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For The Wall Street Journal:

• On the strange, tough life of a strange, tough poet: my review of the new Marianne Moore biography. (Click here, then on the first link you see.)

• My take on Sherwood Anderson’s trippy stories—and his storied trip. 

• My bit on the brain and the Bard.

 An essay on Jack Gilbert, but really on whales.

One review of the lovely correspondence between William Maxwell and Eudora Welty …

• … and another of T.S. Eliot’s really, really, really redundant (and sneakily splendid) letters. 

For The New York Times Book Review:

• I sing of swings and swingers.

I review Michele Zackheim’s Last Train to Paris, a novel that goes slightly off the rails.

For Poetry magazine:

• Of poets and potties! Of talents and toilets! A review of Michael Robbins’s Alien vs. Predator and A. E. Stallings’s Olives.

• Reviews of H. L. Hix & Co., Terrance Hayes & Co., Matthew Zapruder & Co., and Rae Armantrout & Co.

For the Los Angeles Times

Reviews of Tom Bissell’s Extra Lives and Adam Schwartzman’s Eddie Signwriter.

For the San Francisco Chronicle

• Reviews of Henry Roth’s An American Type, Adam Levin’s The Instruc- tions, Ismail Kadaré’s The Accident, and H. G. Adler’s Panorama.

For n+1

A review of April Bernard’s Romanticism.


I’m a freelance writer and editor whose work appears in the Wall Street Journal, Poetry, the Times Literary Supplement, the Los Angeles Times, the Village Voice, the San Francisco Chronicle, n+1, Bookforum, and other publications.

I am a winner of the Center for Fiction’s Roger Shattuck Award for Criticism and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle’s Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing. I have also received the Editors Prize for Reviewing from Poetry magazine. In 2014, I was a finalist for the Poetry Foundation’s Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship.

Drop me a line: writeabigail [at] gmail [dot] com.

Podcast & Radio

On NPR’s All Things ConsideredI discussed a talking dog and the angst of autumn.

On NPR, I talked about Philip Seymour Hoffman, and an excellent novel that reminded me of him.

For the Poetry Foundation, a podcast about the poetry that emerged from September 11.

Essays, Mostly Personal

For the New Yorker, my hard-hitting investigation into the origins of a mysterious rhyme on a park sign.

Bad call? My meditations on the pocket dial, for The Paris Review's website.

Confessions of a bookish boomeranger: on the New Yorker’s website, I describe the pleasures and perils of living in one’s childhood bedroom forever.

For TIME, an essay about 9/11’s effect on my generation (and me).

For the Poetry Foundation, a meditation on why good people like bad poetry.

And for the Poetry Foundation, an account of my adventures with Edgar Allan Poe’s reconstructed corpse.