Tom Larson on Memoir

These are a few selections from a wonderful new book from Ohio University Press, Thomas Larson's The Memoir and the Memoirist: "Only by lingering on something outside the self, with which he has had intimate experience, can the author disclose himself. Memoir is a relational form." (22) "[T]he subject of a memoir is often the … Continue reading Tom Larson on Memoir

Next Big Thing

Laura Valeri (fictionista extraordinaire and my wonderful former colleague at Georgia Southern University, author of the beautiful book The Kind of Things Saints Do and the forthcoming linked story collection, Safe in Your Head) asked me to participate in a blog-tagging thing called "The Next Big Thing." Basically, I get to answer these questions and … Continue reading Next Big Thing

Creativity and Death from Ruth Ozeki

"I think there's a powerful link between creativity and death. We make things because we lose things: memories, people we love, and ultimately our very selves. Our acts of creation are ways of grappling with death: we imagine it, struggle to make sense of it, forestall or defeat it. When I sat down to write … Continue reading Creativity and Death from Ruth Ozeki

Floyd Skloot

Floyd Skloot, author of many books of poetry, four novels, and excellent works of nonfiction including the new "The Wink of the Zenith" and "In the Shadow of Memory" (from University of Nebraska Press), gave a moving craft talk at Ashland University in 2008. This is the only talk on the craft of writing that's … Continue reading Floyd Skloot

Quotes on Writing

Vivian Gornick, The Situation and the Story: "I began to read the greats in essay writing--and it wasn't their confessing voices I was responding to, it was their truth-speaking personae. By which I mean that organic wholeness of being in a narrator that the reader experiences as reliable; the one we can trust will take … Continue reading Quotes on Writing

Dagoberto Gilb on Writing Essays

On writing essays: "I assure you, every one of them has given me such pleasure and satisfaction, the same kind I had when I used to cut wood with my skilsaw and drive nails and build.... Each word is a rock I've placed personally into a wall--five go in and I pick through a pile … Continue reading Dagoberto Gilb on Writing Essays

Heidi Cullen and “let’s imagine”

Heidi Cullen's recent book, The Weather of the Future: Heat Waves, Extreme Storms, and Other Scenes from a Climate-Changed Planet seems like it should be required reading for anyone living in this era of global warming (and that would be all of us). I found that it pushed me past my own apocalyptic denial; Cullen … Continue reading Heidi Cullen and “let’s imagine”

Write Anyway

My students often talk about facing the blank page and not knowing what to say, not "feeling it." I go on and on about how I make myself write for an hour, no matter what (and that's qualified by days where chaos intervenes, and the weekends where mom doesn't even try to write). Today I'll … Continue reading Write Anyway

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