We’ve teamed up with The Standard, Warby Parker, PEN, and author Hettie Jones to challenge you to write us a short story, no more than one-thousand words, inspired by the Dog Days of Summer.

Among the items you can win are a complimentary copy of our new anthology, Object Lessons: The Paris Review Presents the Art of the Short Story, and a complimentary subscription to the magazine. Oh yeah, and a three-night stay at The Standard Spa Miami Beach over Miami Book Fair in November.

Full details at StandardCulture.com.

My folder of poems
labeled “weather” holds
no clues as to whether
or not there’ll be any

weather to count on, say,
a hard rain like “little nails,” or
that deluge “plunging radiant”

now that we’ve plunged into war
and wars don’t stop like rain stops

like that last slow drizzle
onto the old tin bathroom vent

sweet hint of growth
in the soft wet drift north

fire or ice, fire or ice

are you breathing, are you lucky enough
to be breathing

Hettie Jones, Weather

This poem has one of my favorite ending lines ever.

I read ‘Widow Basquiat’ by Jennifer Clement, about the relationship between Suzanne Mallouk and Jean-Michel Basquiat. It’s a really quick, easy to read book. Very moving and detailed and tells you all of the bad things about Jean-Michel which you can completely imagine but haven’t been told before. She talks about drugs and violence and insecurity and vulnerability and it feels very close and accessible and beautiful, I think, and raw… Don’t usually like the word 'raw’ but it seems very raw. There is no other word for that.

I like reading about women who loved 'great’ men. I like hearing their side of the story. Here are some others that I have read and enjoyed:


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Carolyn Cassady, wife of Neal’s, book 'Off the Road’ about her relationships with Neal, Jack Kerouac and friendship with Allen Ginsberg.


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Joyce Johnson’s Minor Characters. Chronicles her two year relationship with Jack Keroauc circa 1956/7


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How I Became Hettie Jones by Hettie Jones, about her relationship with LeRoi Jones/Amiri Baraka. This one is very sad. I guess they’re all very sad, but I really like them. 

Are these books only appealing to women? Can a man read one of them and let me know?