Articles by Open Letters Monthly
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.
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…
Open Letters mourns the passing of a giant of American poetry.
Open Letters mourns the death of enchanting rogue Peter O’Toole.
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, …
As the haze and heat of summer kick into full swing, the folk of Open Letters break out their annual Summer Reading recommendations!
Our feature continues, as more Open Letters folk share their annual Summer Reading recommendations!
“96th Street” by Jeffrey Eaton
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.
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 …
“New York Dash”
by Greg Waldmann
By the poet Paul Hannigan, who would have turned 77 this month
“Refinement and Elegance,” 2010
by Caleb Cole
a conversation with cover-artist Caleb Cole
A talented novelist writes the story of his husband’s family’s experiences in war-torn Bangladesh – but is it life, or art?
A conversation with cover artist Aaron Angello
A still from Face (triptych)
by Aaron Angello
As this year winds to a close we take another glance at the still-worthy books that moved us in days of old.
In this special feature, we look back at some highlights of the reading we did in 2012.
by Rachel Burgess
In this special feature, we look back at some highlights of the reading we did in 2012.
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.
Japanese Rinpa-style artwork takes center stage in a stunning new book and exhibit from the Metropolitan Museum of Art
“Inside the Glass Origin” (detail)
By David Abed
Jacques Barzun (1907 – 2012)
Marvel’s resident thunder god-superhero Thor goes through some epic adventures in the latest volume of “Essential” reprints.
from “Ink” by Katie Caron
Paul Anderson returns to the director’s chair for the new “Resident Evil” chapter – but does he still have that old zombie-fighting magic?
“Prewar” by Kathleen Rooney
“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
from Useful Fictions by Adrianne Mathiowetz
from Imeday Imeday Olladay Icklenay
by Jennifer Catron and Paul Outlaw
photo by Jeff Proctor
An interview with Kim Newman, author of the fantastic “Anno Dracula” series of novels!
An interview with author Elspeth Cooper!
An interview with The Baffler‘s new Editor-in-Chief, John Summers.
“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
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
” 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
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 …
detail from “Home Alone”
A daring teen hero must risk everything to save his brother.
A conversation with Maureen Thorson, Open Letters’ new poetry editor, founder of NaPoWriMo, and publisher of Big Game Books
“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
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
“The Promised Land”
In this special feature, we look back at some highlights of the reading we did in 2011
More highlights from our 2011 reading
A Conversation with Cover Artist Pattie Lee Becker
Rebirth to the Stars
by Patti Lee Becker
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….
from “A Strange Beauty”
by John Bonath
from “Collective Tissue”
by Katie Caron
Romance author Virginia Henley talks with Open Letters about history, human nature, and a certain four-letter word
A talk about touching light with cover artist Charles Matson Lume
“Do what the clouds do (for Charles Wright)”
by Charles Matson Lume
a talk on architecture and art with cover artist Quynh Vantu
from “Chapel for One”
by Quynh Vantu
We talk with William Martin, author of the newly re-released “Citizen Washington”
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.
More of last year’s special feature, where we offered some less predictable ideas for books to tuck into your beach tote or suitcase.
from “Keeping Up Appearances”
by Elizabeth Alexander
“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.”
“Spiro #0114” by Tim Eads
A conversation with cover artist Julie Schustack about LA, worlds under glass, Frankenstein devices, and building a house just to take it apart.
“Music Box Toaster” by Julie Schustack
“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
“Thicket” by Karen Roehl
“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
“Celestial Navigation” by Peter Illig and Rebecca Vaughan
A conversation with Open Letters’ new curator, Katie Caron, and an exploration of her upcoming show, “Displaced”
“4 Men at a Desk” by Addie Langford
from “After Usuyuki” by Anne Gorrick
“Greenhouse Post” by J. Robert Lennon
from “Study (St. Eustace)” by Sarah Goldstein
“Unquote” by Skye Gilkerson
#2 in our third annual Fiction Bestseller List feature.
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.
A conversation with the editors of The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to the Prose Poem
“I wanted to emphasize the creation of new space as something, rather than just an absence.” — a conversation with our cover artist Skye Gilkerson
“Bowling” by Kirsten Lewis
Open Letters talks with Adam Golaski about the earlier translations of Sir Gawain, the original MS, and his own “Green”
draft notes from Adam Golaski’s “Green”
A Conversation with Carissa Halston and Randolph Pfaff about his images for their short play “Patsy”
“Pride” by Randolph Pfaff and Carissa Halston
“Garage 1” by Kyle Siddons
“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.”
“Owl#1 (from the Dan Series)” by Catherine Bourassa-Hébert
from “It Would Look Like…” (Project Row Houses) by Stephanie Diamond
“snoverkill” by Jeffrey Eaton
“Dominium” by Katie Caron
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.
“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.”
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.
Lights by Rachel Burgess
“Gates in Winter” by Jeffrey Eaton
“Marguerite Duras” by Carl Kohler.
“Arkansas Sky” by Farrah Field
Photo by Michael George
Open Letters talks shop with cover photographer Michael George
“White Sands” by Mark Contino
“Scotland Rearview” by Jeffrey Eaton
Photo from Chris Marstall
Photo by Joe Sacks
“Stephanie” by Jonas Sacks
Illustration by Rachel Burgess
“West Unity Road” by Jeffrey Eaton
Illustration of Jack Spicer by Rachel Burgess
Photo by Vladimir Gitin
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 …
Painting by Michela Emeson
“One is the Loneliest Number” by Wes Thomas
“A Room with a View” by Judy West.
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!
Open Letters’ Monthly 2008 cover images
“Run Down House, Ooty” by Sriram Ramgopal
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.
“Bell Atlantic” by Lianne Habinek
“A Storm at the Airport” by Trey Ratcliff
Photo by Kirsten Lewis
“Hey… are you going to eat that?” by Rik Stavale
“Leap of Faith” by Justin Lowery
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.
“Northern Lights” by Christer Mattson
“New York Night” by Jeffrey Eaton
Photo by Axel Lauerer
“Sandcastle” by James A. Crossman
“Let’s Swing” by Ugur Can
Photo by Kristen Lewis
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.
“Melbourne Skyline from Brighton” by Ranjit Doroszkiewicz
“Fort Tabor, 2006″ by Jeffrey Eaton
Photo by Kirsten Lewis