Angles on Dialogue
In my opinion, the quicker a story or novel can get to second-level or third-level dialogue between its characters, the more engaging it is to our imaginations, and the more lively and interesting the fiction is to read.
An Interview with Mark Jarman
Writing about my faith has deepened my faith. How could it not?
The gradual intrusion of self-consciousness is one inevitable side effect of an education in art. To read ten poems, or a hundred, is one thing. To read ten thousand is another. As we internalize more of the tradition, and become progressively less shielded by our ignorance, we realize how local our upbringing has been, how much there might be to know, and perhaps even, sigh, how limited our talent.
An Interview with Sigrid Nunez
When I write, I don't do full drafts. I write page by page, and everything I write is born out of what comes before, so the story grows out of itself. I never know what's going to happen till I get there.
Poetry & Compassion
In a famous incident during the recent Balkan wars, an old man carried a chair and a cello into the Sarajevo street known as Sniper's Alley. He sat down, arranged his limbs around the instrument, and began to play Albinoni's "Adagio in G." For the next eight minutes or so, no shots were fired. The war came to a halt.
The Algebra of Fiction
What should we say of metafiction to those who aspire to write "good" fiction? The writing teacher and editor in me usually declares, cease, desist, rethink. Yet the writer in me, faced with an unwieldy third draft of my novel-in-progress, in which a moderately intrusive meta-fictive narrator rears its troublesome head-as such narrators will-glanced at her bookshelf of current and recent reading.
Leaving the Window Open: Refusing Closure and Avoiding an Arc in Nonfiction Writing
...this lack of background or conclusion is also because that's exactly how I imagine war feels: no beginning, no end, no point, no history, no choice, but there you are, wet or hot or paranoid or lucky or dead. The momentum is unrelenting, and the quiet moments are almost the worst-because it's too quiet, because it's been too quiet for too long, because everyone's superstitious as hell.
Why Marianne Moore Still Counts
As a native Brooklynite, I take particular pleasure from the fact that Marianne Moore lived out her days and wrote much of her poetry in Brooklyn, and that she has a cement stepping stone commemorating her achievements, along the Celebrity Path in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.