On Anne Carson’s “Ghost Q & A”

Jillian Weise April 1, 2014

May we talk about poetry and magic? Or is it passé? I have a feeling it is passé. But still I hear poets say, “I don’t choose the form. The poem chooses the form,” or “The poem speaks to me.” They say these things flatly[...]


Announcing the APS Emerging Writer Fellowships

March 13, 2014

We are pleased to announce that applications are now open for three A Public Space Emerging Writer fellowships. Under this new project, three emerging writers will receive:

– A six-month mentorship from an established author who has previously contributed to A Public Space;
– Publication in the magazine;
– A one-off stipend of $1,000; and
– For writers who are based in New York / visiting New York, free workspace in our Brooklyn offices.

Please note that applicants from all across the world are encouraged to apply for these fellowships, and that the residency in our offices is an optional element. We are only able to consider submissions in English.

A Public Space is proud to have been the first place to publish stories by writers like Leslie Jamison, Corinna Vallianatos, Nam Le, and Jesmyn Ward, who have all since gone on to win major awards for their work. These fellowships continue that tradition. Our focus when reviewing applications will be on finding writers who have not yet published or been contracted to write a book-length work, but whose writing shows exceptional promise.

To apply you will need to submit, via the "APS Emerging Writer Fellowship Applications" category of our Submittable page: (1) a previously unpublished short story or essay you have written, and (2) a cover letter telling us about you and a piece of writing by another author that has been meaningful to you. Please include in the cover letter your email and postal address, the title and word count of your piece, and any publication credits to date. (The lack of any publication credits won’t count against you.) Please also state whether you would wish to take advantage of the optional residency element of the fellowship.

There is no fee for applying, but please note that we can only accept applications through the proper category on Submittable & that we will not be able to consider email or postal applications. Please only submit one application per author. There is no upper word limit on submissions.

The deadline for applications is 5pm EST on 15th April 2014. Successful applicants will be informed no later than 20th June 2014. The fellowship period will be 1st September 2014 – 1st March 2015.


*The above text has been amended to reflect the fact that applicants from all over the world are now eligible to apply.

On Marilynne Robinson’s “You Need Not Doubt What I Say Because It Is Not True”

Alexander Chee November 25, 2013

Do we need to make a case for fiction, you might ask. Especially if you write fiction, there may be no question, to you. But in my experience, for most of our fellow citizens, what we do is invisible, unimaginable. “I couldn’t do it,” so many people tell me. And if it is invisible and unimaginable, it is also, I’m afraid, indefensible.


The Land, Episode One

Robert Sullivan November 19, 2013

The first episode of The Land, a program produced in association with A Public Space, explores different interactions between humans and their spaces and places, many of which are mentioned in Issue 19.

This episode features a sound map of Montreal; a visit to Brooklyn's Fulton Mall; the ecology of cities; The Murphy Beds on the road; the Nobel Laureate’s library branch; Jorie Graham and Patrizia Cavalli in sonic translation; and a remembrance of Keith Basso. Read more about this episode here.


On Translating Du Fu

Aaron Crippen November 4, 2013

Aaron Crippen's translations of Du Fu's poems appeared in Issue 17.

For a poet, there must be no greater pleasure than reading classical Chinese. For a translator, there may be no greater challenge than translating it. For Chinese writing is unique, with its pictographic roots. Fundamentally, its words do not denote sounds, as in alphabetic languages, but objects—such as 日, the sun—or combinations of objects to express ideas—such as 明, the sun and crescent moon together, meaning “bright” or “clear.” Its curves have been straightened and standardized, but in 日 we still recognize what was once a circle, like the sun, with a dot at its center.


You Are That Person Who Has Left

Yiyun Li October 1, 2013

The thought of interviewing Tom Drury and Yan Lianke with a set of similar questions occurred to me because in an ideal world, without geological and language barriers, I would have liked to listen to a conversation between the two.


Listen to This

Tania James October 1, 2013

This article originally appeared on May 18, 2012.

When I moved into my current flat in Jangpura Extension, New Delhi, my landlady told me that her father-in-law had designed the neighborhood as a settlement for refugees from Pakistan, after Partition. I asked her who and what had been here before the 1950s. Her answer, more than once, was, “Nothing.”


I’m Bulgarian, which is to say a fatalist

APS | 7 Questions for Miroslav Penkov October 1, 2013

This article originally appeared on March 30, 2012.

1. Can you describe your daily routine, any rituals or habits?

It’s general consensus that a writer ought to write, or at least put in the hours behind the typewriter, every day.


Kerstin Ekman for the Nobel

Dorthe Nors October 1, 2013

This article originally appeared on November 3, 2011.

Recently, I was asked by literary friends in the United States whom we Danes were hoping might win the Nobel Prize in Literature. I had no real idea of any consensus, but as happens every year a large number of male culture scribes over the age of sixty seemed to think it should be given to Bob Dylan. Which always makes me wonder why, if the prize really should go to a troubadour, no one ever talks about Leonard Cohen, but that’s just my own personal aside.


Reading Jesmyn Ward’s Salvage the Bones

October 1, 2013

This article originally appeared on October 18, 2011.

A recent review of Salvage the Bones considers the novel in the context of a Salon essay about Modern Steinbecks. These novels, the reviewer suggests, “play into the exoticization of lives unlike those of readers who are inclined to pick up literary fiction.”

Salvage the Bones, like her stories “Cattle Haul” (APS 5) and “Barefoot” (APS 14), is set in rural Mississippi (the state with the greatest percentage of poor people in the nation, and one of the top ten in terms of income inequality). It takes place in the days before Hurricane Katrina. The narrator, Esch, fifteen and pregnant, lives with her three brothers and father in a clearing in the woods they call the Pit.


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