An online home for the American University Creative Writing MFA community

Just for Fun

The End of My Book Hangover: Silver Girl by Leslie Pietrzyk

The End of My Book Hangover: Silver Girl by Leslie Pietrzyk

By Emily Moses   Leslie Pietrzyk, AU MFA alumna and local literary guru, agreed to meet with me to discuss her new novel, Silver Girl, out last month by Unnamed Press. Over a plate of charcuterie and a few glasses of wine, we talked about […]

Recommended Reading: Haruki Murakami’s Kafka on the Shore

Recommended Reading: Haruki Murakami’s Kafka on the Shore

By Nick Chhoeun Kafka on the Shore the fourth Haruki Murakami I’ve recently completed and it’s the second book post I’ve written about Murakami for Café. The first time I ever read one of Murakami’s books, I was hooked on his ability to include so many scenes, […]

The Spine-In Trend

The Spine-In Trend

By Nick Chhoeun I was at the high school where I work and I saw that one of the English teachers arranged her personal books differently. They weren’t arranged by genre or by the author. They were arranged with the book pages facing outward. When […]

Punning Genius

Punning Genius

By Vince Granata “Hi Vince, all fine here. Are there many first person singular object pronouns, or is it just me…” My father puns with abandon. Whether via text message—like the above, sent last weekend—or in person, the frequency of his wordplay borders on self-parody, […]

A Skype Chat with Victor LaValle

A Skype Chat with Victor LaValle

By Michael Conner Victor LaValle Skyped with Dolen Perkins-Valdez’s fiction workshop last week to share thoughts on his novella, The Ballad of Black Tom. Ever since he was a kid, the likes of Stephen King, Peter Straub, and Shirley Jackson filled LaValle’s reading library with tales […]

On Logic the Rapper

On Logic the Rapper

By Nick Chhoeun   Rapper Logic has been in the spotlight recently for his song 1-800-273-8255, which addresses mental health. He says that this song is  “the most important song I ever wrote.” The song name is the number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, […]

On Chance the Rapper

On Chance the Rapper

By Nick Chhoeun “Oh no, you’re into that crap, too?” a woman on campus said to me. I was sitting on a bench next to her wearing my Chance the Rapper hat with the word “Coloring Book” on it. She told me her kids listened […]

Ding Ding Ding!: Rejection Parties

Ding Ding Ding!: Rejection Parties

When I was fifteen, I was pretty sure I would be the next great horror writer. I wrote my first short story and boy-oh-boy did my teenage brain think that it was the best: An abused woman vomits up her heart, cooks it, feeds it […]

Tarartomatic : One Woman’s Artomatic Journey

Tarartomatic : One Woman’s Artomatic Journey

I found out about Artomatic on the very last day of the very first one, back in 1999. It was one of those sunny, dusty, urban spring afternoons, and a friend and I trekked to the 1300 block of Florida Avenue NW, to what used […]

Comma Conundrum

Comma Conundrum

Surely, you’ve heard it all before. Heralded as a key mark for clarity, bemoaned as a pretentious rhythm breaking roadblock, the Oxford comma has sparked more eye-rolling debates than a piece of punctuation might deserve. To review, the Oxford comma (also called the serial comma, […]