Articles by Nick Ripatrazone
April 22, 2014
Good fiction can be a form of good works. As a Catholic, I recognize that life is a story of continuous revision, of failure and unexpected grace, and of dogged hope. I am comfortable with the white space of ambiguity and mystery. I have faith, not certainty.
April 3, 2014
Poetry and music share a word of process — composition — and are linked by negotiations of melody, harmony, rhythm, proportion, and discord. Here is a poetry playlist: 10 poets offer their composition soundtracks.
March 25, 2014
Fear and wonder pulled me toward both astronomy and writing. If the world does not create awe in us, we will neuter the beautiful and complex. The profound becomes prosaic.
March 3, 2014
I hope Amtrak develops these introductory residencies into a full program, and that these writers are inspired to create new work, breathe life into old drafts, and maybe even enjoy some good reading.
February 25, 2014
The great, unlikely gift of postal submissions was the building of patience and discipline. Now we can publish at any and every moment.
February 5, 2014
In America, teachers are either seen as angelic or caustic, saviors or sycophants. These stereotypes enable politicians to convince the public to support the latest education fad or slash needed budgets. The reality is we teach because we love to help kids, and we think literature is a way to examine and understand our complex lives.
January 23, 2014
Snow has also become a refrain in my reading. Snow fractures storylines and complicates characters. Snow forces writers to capture atmosphere and mood, and to uniquely describe a common event.
January 9, 2014
Love will bring a man to his knees. What ultimately draws me to Dubus is a fear of myself. It is a fear that has no justification in my history: I have managed to avoid violence, certainly any coming from my own hands. But Dubus’s fiction taps into the preternatural worry that we can turn, in a moment, from a person we have prayed to become to something sharp and wrong. To read Dubus is to be possessed by art.
October 21, 2013
What is the wider cultural influence of literary magazines? I am not sure there needs to be one.
September 17, 2013
Most reviews of novellas begin with similar elements: the writer’s arbitrary word count parameter, why “novella” sounds more diminutive than “short novel,” and a lament that publishers are unwilling to support the form. This essay is not such an apology.