Con Chapman
Me and Sylvia Plath

Me and Sylvia Plath

Readers of a certain age will remember how, in the wake of President Kennedy’s assassination, a list of eerie parallels between his life and death and that of Abraham Lincoln began to circulate.
The Town Dumps of Massachusetts

The Town Dumps of Massachusetts

Some say you can find the heart and soul of Massachusetts on the town greens of its many picturesque villages.
Ozick vs. Heller: The Sweet Science of Literary Catfights

Ozick vs. Heller: The Sweet Science of Literary Catfights

Our pulses are quickened by the prospect of a literary catfight, just as the hearts of men beat faster when they approach the scene of a high-stakes sporting event.
Literal-Minded Women, and the Men Who Love Them

Literal-Minded Women, and the Men Who Love Them

There was, above all the others, Nora. Because of our shared history of kidding around, we could make each other crack up across a conference room just by lifting eyebrows at the right moment in a boring business meeting.
The Case for George V. Higgins

The Case for George V. Higgins

Crime fiction suffers from guilt by association with its subject matter; why should you be concerned with murder and mayhem perpetrated by and among a bunch of low-lifes when you could be consuming the passion of Madam Bovary, the lost weekend of preppie Holden Caulfield, or War and Peace?
John Updike, Accidental Conservative

John Updike, Accidental Conservative

In August of 1966 a vacationing John Updike responded to a questionnaire he received that posed the question “Are you for, or against, the intervention of the United States in Vietnam?”
Understanding Poetry, the Hard Way

Understanding Poetry, the Hard Way

by Con Chapman
 
There are two types of people—those who “get” poetry, and those who don’t.
Stevie Smith: Not Waving But Drowning

Stevie Smith: Not Waving But Drowning

She seemed an unlikely candidate to be a writer, and few people in the London suburb where she lived—and which she satirized in her writing—knew her as one.
The Poetry Fixer

The Poetry Fixer

I dropped in on my state rep and asked him if he could get me on as Massachusetts poet laureate.
With Robert Frost at Wal-Mart

With Robert Frost at Wal-Mart

It’s Saturday, the day I check in on my fellow rustic poet, old man Frost, who lives down the road less travelled. He’s a cranky old cuss, but you would be too if you’d fallen as far as he has.
Homage to Delmore Schwartz

Homage to Delmore Schwartz

by Con Chapman
 
In the summer of 2013 I began to make the rounds of literary magazines to remind them of the upcoming centenary of the birth of Delmore Schwartz. Surely the anniversary merited recognition.
What We Talk About When We Talk About Photosynthesis

What We Talk About When We Talk About Photosynthesis

by Con Chapman
 
Photosynthesis is an important process. I mean it’s extremely important. It’s the source of food for almost all organisms on earth.
Me and Sappho

Me and Sappho

by Con Chapman
 
Sunday night in Boston. The city’s winding down at the end of the weekend, or at least some of us—like me—are.
At the Junior Algonquin Club

At the Junior Algonquin Club

by Con Chapman
 
It’s August, time for me to check on the kids to see how they’re doing with their summer reading lists. Things haven’t changed much in our little town since I was a boy.
A Quite Literary Catfight

A Quite Literary Catfight

Dick Cavett asked, "What was overrated about Lillian Hellman?" Mary McCarthy—never one to mince words—replied, “Every word she writes is a lie, including ‘and’ and ‘the.’”

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