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Beth Ann Fennelly

Beth Ann Fennelly is the co-​​author with her husband, Tom Franklin, of The Tilted World (Morrow, 2013). Her poetry collections include Unmentionables (Norton, 2008), Tender Hooks (Norton, 2004), and her Kenyon Review Prize-​​winning first book, Open House (Zoo Press, 2002), in addition to the nonfiction book Great with Child: Letters to a Young Mother (Norton, 2006). She teaches poetry and nonfiction writing at the University of Mississippi.


All in Favor, Say “I”

Summer 2014 | Essays

As a beginning writer I had a typically naïve conception of style as something added to a finished piece, as if the content is water and style the vase you pour it in—​a vase that shapes and decorates but doesn’t alter the chemistry of the water. But this understanding flattens style into its least dynamic, least magical aspect. 

The Joker: A Memoir. By Andrew Hudgins. Simon & Schuster, 2013. 352p. HB, $28.99.

Just Joking

Fall 2013 | Criticism

Andrew Hudgins’s The Joker, part memoir, part joke book, is so fresh and original that it seems without precursor. Like a good joke, it doubles our vision, inserts anarchy into logic, pleases us with its felicities of phrasing, and stuns us with a truth we recognize two beats after we hear it.