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One More Round

As an online companion to our article in the October 2012 issue, read more tales about writerly drinking legends Oscar Wilde, Dylan Thomas, Edgar Allan Poe, and Dorothy Parker.

As an online companion to our article in the October 2012 issue, read more tales about writerly drinking legends Oscar Wilde, Dylan Thomas, Edgar Allan Poe, and Dorothy Parker.

By Maija Zummo

OSCAR WILDE

“Work is the curse of the drinking classes.”

Drink of choice: Absinthe

While Wilde enjoyed iced champagne, he spent his time in Paris courting the green fairy, writing about absinthe’s hallucinogenic effects: “The first stage is like ordinary drinking, the second when you begin to see monstrous and cruel things, but if you can persevere you will enter in upon the third stage, where you see things that you want to see, wonderful curious things.”

DYLAN THOMAS

“An alcoholic is someone who you don’t like, who drinks as much as you do.”

Drink of choice: Whiskey

The Welsh poet, before going gentle into that good night, was mythologized like a rock star. Writer Elizabeth Hardwick once said of his readings, “Would he arrive only to break down on the stage? Would some dismaying scene take place at the faculty party? Would he be offensive, violent, obscene? These were alarming and yet exciting possibilities.”

EDGAR ALLAN POE

“Quaintest thoughts—queerest fancies / Come to life and fade away; / What care I how time advances? / I am drinking ale today.” —“Lines on Ale

Drink of choice: Whatever he could afford

The first well-known American to try to earn a living through writing alone, Poe was frequently broke, and often discharged from editing jobs for drunkenness. In a mystery on par with such a dark legend, a black-cloaked stranger known as the "Poe Toaster" visited the author’s grave in the wee morning hours of his birthday for more than 60 years to toast him with a glass of French cognac.

DOROTHY PARKER

"I like to have a Martini/ Two at the very most/ After three I'm under the table/ After four I'm under my host.”

Drink of choice: “A dear little whiskey sour”

This witty writer, poet and journalist enjoyed portraying drinking and Jazz Age nightlife in her writing. Despite her love for the whiskey sour, she immortalized the martini in the above quip, found on cocktail napkins everywhere.

Karen Hamilton: On Cause and Effect

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International bestselling author Karen Hamilton discusses the “then and now” format of her new domestic thriller, The Ex-Husband.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: The Ultimatum

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Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, have a character give or face an ultimatum.

6 Things Every Writer Should Know About Sylvia Beach and Shakespeare and Company

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Sylvia Beach was friend to many writers who wrote what we consider classics today. Here, author Kerri Maher shares six things everyone should know about her and Shakespeare and Company.

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Author Katherine Quevedo takes an analytical look at the creative process in hopes to help other writers find writing success.

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Award-winning author Nick Petrie discusses how he listened to the story that wanted to be told in his new Peter Ash thriller novel, The Runaway.

Poetry Prompt

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Every Wednesday, Robert Lee Brewer shares a prompt and an example poem to get things started on the Poetic Asides blog. This week, write a punishment poem.

Jacquelyn Mitchard: On Forgiveness in Fiction

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Award-winning novelist Jacquelyn Mitchard discusses the chance meeting that led to her new novel, The Good Son.

Sea Bound

Sea Bound

Every writer needs a little inspiration once in a while. For today's prompt, write about someone connected to the sea.

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