Against the Workshop:: Provocations, Polemics, Controversies (Paperback)

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Against the Workshop is the first sustained critique of twenty-first century literary production in America under the MFA/creative writing program infrastructure. Since earlier critics like John Aldridge wrote on the subject, the creative writing regime has become vastly more institutionalized. Publishing has changed, but what does it mean for the quality of fiction and poetry? This book brings the subject completely up-to-date, by focusing on fiction and poetry generated during the last decade. The book contrasts the vast amount of sludge with the rare gems, to argue that the creative writing product is a debased one that will not stand the test of time.

About the Author

ANIS SHIVANI is the author of the story collection, Anatolia and Other Stories, which was longlisted for the Frank O’Connor short story award.  He is a member of the National Book Critics Circle, and frequently reviews books for newspapers and magazines.  His work appears in Georgia Review, Southwest Review, Iowa Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Texas Review, Threepenny Review, Boston Review, and elsewhere.  He has just finished a novel, and is putting together a book of his interviews with leading literary authors.  He studied at Harvard College and lives in Houston, Texas.

Praise For…

“This book is a driving, spirited, and articulate attack on what American poetry has become as ‘creative writing’ in the university degree programs."—Clayton Eshleman

— Clayton Eshleman

Against the Workshop subtitled Provocations, Polemics, Controversies: there’s something here for everyone to disagree with and be provoked by.  Brace yourself.  You will be implicated—as I am—in more than one of the charges Shivani levels, but also challenged to recall, in the face of the cynical reputation machine, the reasons why literature has mattered, might matter, does matter."—H. L. Hix
— H. L. Nix

“No contemporary literary critic has called to question the artifice of a publicity-driven book industry or taken to task the artistry of today’s literary darlings as provocatively as Anis Shivani. He has single-handedly fueled conversations that were once polite coffee house chatter into passionate debates about what’s worth reading and what should be pulped post-haste. Privileging integrity over popularity, Shivani stings when he writes, but his are the wake-up calls we’ve been waiting for!”—Rigoberto González

— Rigoberto Gonzales

Product Details
ISBN: 9781933896724
ISBN-10: 1933896728
Publisher: Texas Review Press
Publication Date: October 17th, 2011
Pages: 272
Language: English



Situated on the main street of the historic Delaware Riverfront town of New Hope, Pennsylvania, Farley’s Bookshop and its knowledgeable, experienced staff have endeavored to satisfy the literary tastes of the area inhabitants for over fifty years. Whether you are Bucks County born-and-bred or just stopping by to enjoy the crisp river air and delightful scenery, you will be pleasantly surprised to find the largest and most diverse collection of books-in-print in Bucks County. Farley’s may have competition, but it has few peers. We encourage you to browse our website, but please remember that getting acquainted with our online persona is no substitute for exploring the narrow passageways and teeming shelves of our storefront and discovering that perfect book nestled amongst so many others.


New Hope for American Art

                                               New Hope for American Art is the most comprehensive book ever published on artists from, and surrounding, the New Hope Art Colony (also known as the Pennsylvania Impressionists). This book, with its 612 pages and over 1,000 color plates of artwork include biographies of 165 individual Pennsylvania Impressionists and New Hope Modernists as well as artists from the Philadelphia Ten, a pioneering group of women all educated at Philadelphia art schools. 

In this book, you'll find biographies and artwork from such artists as:

  • Daniel Garber
  • Edward Redfield
  • George Sotter
  • Arthur Meltzer
  • Robert Spencer
  • William Langson Lathrop
  • Kenneth Nunamaker
  • John Folinsbee
  • Henry Snell
  • William F. Taylor
  • Fern Coppedge
  • M. Elizabeth Price
  • Clarence Johnson
  • S. George Phillips
  • Rae Sloan Bredin
  • Walter Baum
  • Walter Schofield
  • Morgan Colt
  • Charles Rosen
  • Joseph Meierhans
  • Charles F. Ramsey
  • Louis Stone
  • Charles Evans
  • Josef Zenk

New Hope for American Art was authored, designed and published by James M. Alterman, an expert in the field of Pennsylvania Impressionist and Modernist painting. A longtime collector and owner of two fine art galleries, Alterman wanted to create a user-friendly book intended not only to educate collectors and enthusiasts about this art but to help train one's eye. The book offers valuable tips on how to avoid common mistakes often experienced by new collectors drawn from the author's personal experiences as a collector and fine art dealer.