Stop Chasing “Childlike Creativity”

My latest for Ploughshares Literary Magazine:What all the “Increase-Your-Creativity-By-Getting-Back-to-Your-‘Childlike-Wonder’!!” advice gets wrong–about creativity AND children. “Great writers create like adults who choose to shape new ideas in the midst of suffering, who play as a means of confronting reality. Great writers are those who wonder because of what they know, not in spite of it.”

The (31) Number One Female Country Songs since 2004: Summed Up by Yours Truly

In January, Country Weekly claimed 2014 to be the Year of the Woman in country music. I replied with a new piece for The Ethos Review about how 2014… isn’t. Going. To be. [O]ver the last ten years, songs by female artists make up only ten percent of country music’s number one hits (31 of…

The time I wrote a sultry french song about cats.

Since everyone knows that les chats noirs are french, it will come as no surprise that, upon adopting two chats noirs, I spoke to them primarily in French. They have failed to appear impressed by this, responding chiefly to effusive praise in whatever language. Elles sont des chats, après tout. Still, when my partner Justin…

Your silence will not protect you.

I’ve been reading a great deal of Audre Lorde for my work over at Ploughshares. Like Adrienne Rich (whose quote serves as the tagline for Louder Please), she’s a model for placing art in the service of socio-cultural improvement. When I read her work, it’s like a voice at the back of me: say it….