Teaching

A Book That Taught Geri Lipschultz to Write

A Book That Taught Geri Lipschultz to Write

The Book:  Ada, or Ardor:  A Family Chronicle The Author:  Vladimir Nabokov The Lessons:  buoyancy, luminosity, linguistic intrigue, vocabulary, arrogance, to meld technique and passion, beauty Like a diver she reads, the fall haphazard or designed, selected by self or recommended by others. She is also thinking of herself, how to glean from the thing […]

A Book that Taught Don Wallace to Write

A Book that Taught Don Wallace to Write

This is the first post of a new weekly feature in which we review books—fiction, poetry, how-tos . . . all genres—that teach us something about writing. The Book: A Coffin For Dimitrios The Author: Eric Ambler The Movie: The Mask of Dimitrios (1945) dir. Jean Negulesco The Lessons: Pace, Setting, Character, Dialog, The Obvious […]

Sandra Cisneros Video

Sandra packs a lot into this short take on writing, authors who influenced her, and the importance of having a writing space. Shot at her home in San Antonio. Produced by Knopfgroup.

Allan Gurganus in Harper Lee Film

Allan Gurganus in Harper Lee Film

Allan isn’t featured in this trailer of the new documentary “Hey, Boo: Harper Lee and ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’”  directed by Mary McDonagh Murphy. But he does get a nice mention in Neil Genzlinger’s New York Times review of it:  “The film’s best moments come from other authors—Wally Lamb and Allan Gurganus are particularly eloquent—who read […]

Can Writing Be Taught?

By Eric Olsen A recent PBS NewsHour segment on the Iowa Writers’ Workshop found the anchor zeroing in on the heart of the story. For as long as the Workshop has existed, he intoned, the question has been asked: Can writing be taught? And the official answer from the Workshop, on the Workshop’s very own […]

What It Means to Be a Writer Today: Part 7

Who Wrote the Book You Loved? By Don Wallace Who are the greatest writers of the 20th century? I nominate the following: Constance Garnett, C.K. Scott Moncrieff and Francis Steegmuller, Gregory Rabassa and Edith Grossman, Edwin and Willa Muir (with Eithne Wilkins and Ernest Kaiser), Norman Thomas di Giovanni, Robert Bly and, I don’t know, […]

Ray Carver Video

His influence was huge among the authors in We Wanted to Be Writers and far beyond, but he never knew how vast his talents were.

What It Means to Be a Writer Today: Part 6

The Problem with Good Books By Don Wallace When we asked whether Bad Books ruin us for Good Writing, it was a bit of a softball question, as Bad Books are part of the same cultural arc that acclaims White Castle sliders and “Dancing with the Stars” and Kill Bill, Vol 1—part of our All-American […]

Allan Gurganus Video

Allan Gurganus Video

In this fall 2010 interview, Allan talks about his mentors, his students, and the celestial peers with whom he came of age. The heady mix of talents led to what he calls “inciting each other to our best game.”

Writing Poetry Is a Way of Life: Part 4

Bloody Brain Work #4 By Marvin Bell This is the fourth and final installment in a serialization. Read Part 1>> Read Part 2>> Read Part 3>> My seminar students had dropped off but one poem to be xeroxed for class. I had mine: that made two. I was downhearted: hadn’t they been able to become […]