The Blog

A Lowly, Humble Bookworm: A Conversation with Michael Silverblatt

Sarah Fay

[This interview appeared in the Spring 2010 issue of The Iowa Review.]

On the surface, Bookworm is a nationally syndicated weekly radio show that hosts fiction writers and poets. But after listening to it once, anyone with an ear knows that it is an opportunity to learn how to read, listen, and engage with print culture via Michael Silverblatt, the show’s perspicacious and endearing host. Silverblatt created Bookworm in 1989 and has conducted what he calls “interview occasions” with thousands of writers, including Joyce Carol Oates, Carlos Fuentes, Maxine Hong Kingston, Salman Rushdie, Susan Sontag, Alice Walker, and Kurt Vonnegut.

Two of our own!

TIR staff

We want to issue a big Congratulations to two recent Best American award winners!

First, congratulations to Maggie McKnight. Her graphic memoir "Swingin,'" from our Winter 2008-09 issue, was chosen as a Notable Comic in the 2010 issue of Best American Comics. See an excerpt here.

And Anne Marie Rooney's poem "What my heart is turning," which appeared in our Winter 2009-10 issue, will appear in the 2011 issue of Best American Poetry. Anne Marie was the winner of the 2009 Iowa Review Award in poetry.

Read-only versus writable publishing

Russell Valentino

These are relatively new terms for me, I'll admit, which means I'm only slowly getting a sense of what they suggest conceptually.

Here is a fairly strong statement of the writable future of publishing, by Terry Jones:

And a little excerpt, in case you're glued to this screen, as is only fitting:

"Publication of information obviously includes traditional media, such as books, newspapers, magazines, music, and video. But we can generalize considerably to include blogs, tagging (e.g., Delicious, Flickr), commenting systems, Twitter, Facebook, and Myspace.

Literary Death Match Part Deux, March 2

Russell Valentino

The literary death match returned to town last night, and I was able to get out for a change.Here's the blurb from the lit death match website.

"The doozy of a lineup features Guggenheim Fellows Robin Hemley (author of DO-OVER!; Defunct Magazine editor) and Chris Offutt (Kentucky Straight; The Good Brother), poet extraordinaire Micah Bateman and Essays Editor of 


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