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Adrienne Raphel

Adrienne Raphel

Adrienne Raphel is the author of Thinking Inside the Box: Adventures with Crosswords and the Puzzling People Who Can’t Live Without Them (Penguin Press, 2020), What Was It For (Rescue Press, 2017), and the forthcoming Our Dark Academia (Rescue Press, 2022). Her essays, poetry, and criticism appear in The New Yorker, Poetry, The New Republic, The Atlantic, Paris Review Daily, Slate, Lana Turner Journal, Poets & Writers, The Iowa Review, and other publications. Born in New Jersey and raised in Vermont, Raphel holds a PhD in English from Harvard University, an MFA in poetry from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and an AB (summa cum laude) from Princeton University. She is currently a Lecturer in the Princeton Writing Program.
Chess Pieces

Chess, Unlike War, is a Game of Perfect Information

The late poet Charles Simic was a chess prodigy who used the queen and her court to conjure a hellscape that invoked a childhood in war-time Belgrade.
Fifteen puzzle

Square Space

Not so fast, Wordle. The Fifteen Puzzle, a challenge that inspired poetry, has obsessed fans for more than a century.
Women walk on a bustling city street looking at store windows

Grand Illusions

By the time L. Frank Baum introduced the world to Dorothy and the gang, he’d already made his name as a shop window dresser par excellence.