anne Gorrick

December 2010 Issue

December 1, 2010
Greenhouse post

“Greenhouse Post” by J. Robert Lennon

November 2010 Issue

November 1, 2010

from “Study (St. Eustace)” by Sarah Goldstein

October 2010 Issue

October 1, 2010

“Unquote” by Skye Gilkerson

#2 The Obama Diaries

October 1, 2010

#2 in our third annual Fiction Bestseller List feature.

The 2010 Bestseller Feature

October 1, 2010

It’s that time of year again, when our writers gird themselves and review all ten books on The New York Times bestseller list. This time around the quarry is bestselling Nonfiction.

Wonders of the Field

October 1, 2010

A conversation with the editors of The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to the Prose Poem

An Authorless Chorus

October 1, 2010

“I wanted to emphasize the creation of new space as something, rather than just an absence.” — a conversation with our cover artist Skye Gilkerson

September 2010 Issue

September 1, 2010
Bowling 3

“Bowling” by Kirsten Lewis

Axes Piling Up

August 1, 2010

Open Letters talks with Adam Golaski about the earlier translations of Sir Gawain, the original MS, and his own “Green”

August 2010 Issue

August 1, 2010
a Green notes line 366-

draft notes from Adam Golaski’s “Green”

Emotional Contagion

July 1, 2010

A Conversation with Carissa Halston and Randolph Pfaff about his images for their short play “Patsy”

July 2010 Issue

July 1, 2010

“Pride” by Randolph Pfaff and Carissa Halston

June 2010 Issue

June 1, 2010
kyle (1)

“Garage 1” by Kyle Siddons

Cat’s Owls

May 1, 2010

“Owls are majestic creatures. Their stolid quality is exactly what attracts me to them. I purposefully chose those images based on the ability that this animal has to move with such grace and poise, as if always in perfect control.”

May 2010 Issue

May 1, 2010
Owl #1- Green_150dpi_horizontal2

“Owl#1 (from the Dan Series)” by Catherine Bourassa-Hébert

April 2010 Issue

April 1, 2010

from “It Would Look Like…” (Project Row Houses) by Stephanie Diamond

March 2010 Issue

March 1, 2010

“snoverkill” by Jeffrey Eaton

February 2010 issue

February 1, 2010
Katie Caron

“Dominium” by Katie Caron

Bad Books, Good Hooks

February 1, 2010

They don’t work as books, but they do work their way on us – insistently, insidiously. We throw them across the room, but we keep picking them up again.

Katie Caron on Dominium

February 1, 2010

“It is so easy to create illusions with film, but how can you create an engrossing visual experience with an object? I am obsessed with human nature’s interest in being fooled.”

David R. Slavitt on Young John Milton

February 1, 2010

Long before he wrote some of the most powerful poems in English, John Milton, as a brainy teenager, wrote verse in Latin. Celebrated translator David Slavitt tells us a little about them.

January 2010 issue

January 1, 2010

Lights by Rachel Burgess

December 2009 Issue

December 1, 2009

“Gates in Winter” by Jeffrey Eaton

November 2009 Issue

November 1, 2009

“Marguerite Duras” by Carl Kohler.

October 2009 Issue

October 1, 2009

“Arkansas Sky” by Farrah Field

September 2009 Issue

September 1, 2009

Photo by Michael George

Photography Album and Q&A with Michael George

September 1, 2009

Open Letters talks shop with cover photographer Michael George

August 2009 Issue

August 1, 2009

“White Sands” by Mark Contino

July 2009 Issue

July 1, 2009

“Scotland Rearview” by Jeffrey Eaton

June 2009 Issue

June 1, 2009

Photo from Chris Marstall

May 2009 Issue

May 1, 2009

Photo by Joe Sacks

April 2009 Issue

April 1, 2009

“Stephanie” by Jonas Sacks

March 2009 Issue

March 1, 2009

Illustration by Rachel Burgess

February 2009 Issue

February 1, 2009

“West Unity Road” by Jeffrey Eaton

January 2009 Issue

January 1, 2009

Illustration of Jack Spicer by Rachel Burgess

December 2008 Issue

December 1, 2008

Photo by Vladimir Gitin

4 Questions for cover artist Michela Emeson

November 8, 2008

OL: You’ve lived in both Mexico and Europe. Do you think this has influenced your work away from the American grain?
Michela: Even though I have strong European influences, I am American with a range of work that …

November 2008 Issue

November 1, 2008

Painting by Michela Emeson

October 2008 Issue

October 1, 2008

“One is the Loneliest Number” by Wes Thomas

September 2008 Issue

September 1, 2008

“A Room with a View” by Judy West.

Q & A with Linda Porter

September 1, 2008

An in-depth addition to our Year with the Tudors: Open Letters chats with a writer equally hip-deep in the subject, Linda Porter, author of The First Queen of England: The Myth of “Bloody Mary.” Our first Q & A!

August 2008 issue

August 1, 2008

Open Letters’ Monthly 2008 cover images

July 2008 Issue

July 1, 2008

“Run Down House, Ooty” by Sriram Ramgopal

June 2008 issue

June 1, 2008

Lori Parkman is an attorney, flâneuses, and photographer who’s work can be viewed at http://www.flickr.com/photos/loriellenp/. She lives in Brooklyn.

May 2008 Issue

May 1, 2008

“Bell Atlantic” by Lianne Habinek

April 2008 Issue

April 1, 2008

“A Storm at the Airport” by Trey Ratcliff

March 2008 Issue

March 1, 2008

Photo by Kirsten Lewis

February 2008 Issue

February 1, 2008

“Hey… are you going to eat that?” by Rik Stavale

January 2008 Issue

January 1, 2008

“Leap of Faith” by Justin Lowery

Gladly Possessed

January 1, 2008

Joy Division was post-punk at its ecstatic, abrasive best. Peter Law reviews Control, the soundtrack to the documentary that briefly brought the emblematic band back on the stage.

December 2007 Issue

December 1, 2007

“Northern Lights” by Christer Mattson

November 2007 Issue

November 1, 2007

“New York Night” by Jeffrey Eaton

October 2007 Issue

October 1, 2007

Photo by Axel Lauerer

September 2007 Issue

September 1, 2007

“Sandcastle” by James A. Crossman

August 2007 Issue

August 1, 2007

“Let’s Swing” by Ugur Can

July 2007 Issue

July 1, 2007

Photo by Kristen Lewis

June 2007 Issue

June 1, 2007

The Cover Photo for June, “Tree,” was taken by Liam Frankland. Much more of Liam’s work can be seen at www.liamfrankland.com and www.flickr.com/photos/lyrical.

May 2007 Issue

May 1, 2007

“Melbourne Skyline from Brighton” by Ranjit Doroszkiewicz

April 2007 Issue

April 1, 2007

“Fort Tabor, 2006″ by Jeffrey Eaton

March 2007 Issue

March 1, 2007

Photo by Kirsten Lewis