JAMES McCONKEY’S COURT OF MEMORY

James McConkey, Goldwin Smith Professor of English Literature, emeritus, at Cornell, is the author or editor of fifteen books, among them his meditative nonfiction narrative, Court of Memory, a work that falls between fiction and memoir, and might be called an autobiographical novel. The great Ray Bradbury has said that McConkey “writes prose the only way … Continue reading

WRITER’S QUOTE FOR AUGUST 2018

This month’s writer’s quote comes from English novelist David Stephen Mitchell (b 1969), best known for his novel Cloud Atlas (2004), which was  shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and made into a movie in 2012. “A novel is like a pair of cargo pants. A short story is more like Lycra bike shorts.” “Rewriting … Continue reading

ROB COWEN’S COMMON GROUND

Rob Cowen’s beautifully written book, Common Ground, was among my research reading for a WIP. An award-winning British journalist, Cowen explores with meticulous detail a bit of edge-land — a tangle of wood, meadow, field and river — on the outskirts of his hometown of Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England. Cowen’s writing is precise, poetic and intense. Here … Continue reading

ROBERT MACFARLANE’S LANDMARKS

Some time back I finished reading Robert Macfarlane’s Sunday Times bestseller, Landmarks. Macfarlane is the author of several outstanding books about landscape and language. In Landmarks, he explores the linguistic and literary terrain of Great Britain, Shetlands to Cornwall. The book has been described as “a joyous meditation on land and language”, which it is. … Continue reading

WRITER’S QUOTE FOR JULY 2018

British novelist and essayist Martin  Louis Amis (b 1949) is best known for his novels Money (1984) and London Fields (1989). “Any time you are  alone with your thoughts, you are  working.” “I always do my draft in long hand because even the ink is part of the flow.” “Don’t dumb down. Always write for … Continue reading

WINSTON GRAHAM’S POLDARK’S CORNWALL

As anyone who has been captured by the BBC series POLDARK knows, Cornwall itself is a character in Winston Graham’s engaging tale. The rugged wind-blown cliffs, the pounding sea, the empty beaches, the haunted moors. Graham’s Poldark’s Cornwall was first published in 1983. A new 2015 edition, with an introduction by Graham’s son Andrew, is replete … Continue reading

WRITER’S QUOTE FOR JUNE 2018

William Wordsworth (1770-1850), was one of the stars of the Romantic Age in English literature. He was also Britain’s poet laureate from 1843 to his death in 1850. Here are just a couple of his inspired words about the craft. “Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.” “To begin, begin.”

THE LETTERS OF SYLVIA PLATH

Having made my laborious way through Volume I of The Letters of Sylvia Plath (1940-1956–well before her suicide,) I found myself distinctly unimpressed with her personality. She was one of the most singularly self-centered people I’ve ever encountered. But the genius of her writing is often apparent in these letters, as the following excerpts show. … Continue reading

REMEMBERING MY MOTHER, EDNA EBERTT, ON MOTHER’S DAY

MY MOTHER’S HANDS There is this space at the end of the day Before the long black echo of night, Before the moon flings out its shimmer of icy stars In a flux of silver, like blown glass. There is an emptiness just beyond the sunset That once and yet belongs to my mother’s hands. … Continue reading

FOR EARTH DAY 2018

“Deep peace on the running wave to you. Deep peace on the flowing air to you. Deep peace on the quiet earth to you. Deep peace on the shining stars to you. Deep peace on the gentle night to you, Moon and stars pour their healing light on you. Deep peace to you.”

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