Read the rest of Harjo’s poem and the rest of the issue here.
“You need to learn the rules before you can break them. And you need to read everybody. If you’re black, don’t just read black writers and if you’re white, don’t just read white writers, etc. I read everybody across the board, all ethnicities. I’m curious about mankind. I want to know how everybody lives.” – Terry McMillan
Click to watch the full interview:
Back when the legendary author Kurt Vonnegut (Cat’s Cradle, Slaughterhouse-Five) was just an anthropology student at the University of Chicago, he produced a brilliant graph as his master’s thesis, a project that was ultimately rejected. The concept details how the protagonist of a story has ups and downs that can be pinpointed in a graph, revealing the shape of the story. As he explained in his autobiography Palm Sunday: An Autobiographical Collage, “stories have shapes which can be drawn on graph paper, and the shape of a given society’s stories is at least as interesting as the shape of its pots or spearheads.” Visual.ly adopted Vonnegut’s concept and created the striking graphic below.
In this Telegraph essay, British author and screenwriter Hanif Kureishi (Intimacy, The Body, The Last Word) argues that writers, by spending too much time on the safe questions of plot and dialogue, are missing the importance of digging deep into the imagination and the "useful trouble" it may offer.
Today marks Toni Morrison’s 83rd birthday, author of Beloved, Sula, and Song of Solomon. Last December, Morrison sat down with author Junot Diaz for a compelling conversation for Live from the New York Public Library. Celebrate Morrison’s birthday as she speaks about writing what you don’t know and how characters are like ghosts.
In this endearing animated video produced by Blank on Blank, the late children’s book author Maurice Sendak (Where the Wild Things Are) talks about not shying away from writing the barbaric in children’s books and how his uncensored family spurred his creative life.
“I’ve always had a deep respect for children and how they solve complex problems by themselves. [They survive] I think through shrewdness, fantasy and just plain strength. They want to survive.”
For more animated videos by Blank on Blank, click here.