Articles by Nick Ripatrazone

September 17, 2015

Charring the Page: On Ada Limón’s ‘Bright Dead Things’ 0

Bright Dead Things offers many answers, but is equally appealing for its questions: “Yesterday I was nice, but in truth I resented / the contentment of the field. Why must we practice / this surrender?” May our poems always be wild.

August 25, 2015

Summer Is Over: On John Cheever’s “The Swimmer” 3

Allow the story to bring you back to the temporary innocence of July and August. Experience the deep melancholy of its final paragraph as you get ready for the cold months ahead, but don’t worry: there is always next summer.

August 17, 2015

Lessons From No: Writers on Their Most Formative Rejections 3

It took me a long time to understand that every editor who has rejected my fiction has done me a favor.

August 4, 2015

The Long, Lonely Walk: Hallways in Horror Films 2

Hallway scenes are an essential element of American and international horror films. Hallways are tight, narrow, walled, made for transit — and yet sometimes our most sensitive moments are out in the hall, doors closed behind us. Hallways are places for tense encounters, confusion, and fear.

July 14, 2015

Chris Christie: New Jersey’s Chimera 4

Chris Christie is the prototypical politician. His every move and utterance is finely calibrated. His outbursts — telling a Hurricane Sandy activist to “sit down and shut up” or calling a former Navy SEAL an “idiot” — are not the slip-ups of an amateur; they are the myth-making of an intelligent, ambitious man.

June 25, 2015

Ancient Arts: On Independent Catholic Literature and Edward Mullany’s ‘The Three Sunrises’ 4

In the present literary moment, earnest religious belief is a subversive, counter-cultural move. God is not absent, but God seems more ironic metaphor than serious matter.

June 2, 2015

Lines of Light and Dark: On Mowing and Writing 4

The weekly ritual of mowing, of men and women walking their property like mechanical monks, is fodder for literature.

May 14, 2015

Breakfast: A Love Story 3

Literature and breakfast are both slow arts. Early morning arts that unfold while the world is still groggy and optimistic.

May 5, 2015

Before You Start: Introductions, Forewords, and Prefaces 2

A preface is an ars poetica for a book, for a literary life. A preface often feels like the writer sitting across the table from the reader, and saying, listen, now I am going to tell you the truth.

April 9, 2015

So Many Hills: Writing as Training 3

The constant desire to be a faster, better runner has helped me channel competition as a writer without being sidelined by it. My hunger is different than ambition. I know that I am ultimately only racing against myself.