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An invitation to join me in the work of writing

Dear Writers,

Take a deep breath, and enter a serious discussion of the craft and issues of writing. This blog is not a daily report of events in my life, though it will certainly let you know what I am up to as a teacher and writer. It is not a regular response to the writing or publishing world, but rather aims to help open the borders that would contain that “world”. This blog will not duplicate the extensive lists of links and other resources useful to writers, though I will certainly refer to what has enriched my writing life.

But since language is the most collective creation we have, a portal to the worlds outside of us and within us, there is much to be said in community about how it works, and how to access it fully. And since language is a powerful tool of resistance to what stifles the voice and full participation of many, sharing ways to free the voice can only work towards making a better world, so achingly needed.

Here’s how this blog will work: writers at any level of experience and desire are welcome to send in questions about the craft and issues of writing. While I was a poet for many years, in the last decade I have concentrated more on the writing of story, but my experience with poetry and with nonfiction as well as fiction is extensive. What is most delicious to me are questions about any of the elements of story and the development of voice and character; the ways that genres blur and intersect; the tensions that affect language and story; navigating through the mysterious waters of the writing process; and anything else you can think of!

Twice a month I will respond in a blog entry to a question I select, with a developed response and one or more suggestions for writing explorations that will lead into and illuminate your understanding of the matter. (I do not offer writing exercises, a word that suggests to me the repetitive, the overly directed, the straight line. All roads into this work I believe are wonderfully snaky.) I have used this question and answer format with great results in a number of workshops. As Lewis Hyde discusses in The Gift: The Erotic Life of Property, art exists within both the market economy and the gift economy. We all know the competition and demands of the marketplace, and how it can flatten both spirit and creativity, how it can work to make invisible most of the world. This blog aims to work in community with writers who know that full development of their gifts, of their story and voice, is an urgent, exciting, and necessary task, for self as well as for community.

If you feel that you and your writing benefit from what you find here, you are welcome to explore working with me whether in online classes ; an in-person workshop or class, either locally, nationally, or abroad (see Calendar of Upcoming Events; see Workshops and Retreats Offered: Descriptions; see Workshops Abroad); or with manuscript consultations or individual coaching sessions for writers, in-person or long-distance (see Individual Services for Writers). Ah, enter The Marketplace!