Category: highlighted quote

“Poetry should be in the middle of the civic discussion of what’s going on in this country.”

Reginald Dwayne Betts, in “Name a Song,” a conversation with Mahogany L. Browne in the November/December issue of Poets & Writers Magazine (2019)

“As I accumulated more experience of the world, I sometimes found I had to explain myself and my home to others, putting a complicated place onto maps where previously there’d been almost nothing at all. I became interested in the role of telling about a place, in talking back from the periphery to a more central cultural power, and in questions about who gets to make art and from what. The book sprang in part from a desire to sustain and express fascination for overlooked spaces and in part from an obsession with the complicated way we wed the power of storytelling to ourselves, our identities, and our communities.”

Krista Eastman, in “The New Nonfiction 2019″ in the September/October issue of Poets & Writers Magazine

“For my novel, there was a lot of world-building, during which the story evolved. There comes a point for me with any kind of research, be it historical or technical or about other cultures, when I have to let go and trust that I’ve sufficiently internalized what I need to know such that the relevant details will organically find their way into my scenes. It’s like taking the tea bag out of the water when it’s steeped just the right amount. Then it’s time to write.”

Lisa Gornick, in conversation with Christina Baker Kline in “Historical Fiction: The Pleasures and Perils of Writing About Other Eras” in the September/October issue of Poets & Writers Magazine (2019)

“I had no idea what I was doing most of the time I was writing this book. I’m frankly shocked that I managed to write a book with ‘propulsive tension.’ It definitely didn’t come easily. Most of what I write starts with a premise. I love a strange or unsettling premise, love the words what if.”

Miciah Bay Gault, on her debut novel, Goodnight Stranger, featured in “First Fiction 2019″ in the July/August issue of Poets & Writers Magazine

“I don’t see myself as a success story even though I’ve experienced success. Everything I learned along the way was a strength. If I didn’t have my communities, that many consider broken or forgotten, I wouldn’t be where I am. I don’t want to be a sob story or anybody’s project. I want to show that you can have pride no matter where you come from and joy without forsaking the pain it took to get here.”

Ocean Vuong, in a profile by Rigoberto González in the July/August issue of Poets & Writers Magazine (2019)

“It’s a numbers game, folks. The more you try, the more you succeed. The less you try, the less you succeed. This is true for everything. If you write more, you will write better. If you think about line length more, you will think about line length better. If you submit more, you will publish more. If you submit better, you will publish better.”

Camille T. Dungy, in “Say Yes to Yourself: A Poet’s Guide to Living and Writing” in the May/June issue of Poets & Writers Magazine (2019)

“If we writers have entered into literature hoping for riches and fame, then we probably deserve to be disappointed on that score. There are riches and fame to be had in tech and TV, I hear. Literature, however, both the reading and the writing of it, finds those aspirations obscene precisely because they run counter to how literature works: by the facilitating of our silent realms, those inner reservoirs of stillness….”

William Giraldi, in “Author Envy: The Art of Surviving One’s Own Personality” in the May/June issue of Poets & Writers Magazine (2019)

“I don’t actually believe in writer’s block. I believe in fallow periods. I believe fallow periods are necessary to restore the fertility of a field. I believe that if you’re not writing and you’re worried about not writing, you’re likely to one day write again. That if you’re not writing and not worried about not writing, you may have found new things to do with your time, and that’s okay too.”

Camille T. Dungy, in “Say Yes to Yourself: A Poet’s Guide to Living and Writing” in the May/June issue of Poets & Writers Magazine (2019)

“I don’t actually believe in writer’s block. I believe in fallow periods. I believe fallow periods are necessary to restore the fertility of a field. I believe that if you’re not writing and you’re worried about not writing, you’re likely to one day write again. That if you’re not writing and not worried about not writing, you may have found new things to do with your time, and that’s okay too.”

Camille T. Dungy, in “Say Yes to Yourself: A Poet’s Guide to Living and Writing” in the May/June issue of Poets & Writers Magazine (2019)

“Translators don’t just use language—we shape it. This is true of everyone, but more than most we have the opportunity to carve the language into new forms, to graft onto it from other cultures. Language is not a static phenomenon, and we are not passive consumers of it. The choices we make are amplified as we create a body of work, as we teach and pass on our process.”

Jeremy Tiang, in “The Art of Translation: Many Englishes, Many Chineses” in the March/April issue of Poets & Writers Magazine (2019)