Cover Photo: This photograph shows two men sitting on a sidewalk with typewriters sitting on small tables in front of them. Both men are wearing hats and look classicly writerly; one man stares directly into the camera. At their feet, a sign reads, "Poet for hire. Pay what you want."
Photograph by Christian Erfurt/Unsplash

What to Do When Work Drains Your Creative Drive

It’s a bitter irony, courtesy of capitalism: writers working as writers to support the writing we are too spent to do.

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Ben Purkert is the author of the forthcoming novel The Men Can't Be Saved (Overlook, 2023). His poetry collection For the Love of Endings (Four Way Books, 2018) was named one of Adroit's Best Poetry Books of the Year. His writing appears in The New Yorker, Poetry, The Nation, Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, and elsewhere. The founding editor of Guernica's Back Draft interview series, he teaches at Rutgers. You can read more of his work at or on Twitter (@BenPurkert).