Anis Shivani’s debut book of criticism, Against the Workshop: Provocations, Polemics, Controversies was published by Texas Review Press/Texas A&M University Consortium in November 2011. The book is a selection of his reviews and essays published over the last decade. It contains his Pushcart Prize-winning essay on creative writing programs.
In his criticism, Anis often explores the intersections of the political economy of writing with particular styles in fiction and poetry. The decline of American fiction and poetry since the peak of high modernism and the current state of writing under the MFA/creative writing regime are particular points of concern.
Anis’s criticism, reviews, and interviews appear regularly in literary journals such as the Georgia Review, Southwest Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Cambridge Quarterly, Contemporary Review (Oxford), Stand, Boulevard, Pleiades, Prairie Schooner, Colorado Review, Texas Review, Harvard Review, American Book Review, Quarterly West, Notre Dame Review, South Carolina Review, North Dakota Quarterly, Race & Class, and many others.
Online, Anis has been reviewing, writing essays, and interviewing authors frequently for the Huffington Post.
Anis is a member of the National Book Critics Circle, and frequently reviews books for newspapers and magazines such as the Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle, San Antonio Express-News, Austin American-Statesman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Charlotte Observer, St. Petersburg Times, Kansas City Star, In These Times, Brooklyn Rail, Texas Observer, and others.
Selected Criticism and Reviews
Excerpt from forthcoming essay in Boulevard: The Creative Writing/MFA System is a Closed, Undemocratic Medieval Guild System that Represses Good Writing.
White American Male Playing It Safe: The Growing Phenomenon of the Kirby Poet from South Carolina Review
What Kind of Social Poetry Was Being Written in 1940s America? from Antigonish Review
Review of Aravind Adiga from Harvard Review chosen as Powell’s Review-a-Day
The Shrinking of American Fiction from Antioch Review
Why Is American Fiction In Its Current Dismal State from Pleiades
The New Biography of Pathology: Essay-Review of Blake Bailey’s Biography of John Cheever and Tracy Daugherty’s Biography of Donald Barthelme from the Antioch Review
American’s Most Prominent Emerging Poets Respond to the Obama Administration from Huffington Post
Why the New Best American Poetry Sucks Even More Than Its Twenty-One Predecessors from Huffington Post
Working-Class Fiction Today: Review of Eric Miles Williamson from New Letters
“Second-Wave Feminist Poetry: Review of Judy Grahn” from Prairie Schooner
Review-essay of Patricia Smith, Andrei Codrescu, and Raymond McDaniel in Michigan Quarterly Review
Review-essay of books related to the final Bush years in Contemporary Review (Oxford)
Review-essay of books related to torture and terrorism in The Georgia Review
Review of Siste Viator by Sarah Manguso from New South
Review of A Disorder Peculiar to the Country by Ken Kalfus from Notre Dame Review
San Francisco Chronicle
Wetlands by Charlotte Roche
Two Marriages by Phillip Lopate
The Peep Diaries by Hal Niedzviecki
The Cardboard Universe by Christopher Miller
The 15 Most Overrated Contemporary American Writers
The 10 Best Books of 2009
The Most Anticipated Books for the Rest of 2010
15 Feisty Independent Presses
Facing Cold Hard Truths About Global Warming
Stranger in a Strangle Land: Review of Kapitoil
Oe’s Autobiographical Novel Explores Limits of Memory
St. Petersburg Times
Melissa Kwasny’s Reading Novalis in Montana
A. Manette Ansay’s Good Things I Wish For You
Paul Staborin’s After America and Simon Schama’s The American Future
Arthur Phillips’s The Song Is You
Kansas City Star
“Five Accomplished Poets Publish Collections.” Review of Kay Ryan, Edward Hirsch, Bob Hicok, Sherod Santos, and Tony Hoagland.
Review of J. M. Coetzee’s Summertime.
Review of John Banville’s The Infinities.
“Two Poets of Southwestern Alienation.” Review of Benjamin Alire Saenz and Carrie Fountain.
Review of Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon.
Review of Franz Wright.
The Texas Observer
“The House Built on Sand.” Review of books on the economic collapse.
“Illusion Nation.” Review of Chris Hedges.
The Brooklyn Rail
Interview with Chang Rae-Lee for Asia Literary Review
Interview with Calvert Morgan, Editor of HarperPerennial
The New Henry Miller Speaks Out
Is this the Funniest Novelist in America?
The Best Post 9/11 Novel: Interview with Teddy Wayne, Author of Kapitoil
Interview with Murzban Shroff
Interview with Barbara Ehrenreich