Category: Thoughts on Writing

The Heavy and the Light in Poetry

  I am troubled and challenged by Hannah Gamble’s How to Write a Good Rape/ Suicide/ Break-Up/ Genocide Poem, or Lightness as the Necessary Companion to All That’s Sad and Disturbing. Troubled because if we react to unrelenting sadness and…

So What If Poetry Is Dead?

The latest round of poetry-is-dead/no-it-isn’t (are we up to one-a-month yet?) kicked off with a silly article in The Washington Post responding to Richard Blanco’s inaugural poem. As might be expected, such a brightly silly piece flying in such a…

Prompts, Pedagogy, and Composition

Tanya Sasser has written a fascinating and important piece on the question of what truly constitutes student autonomy in first-year composition courses. While her piece is primarily about theory rather than practice, I want to discuss to one particular element…

Super Sad True Writing Habits

Tin House is running a series on the Super Sad True Habits of Highly Effective Writers so, as a writer who has been accused of impressive productivity on more than one occasion, I thought I’d share some of my own: I…

Redrafting (for) Your Life

Julianna Baggott has written a post applying the idea of editing to life. She wonders if writers who dislike edits to their work also avoid change in their lives. For me, change has rarely been a series of edits. What…