Writing Wisdom: Harding, Horrocks, & Cross-Smith

Originally posted on Kathy Fish:

Some things I’ve read recently by some of my favorite writers that have fired me up, taught me something, and/or inspired me and maybe you too!

This, from Paul Harding, author of Tinkers (one of my favorite novels) and Enon (which I haven’t read yet):

“Your books will suffer from bad readers no matter what, so write them for brilliant, big-brained and big-hearted people who will love you for feeding their minds with feasts of beauty.”

The rest of his 5 Writing Tips can be found here, at the Publisher’s Weekly site,

And this, from another favorite writer, Caitlin Horrocks (you should read her collection, This is Not Your City, if you haven’t yet…I reviewed it at the Lit Pub). Here is what Horrocks says about “the bad idea”:

“…as a writer, the things that are difficult are the things I want to do, and I want to…

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Being About Aboutness

Originally posted on BIG OTHER:

The title of Joshua Landy’s How to do Things with Fictions should not lead you to believe that what is written therein is anything like a recipe book or a technical manual; no, instead, what Landy’s short book is after is proving that fictions do things at all—that is, rather than being about things, a fiction does things for its reader—or can—a claim, he argues, that is no longer obvious if it ever was. The reason for our dull-witted view of fiction is that “For some reason, we have systematically—albeit unwittingly—engaged in a long-term campaign of misinformation, relentlessly persuading would-be readers that fictions are designed to give them useful advice.” You can argue with that last part, but if you read the book, you’ll see that’s just the first of our reading deficiencies: if we look to fiction for advice [on how to live our lives], it can only be…

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Pre-order books by Earley & McCarthy while you can!

Originally posted on Horse Less Press:

New Nulls   Poems Descriptive Cover










Tim Earley’s Poems Descriptive of Rural Life and Scenery is headed to the printer shortly, and Pattie McCarthy’s Nulls is in the final proofreading stage.

Right now you can pre-order each book for $13 (free shipping + $2 off cover price) or the pair for $24 (free shipping + $6 off the cover price). We are a small press run in the non-existent spare time on the non-existent expendable budget of a couple adjunct instructors, and we value your pre-orders SO MUCH. In fact, they make our whole enterprise possible. Please pre-order now, get a great discount and some wonderful books, and help us keep doing what we do!

We’re so excited about these beauties!

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Writing about Reading: A Quick Guide to Quick Literary Essays

Originally posted on TWO WRITING TEACHERS:

Writing About Reading Blog Series FINAL (1)

For years, I taught the unit Literary Essays: Writing about Reading in Lucy Calkins’s previous Writing Units of Study, co-written with Medea Mcevoy (2006). The work that my students produced was typically solid and thoughtful. I was impressed with the way in which the unit supported them in developing skills at the intersection of reading and writing, the way it pushed them toward deeper interpretation and analysis of texts while also supporting them in writing well. The unit moves students thoughtfully through reading short texts, developing interpretations through writing, then selecting a thesis and evidence and crafting an essay over the course of about 4-6 weeks.

When I was working full time as staff developer for the Reading and Writing Project, I was introduced to a whole new way of thinking about essay writing. Kathleen Tolan, Senior Deputy Director for the Project, spearheaded some very exciting work on teaching students to…

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On the Making of Electricity : Ravi Shankar

Originally posted on BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog:

Ravi Shankar discusses the origins of his recent Brevity essay “Electricity“:

shankarThough born in Washington DC, the son of Indian immigrants, I always have had a particular affinity to India, which I still consider my spiritual and ancestral homeland. I try to return to see family every few years and these experiences were utterly transformative when I was a young boy, a sort of existential suspension of the person—an American, an athlete, and cool (whatever that meant)—I was trying desperately to become. In India, I could eat with my hands off banana leafs, bathe in rivers, and have my head shaved at temples.

I was simultaneously an insider and an outsider there, someone who looked like the teeming others who surrounded me, but knew little of the language and none of the cultural idioms or social mores, a fact that became more and more apparent to me as I…

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Book review: ‘When She Woke’ by Hillary Jordan

Originally posted on write meg!:

When She WokeWhen Hannah Payne wakes, she might as well be in a nightmare.

Sentenced to life as a Red, one of many Chromes forced to scrape by in this new hardscrabble America, Hannah tries to process the weary path that’s brought her to an isolated cell before delivery to a cult — a stunning turn of events after a lifetime of loyalty and piety to God. Her bright red skin now broadcasts her crime to the world: murder. Murder of her unborn child.

In a world where disease has rendered many women infertile, abortion is seen as the ultimate sin against church and state. And now that the lines between religion and government are increasingly blurred, no one can speak freely — or defend the defenseless.

Life as a Chrome — a criminal whose skin has been genetically altered to match their offense — is a stunning, cruel wake-up for a…

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Awful Interview: Trey Moody

Originally posted on Vouched Books:

ttnmoodyRecently, Sarabande Books released Trey Moody’s debut, full-length collection of poems, Thought That Nature; the book explores  our relationship with nature through a deeply meditative and musically-charged poetics.

In her forward to Thought That Nature, Cole Swenson, who selected his manuscript as the winner of the 2012 Kathryn A. Morton Prize in Poetry, argues that Moody’s poems imbue the concept of nature with a “tension” replete with a “historical dimension” (vii) that challenges us to more thoroughly consider what nature actually is and how we respond to it. To this end, she claims that the poems in Moody’s book exhume the “subtleties” of nature that, ultimately, “shape our lives” (ix).

I was lucky enough to meet and become acquainted with Trey Moody in autumn of 2009 when he first arrived in Lincoln, NE. As earlier as my first encounters with him and his writing, I was struck by the deft…

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