I visited Istanbul for almost a month recently, and while I was there, I spent a morning with members of Writing It Real member Yesim Cimcoz’s Yazi Evi (Writing House–you can read Yesim’s essay on the project’s beginning and growth here.) She videotaped my presentation, done in the form of questions and answers. In the video below, you will see and hear me with my translator talking to a group of 20 people. Off-screen, Yesim asks me questions. Later, I answer questions from audience members and from those emailed in by other Yazi Evi members who were watching live-streaming.
I hope you will watch in perhaps 20-minute sessions as the presentation is long. Like me, I think you’ll get used to hearing the translator and then my words. I so enjoyed talking with those I met in Turkey who are writing from personal experience, something that has come later to Turkey than to the US and something that everywhere requires courage and confidence.
In the video, I share what I’ve learned from writers Benda Miller (who named and popularized “the hermit crab essay”), the poets David Wagoner and Edward Hirsch, and the novelist and short fiction writer Ron Carlson. I have tried to integrate all my experiences to answer the very good questions asked of me.
Thank you to Yesim for the opportunity, to those who have taught me along the way, and the audience members who wanted to hear from me.
Please let me know in the comment section below about what might have struck you or affirmed your commitment to the process of writing.