Writing, Reading, and Revising: Soul Work

Before I started studying poetry writing, I littered my work with the word soul. What was poetry but the soul making itself known?  How else to talk when making an exploration of emotions but to use the word?  John Donne, who I had studied in college, did: Our two souls therefore, which are one, Though … Continue reading

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Creating Rich Scenes Like the Pros

In the conversation we posted last week between Kaylie Jones and Beverly Donofrio, you read about what these two authors think about the similarities and differences between memoir and fiction. Kaylie Jones states: “…memoir becomes an exploration of the author’s life choices” and “In memoir, the writer is allowed to draw conclusions for us.” In … Continue reading

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A Conversation Between Memoirist Beverly Donofrio and Novelist Kaylie Jones

In February 2005, old friends, novelist Kaylie Jones and memoirist Beverly Donofrio reunited to teach together in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. In the months before the workshops, they conversed with one another about their respective genres and the experience of having movies made of their books. The following is the transcript of that conversation … Continue reading

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A Note to Students of Writing

I once created a daily writing exercise for myself by opening the dictionary to random pages and, eyes closed, circling my finger until it landed on a word.  “This is something like throwing the I Ching,” I thought.  I read the definitions of the words my fingers landed on and wrote the words at the … Continue reading

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Grace Jackson Creates a Community of Voices

In 2002, Grace Jackson wanted to start a community-based literary magazine filled with the voices of her women neighbors on Bainbridge Island, WA. To find her contributors, she distributed a flier at coffee houses, bookstores and libraries near her home. The flier asked women to: Tell me where you are in the world right now. … Continue reading

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