The Art of Fiction

I’m reading “The Art of Fiction” by James Salter, an essay full of treasures, like for example this, on the language of Isaac Babel: It’s like a handful of radium—a brilliance you would never imagine. and then – on writing: Of course, not every word can be the perfect word. Not every room overlooks the river….

Floating

Louise Glück on creativity Claire Luchette: What are the seeds of your work? Do your poems grow from a feeling you want to convey, or a question you want to ask? Louise Glück: No. I never have the slightest thing in mind. In fact, I am suspicious of my existing ideas, my conscious thoughts and…

Poets ought not to be far from their words

I enjoy reading books on writing. It’s a great way to situate oneself in the tribe, as a writer amongst writers. The best books on writing offers a sense of belonging and purpose. This year I have read six such books, and am currently immersed in book no. 7; Diane Lockward’s The Crafty Poet. A Portable Workshop….

Unhorsing

“I am suggesting that the radical of poetry lies not in the resolution of doubts but in their proliferation” ― C.D. Wright   I’m reading C. D. Wright’s last published work: The Poet, The Lion, Talking Pictures, El Farolito, A Wedding in St. Roch, The Big Box Store, The Warp in the Mirror, Spring, Midnights,…

Oh hell, here’s that dark wood again –

What I like about Kim Addonizio’s poem “Divine”? Actually … a lot; but most of all how she combines the divine and the profane and puts herself in Dante’s shoes, as if they were her own. And of course — they are! Divine by Kim Addonizio Oh hell, here’s that dark wood again. You thought you’d…

Notes on the craft of poetry

Further notes on The best american poetics Mark Strand says: I believe that all poetry is formal in that it exists within limits, limits that are either inherited by tradition or limits that language itself imposes. Form it should be remembered is a word that has several meanings, some which are near opposites. form has to…

Writing as a Way of Healing

I do not believe in quick-fixes, especially not in the field of writing … or personal development. Actually, I have spent most of my time developing & nurturing a rather darker outlook on life. I guess this, my own skepticism verging on grumpiness, is the reason why I was taken by surprise by Louise DeSalvo’s Writing as a Way of Healing:…

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

one of the goals of writing about an experience is to mythologize it— Saturday morning, nothing scheduled – open day ahead of me; in my world this comes pretty close to happiness – ! After a short walk with my dog, I sat down to read The Thoreau of the Suburbs by Diana Saverin, a…

On walking

Yesterday I read The Situation and the Story: The Art of Personal Narrative by Vivian Gornick. It struck me that Gornick, in this book, first and foremost present herself as a great reader, a guide. Through clear and presise analyzes she makes her own readers (us) see how & why a text works. Very pragmatic, very useful. The Situation and…