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Matthew Cheney
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Matthew Cheney

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Element of Style for the Age of Blight
Introductory As the world burns away in political crises and ecological catastrophe, writers strain against meaninglessness, against the sense that their work is nothing more than a few grains of confectionary sugar tossed to a howling wind. What forms migh...
Introductory As the world burns away in political crises and ecological catastrophe, writers strain against meaninglessness, against th...
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Matthew Cheney

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Coetzee: The Life of Writing, The Good Story
This piece first appeared in the Winter 2015 print edition of Rain Taxi Review of Books . J.M. Coetzee and the Life of Writing: Face-to-face with Time by David Attwell Viking ($27.95) The Good Story: Exchanges on Truth, Fiction, and Psychotherapy by J.M. Co...
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"Perverse and Uncommercial"
Since my book came out, lots of people have asked me to describe my writing. I'm not good at this. However, having now seen my writing described by reviewers and by common readers, I've got a few ideas about how other people describe it. "Not nice", "distur...
Since my book came out, lots of people have asked me to describe my writing. I'm not good at this. However, having now seen my writing...
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Against the Chill
Hopefully, someday my contribution to peace Will help just a bit to turn the tide And perhaps I can tell my children six And later on their own children That at least in the future they need not be silent When they are asked, "Where was your mother, when?" ...
Hopefully, someday my contribution to peace Will help just a bit to turn the tide And perhaps I can tell my children six And later on...
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Out of the Past
In the archives of the New York Times , materials about Germany and the rise of the Nazis to power are vast. It would take days to read through it all. Though it would be an informative experience, I don't have the time to do so at the moment, but I was cur...
In the archives of the New York Times , materials about Germany and the rise of the Nazis to power are vast. It would take days to read ...
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<i>The Penny Poet of Portsmouth</i> by Katherine Towler
     Dawn again, and I switch off the light. On the table a tattered moth shrugs its wings.      I agree. Nothing is ever quite what we expect it to be. —Robert Dunn Katherine Towler's deeply affecting and thoughtful portrait of Robert Dunn is subtitled "A ...
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<i>What Belongs to You</i> by Garth Greenwell
Garth Greenwell's debut novel What Belongs to You  is one of the most celebrated and successful gay novels of 2016. Its success seems to me both odd and gratifying. It is a book that garnered the attention of the literati, and not just the gay literati, tho...
Garth Greenwell's debut novel What Belongs to You is one of the most celebrated and successful gay novels of 2016. Its success seems to...
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Shirley Jackson at 100
Today is Shirley Jackson's 100th birthday, and as I think about her marvelous body of writing, I can't help also thinking of the changes in her reputation over the last few decades, or, rather, my perception of the changes in her reputation. For me, she was...
Today is Shirley Jackson's 100th birthday, and as I think about her marvelous body of writing, I can't help also thinking of the changes ...
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The Return of David R. Bunch
In the earliest days of this blog, I declared David R. Bunch to be "unjustly neglected". This was true back then, but not nearly as true as it is today, when all his books are out of print and usually sell for high prices on the secondary market (if you can...
In the earliest days of this blog, I declared David R. Bunch to be "unjustly neglected". This was true back then, but not nearly as tr...
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BLP, Blood, and the ACLU
My publisher, Black Lawrence Press, has announced that for every book they sell through their website from now through the end of the year, they will donate $1 to the American Civil Liberties Union. I will match this for my own book, Blood: Stories , meanin...
My publisher, Black Lawrence Press, has announced that for every book they sell through their website from now through the end of the y...
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On Robert Aickman
Electric Literature  has published an essay I wrote about Robert Aickman , one of the greatest of the 20th century's short story writers: Thirty-five years after his death, Robert Aickman is beginning to receive the attention he deserves as one of the great...
Electric Literature has published an essay I wrote about Robert Aickman , one of the greatest of the 20th century's short story writers:...
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Matthew Cheney

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<i>The Penny Poet of Portsmouth</i> by Katherine Towler
     Dawn again, and I switch off the light. On the table a tattered moth shrugs its wings.      I agree. Nothing is ever quite what we expect it to be. —Robert Dunn Katherine Towler's deeply affecting and thoughtful portrait of Robert Dunn is subtitled "A ...
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Introduction
I am a teacher and writer currently based in New Hampshire.

For more information, see my blog, The Mumpsimus.
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Male
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Ph.D. student at University of New Hampshire
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