Tuesday, June 30, 2009

William Stafford:

Poetry is the kind of thing you have to see from the corner of your eye. You can be too well prepared for poetry...It's like a very faint star. If you look straight at it you can't see it, but if you look a little to one side it is there...If you analyze it away, it's gone. It would be like boiling a watch to find out what makes it tick.

Writing the Australian Crawl, p. 3

Monday, June 29, 2009

Anne Lamott:

But so many of us can be soothed by writing: think of how many times you have opened a book, read one line, and said, "Yes!" And I want to give people that feeling, too, of connection, communion.

Bird by Bird, p. 204

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Tobias Wolff:

A true piece of writing is a dangerous thing. It can change your life.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Mary Pipher:

I am not interested in weapons, whether words or guns. I want to be part of the rescue team for our tired, overcrowded planet. The rescuers will be those people who help other people to think clearly, and to be honest and open-minded. They will be an antidote to those people who disconnect us. They will de-objectify, rehumanize, and make others more understandable and sympathetic.

Writing to Change the World, p. 5

Thursday, June 25, 2009

James Baldwin:

You write in order to change the world, knowing perfectly well that you probably can't, but also knowing that literature is indispensable to the world...The world changes according to the way people see it, and if you alter, even by a millimeter, the way...people look at reality, then you can change it.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Anne Lamott:

You are going to have to give and give and give, or there's no reason for you to be writing.

Bird by Bird, p. 202

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

William Stafford:

Many remarks from writers give this kind of glimpse into how they actually feel when entering the activity; frequently they say something like, "It was only recently that I was able to write this poem." The implication is that writing is something other than just an intention and the craft to carry it out. Writing is a reckless encounter with whatever comes along.

Writing the Australian Crawl, p. 67

Monday, June 22, 2009

Bob Dylan:

I believe that things are handed to you when you're ready to make use of them. You wouldn't recognize them unless you'd come through certain experiences.

Rolling Stone, Issue 1078, p. 45

Friday, June 19, 2009

Anne Lamott:

But when you open the closet door and let what was inside out, you can get a rush of liberation and even joy.

You cannot write out of someone else's big dark place; you can only write out of your own.

Bird by Bird, p. 199

Thursday, June 18, 2009

William Stafford:

Writers have many things to be careful not to know -- and strangely one of the things not to know is how to write. Sometimes writers who have wandered into good poems have become too adept. Auden was one. Someplace he said he feared repeating himself as the years went by, and this fear shocked me, for it undercut a view I have long cherished -- that a writer is not trying for a product, but accepting sequential signals and adjustments toward an always-arriving present.

Writing the Australian Crawl, p. 66

Friday, June 12, 2009

Anne Lamott:

Truth seems to want expression.

Bird by Bird, p. 199

Thursday, June 11, 2009

William Stafford:

One who composes in language confronts opportunity too varied for fixed rules, or for violation of rules: from the emergency of the encounter emerges the new realization, the now poem.

Writing the Australian Crawl, p. 55

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Anne Lamott:

We write to expose the unexposed...to turn the unspeakable into words...

Bird by Bird, p. 198

Monday, June 8, 2009

William Stafford:

This attitude toward the immediate experience of the world may indicate why in planning to consider writing I reminded myself to be alert, to be aware of the nowness of things -- the feel of the day, the temperature, the kind of room, the people, what they said.

Writing the Australian Crawl, p. 47