Articles by Nick Ripatrazone

November 23, 2015

Born from Books: Six Authors on Their Childhood Reading 0

Reading was a sort of sanctuary to me. Our flat was small and our family had a lot of kids and reading was a way for me to be by myself for a while.

November 13, 2015

The Art of the Strange Writing Exercise 8

We need to shake things up in the creative writing classroom. We need to remember that writing is a messy, fractured, intensely personal pursuit that must not be neutered by the institutional needs of our classrooms. One solution is to embrace the strange; one method is to imbue the strange into writing exercises.

October 22, 2015

A Poisonous Antidote: On Anne Sexton’s ‘Transformations’ 1

Sexton injects the modern world into Grimm’s fairy tales, but does so by inserting mundane references and contemporary mood. The result is poems with the architecture of archetype but modern anxiety.

October 7, 2015

Closing the Gap: On Teaching High School and College 1

Although our methods and locations might be different, teachers and professors hopefully share the same coda: we wish to leave students a little better off than we first met them.

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 4

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.