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Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond on ending "Dear Sugar"; Best poetry books of 2018

Jenny Xie. Photo: Teresa Mathew

As their long-running advice column “Dear Sugar” comes to an end, Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond reflect on the art of giving and receiving advice. “After much reflection we have decided that it’s time to shift our focus to other creative endeavors — namely, our next books,” Strayed explains of the decision. Almond reflected on why the two started the project in the first place. “The design flaw in most advice columns, I felt, was that their authors took themselves too seriously,” he remembered. “I realized the flaw in my approach, which is that people write to advice columnists because they want to be taken seriously. They want permission to feel what they’re feeling, not a set of instructions for self-improvement.”

Hanif Abdurraqib, Jenny Xie, Tommy Pico, and many more poets recommend their favorite poetry books of 2018.

Columbia Journalism Review rounds up the biggest media stories of 2018.

At the New Republic, staff writers Josephine Livingstone and Jeet Heer consider the art of criticism, and what critics should do when they change their mind about a work they’ve reviewed.

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