February 2009

In Defense of Starting Early

Michael P. Kardos
It's true that, in the abstract, "starting late" gets us to the heart of things fast, focusing the story right away on the sticky, unpredictable mess that constitutes engaging, complex fiction.

Narrating Childhood: The Art of Writing About Bygone Youth in Creative Nonfiction

Laura Nathan
...the distance and closeness that one must maintain in writing about her childhood. The closeness is what allows us to feel the energy and traumas of childhood as a child might, while the distance enables the writer and readers to understand those experiences as only adults could.

Tom Wayman, A Poet Reconsidered: A Conversation

Diane Guichon
Poet and fiction writer Tom Wayman spent Winter term 2007 as the Fulbright Visiting Research Chair in Creative Writing at Arizona State University. He teaches writing and literature classes at the University of Calgary, where he has initiated a graduate-level creative writing pedagogy course. In 2007, Wayman's seventeenth collection of poems since 1973, High Speed Through Shoaling Water, was published by Harbour. The same year, Wayman's first collection of short fiction, Boundary Country, was published jointly by Eastern Washington University Press and Canada's Thistledown Press. Winnipeg's Turnstone Press issued a collection of his novellas, A Vain Thing, in 2007 as well.

An Interview with Anita Diamant

Celia Jeffries
Although she is best known for her 1997 New York Times best-selling novel The Red Tent, Anita Diamant began her writing career in 1975 as a freelance journalist, winning awards for articles that appeared regularly in the Boston Globe Magazine, Yankee, Self, and Parents, among others. She authored five books about contemporary Jewish practice before turning to fiction. Since then she has published two other novels, Good Harbor and The Last Days of Dogtown, as well as Pitching My Tent, a selection of essays. She is currently working on her fourth novel. Diamant spent her childhood in Newark, New Jersey, in a home filled with diverse languages. She earned a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from Washington University in St. Louis and a Master's Degree in English from the State University of New York at Binghamton.

Politics & the Imagination: How to Get Away with Just About Anything (in Ten Not-So-Easy Lessons)

Sarah Stone
Another way of sneaking heroes into political literature is to establish a world in which heroism is impossible, as in Jose Saramago's Blindness. Here, among all the (literally as well as metaphorically) blind, just one woman can see, and she uses her vision to make life more bearable for those around her.

The Cosmic Poetry of Octavio Paz

Pablo Medina
If prose is language in time, poetry is language in and out of time. Prose is a march, moving forward via the syntactical complexities of its sentences. Poetry is a dance, reveling in the cycles of rhythm and rhyme that its lines provide, broken here and there as they are without regard to margins or the motes of punctuation.

The Rise of Creative Writing & the New Value of Creativity

Steve Healey
What has been missing from the impressive success story of Creative Writing is an equally strong attention to its pedagogy and theory; in other words, the field has tended to avoid thinking about how it teaches and what assumptions it has about language and literature.