Articles by Nick Ripatrazone

November 17, 2014

An Ode to Photocopies: 50 Versions 3

There are a lot of words worth sharing. Photocopies are my contribution to this literary communion.

November 7, 2014

Blood Brothers: On Mike Meginnis’s ‘Fat Man and Little Boy’ 2

‘Fat Man and Little Boy’ is what it would sound like if Dylan Thomas wrote about the atomic bomb.

October 23, 2014

Ruined, Old, Endless: On Blake Butler’s 300,000,000 9

Butler’s central trope has always been the idea of homes, our private Americas. But Butler’s house has many rooms. 300,000,000 is a new testament; what happens when prose becomes prophecy.

September 29, 2014

God and Gab: The Second Sex by Michael Robbins 1

Michael Robbins is our contemporary poet laureate for beautiful sins of language.

September 11, 2014

Heart of Darkness: On William Giraldi’s Hold the Dark 0

Between the many bullets and arrows, Giraldi is also building an examination of evil. This is a new Catholic fiction, one forged in the smithies of writers who reject belief but retain reverence for religious language.

August 25, 2014

The Longest Silence: On Writing and Fishing 3

Fishing, like writing, is a stab at permanence in a world of waiting.

August 20, 2014

Practical Art: On Teaching the Business of Creative Writing 73

This is the inside joke of creative writing programs in America. We know creative writing doesn’t make money, and yet we continue to graduate talented writers with no business acumen. At best, it is misguided. At worst, it is fraudulent.

July 29, 2014

“Story with a Real Beast and a Little Blood”: on Rose McLarney’s Its Day Being Gone 0

Appalachian literature plays an elegaic refrain. It is a literature of dislocation and transition and survival.

July 18, 2014

The Saddest Poem Ever Written 12

Novels have hurt me. Stories have punctured my skeptical skin. Essays have made me rethink the world. But a melancholic poem shatters me.

June 30, 2014

Mystery and Manners: On Teaching Flannery O’Connor 9

The sheer originality of Flannery O’Connor’s stories shows students how amplifying their surrounding world can make great fiction. Now, 50 years after her death, when she is a staple of syllabi and the very canon that previously excluded her and other women, it is most important to stress fresh approaches to her work within the classroom.