Guest Bloggers Archive

Abrazos, Adrienne, and The Revolutionary Idea

Author: | Categories: Writing 1 Comment
I’ve been thinking about my old friend and first teacher Adrienne Rich every day since she died on March 27th in Santa Cruz and I was thinking today of an old funny moment in the sun I had with her and her partner Michelle on their deck in 1997,

Those Who Can, Teach

Author: | Categories: Uncategorized 3 Comments
It’s a question every newly minted, card-carrying poet/fiction writer faces after graduating from an MFA program: should I go and teach creative writing to pay the bills and make connections while I finish my Great American Poetry Collection/Novel? Or should I get as far away from academia as possible?

In Response: Five Books That Changed Me

Author: | Categories: Reading, Writing No comments
A few weeks back, Eric Weinstein had a great post about the five books that changed the way he wrote. His post inspired me to think about my own influences. I realized that, though I am a short story writer, some of the most important influences on my writing

On Generosity of Thought—a Writer’s Gifts

Author: | Categories: Writing 5 Comments
On the June afternoon when I first joined Lesley’s MFA faculty, during a break between meetings, I carried my coffee to an outdoor table where several other faculty members were sitting and asked if I could join them. Wayne Brown, the Trinidadian writer I’d only just met, looked up.

Exit Strategy

Author: | Categories: Writing No comments
In six weeks, I’ll be done with my MFA. No more workshops, no more craft classes, no more hanging out in the creative writers’ house, no more external structure or deadlines. It’ll be back to the years B.P.S. (Before Poetry School): making my own schedule for writing, revising, and

Drifting House: an Interview with Krys Lee

Author: | Categories: Writing No comments
For this blog post, I am interviewing Krys Lee, author of the short story collection, Drifting House, published this year by Viking/Penguin. Drifting House follows the lives of Koreans both in their homeland and in the United States. According to the book’s website, “Alternating between the lives of Koreans

The Physics of Fiction, the Music of Philosophy: an Interview with Rebecca Newberger Goldstein

Author: | Categories: Writing 1 Comment
Rebecca Newberger Goldstein’s astonishments as a philosopher and as a novelist are too numerous to list here. Already launched in her career as a philosophy professor, she reached a moment in her own life when philosophical inquiry no longer felt like a broad enough arena in which to explore

Pro Forma, Pro poetica

Author: | Categories: Writing 1 Comment
Some of you would accuse me of never having had any formal instruction in Latin. Some of you would be correct! If you crack open an issue of a nationally distributed literary magazine these days, you’re unlikely to see a lot of traditional sonnets, villanelles, ballads, or other formal

The Way We Talk

Author: | Categories: Writing, Writing Advice 4 Comments
When I write, I often struggle with writing what falls within the quotation marks because I’ve been told conflicting things over the years about how to write dialogue. For most of my writing career, I tried to write dialogue the way my writing instructors taught me. An often-taught rule

Reading Devoutly, Writing Devoutly

Author: | Categories: Reading, Writing 1 Comment
Although I’m not religious, there are days when I wish I could teleport my writing students back for just a few sessions of my childhood religious-study classes. Surely, those teachers who once schooled me in old-fashioned text learning didn’t think they were training me to be a fiction writer.