Featured Essays

  • The Panther in the Cage
    Today’s show is a recording of a poetry show I did at Mount St. Mary’s University in Los Angeles, where I teach. I took Rainer Maria Rilke’s poem “The Panther,” memorized it, and performed it for the students, along with other poems that followed the theme. The all about the … Read more
  • Writer Susana Marcelo, The Old Country and New Writing
    Susana Marcelo is a professor at California State University Northridge, a writer, poet, essayist, and. . .well, a lot more! In our interview, we spend time on what it means to write in the different genres (poetry, fiction, nonfiction), and how many of us like to push against those definitions, … Read more
  • Kennia Lopez: A New Voice in Literature
    Ken Lopez is a Mexican and Salvadoran poet from Kansas City. She hopes her work will, like Chinua Achebe said, tell the story of the hunt from the perspective of the lion. She will be pursuing her MFA in poetry at Brooklyn College in the fall. I had the chance … Read more
  • José Orduña: Writing and Justice
    I met José Orduña at the Associated Writing Program conference in Tampa, Florida this past spring. He had arrived at the conference about 48 hours after getting arrested in D.C. for civil disobedience, fighting for the rights of DACA recipients. José is a Professor of creative writing at the University … Read more
  • George Plimpton, Graywolf Press and the State of Literature Today
    Today’s podcast of The Writing Bull offers you a two-fer: Years ago I had the opportunity to interview one of the founders and the editor of The Paris Review, George Plimpton. You might recognize him, his face popped up all over the place in the second half of the twentieth century, playing … Read more
  • To My Fellow Bipolar Bloggers
    I’ve been reading the blogs of other folks who suffer from bipolar, which is very helpful, because I see that I’m not alone with this buggering illness. We share many of the same symptoms: constant anxiety, chronic dread, delusions, insomnia, paranoia, suicidal tendencies, amazing spurts of creativity, the ability to … Read more
  • Bipolar Cocktails
    I’m on three medications for bipolar now, let’s call them Huey, Dewey, and Louie. They’ve worked for a few years, but I’ve been going through some rough times, so it’s time to change the cocktail. Unlike your plain old, garden-variety, soul-crushing depression, in which you usually can take one pill … Read more
  • The Exiled Poet: Guisell Gomez
    While I was at the Associated Writing Programs conference in Florida this past month, I met Guisell Gomez, a student of creative writing and a published poet. Born in Colombia, she and her family moved to the United States when she was a child. She remembers the move, the brutal … Read more