I love this word, woke. Technically, I guess you could say it’s a verb in the past tense, as in “I woke up and saw the light,” but recently it’s been used as an adjective to inform the present, as in “I am woke to the reasons my people came to this country and I am not proud of it anymore!” But when I think about craft, and what it means to me, which is pretty much everything—it’s a doctrine and a commitment, it’s a mantra and a fail-safe, it’s better than a cocktail or a joint or a church service—I must start with this old word newly used, this word “woke.” Because most of all, I think that craft is about being awake.
After almost twenty years of teaching in the MFA in Creative Writing program at Goddard, I am going to retire. When I first started working at Goddard, there was one campus only, in Vermont. I went to Plainfield, where I’d
What do writing, politics and the Tarot have in common? On November 7th, 2017, I was elected Town Supervisor of Pine Plains, New York.
To blog or not to blog–that is the question, writers. Whether it is nobler to essay than to blog is a serious matter, and not everyone can do it or do it well.Because to do it well, one must face the truth of blogging and accept it: it’s a genre. It has rules. It requires… attention to craft.
The link between a sense of purpose, the military, absent fathers, religious fundamentalism, and even prison, seems to me to be a sort of human need for authority…
Pay attention: how many times I have written in the margins of a student’s work: what is the purpose here? What is your reason for writing this? Where does this connect to the human spirit, to the human experience? To you? To your readers?
After graduate school, I joined a migration of writers to New York. My homeland was Skokie, a suburb outside Chicago, where our mostly old neighbors had just survived the holocaust and I could walk all by myself to their houses to play cards with them. We lived in identical small ranch houses, mine distinguished by being a place where adults spelled out the word “divorce” over my head like profanity and always in relation to other people. There was dinner every night, breakfast every morning, cocktails and television, piano lessons, BBQs on the patio, a set of World Book Encyclopedias and 12 novels, one of which was Gore Vidal’s MYRA BRECKINRIDGE, which I read on the sly when I was 12.
“When I walk down the street in jeans and a T-shirt, I’m hiding. When I wear these costumes, I am being honest about who I am.”
Goddard MFAW faculty member Darrah Cloud confesses to reading Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha, for the 11th time. “Last night, on the 71st anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, I put it down and binge-watched a television show on HBO called Master of None…”
“Would you like to see your mother one more time?” asked the huge blonde woman with a Norwegian last name, one of a set of triplets who had taken over the funeral home from their father in Scottsdale, Arizona. For
As long as I can remember, I have had my nose to the grindstone, learning early in life how to tune out the noise of the rest of the world around me. I developed such a keen muscle for exclusion
Playwright and Alum Tyler Whidden with a young actor… In an interview for the upcoming Festival, Whidden expounds on his newest play, ChocolateSexPuppyTacos (a Non-Denominational Play): Can you talk about the idea behind your play “ChocolateSex…” ? I think it’s