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Saturday, November 26, 2022

A Writer's Moment: 'December Moon' on the horizon

A Writer's Moment: 'December Moon' on the horizon:   I heard on the radio that December’s “Cold Moon” was coming, signaling winter’s arrival.   That reminded me of May Sarton’s poem “Decembe...

'December Moon' on the horizon

 

I heard on the radio that December’s “Cold Moon” was coming, signaling winter’s arrival.  That reminded me of May Sarton’s poem “December Moon.”

So, on this Black Friday weekend as we leave Thanksgiving Day and autumn behind and spiral toward our first “winter month,” here for Saturday’s Poem is the prolific Sarton’s,

December Moon

Before going to bed
After a fall of snow
I look out on the field
Shining there in the moonlight
So calm, untouched and white
Snow silence fills my head
After I leave the window.

Hours later near dawn
When I look down again
The whole landscape has changed
The perfect surface gone
Criss-crossed and written on
Where the wild creatures ranged
While the moon rose and shone.

Why did my dog not bark?
Why did I hear no sound
There on the snow-locked ground
In the tumultuous dark?

How much can come, how much can go
When the December moon is bright,
What worlds of play we'll never know
Sleeping away the cold white night
After a fall of snow.

Friday, November 25, 2022

A Writer's Moment: 'Explore ideas . . . and imagination'

A Writer's Moment: 'Explore ideas . . . and imagination':   “We have to think big. We have to imagine big, and that's part of the problem. We're letting other people imagine and lead us dow...

'Explore ideas . . . and imagination'

 

“We have to think big. We have to imagine big, and that's part of the problem. We're letting other people imagine and lead us down what paths they want to take us. Sometimes they're very limited in the way their ideas are constructed. We need to imagine much more broadly. That's the work of a writer, and more writers should look at it.”  Alexis Wright

Born on this date in 1950, Wright is an Indigenous Australian writer and champion for native Australian people. 

An award nominee for a number of her writings, but particularly Carpentaria, she has published both fiction and nonfiction and is a noted essayist and novelist.  Her major nonfiction books are Take Power, an anthology on the history of the land rights movement, and Grog War on the introduction of alcohol restrictions in her native Tennant Creek area. 
 
Carpentaria, which tells the interconnected stories of several inhabitants of the fictional town of Desperance on Austrailia’s Gulf of Carpentaria, was rejected by every major publisher in Australia before independent publisher Giramondo published it in 2006. Giramondo chose wisely.  The book won the Miles Franklin Award (Austrailia’s premiere writing prize), the Fiction Book award in the Queensland Premier's Literary Awards competition, the ALS Gold Medal, and the Vance Palmer Prize for Fiction.  It also has sold hundreds of thousands of copies.

In addition to her writing, Wright is a Distinguished
 Research Fellow at the University of Western Sydney.                          
 
 “My role as a novelist is to explore ideas and imagination,” Wright said.  “Hopefully that will inspire people from my world to continue dreaming and to believe in dreams.”

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

A Writer's Moment: Imagine that . . . then write it!

A Writer's Moment: Imagine that . . . then write it!:   “Fiction's essential activity is to imagine how others feel, what a Saturday afternoon in an Italian town in the 2nd Century looked l...

Imagine that . . . then write it!

 

“Fiction's essential activity is to imagine how others feel, what a Saturday afternoon in an Italian town in the 2nd Century looked like. My ambition is solely to get some effect, as of light on stone in a forest on a September day.” – Guy Davenport 
 
Writer, translator, illustrator, painter, intellectual, and teacher, Davenport was both a Rhodes Scholar and a MacArthur Genius Grant recipient, one of the few people in the world to achieve both major honors.  Born in the Appalachian region of South Carolina on this date in 1927, he was a self-taught reader and writer who graduated from high school by age 16, then went on to earn degrees at both Duke and Harvard.

Over his lifetime he had more than 400 nationally published essays and reviews, wrote 17 books of fiction and a dozen books of poetry, and contributed to several dozen other books or collections.  And, he did all that while teaching full time at a number of prestigious colleges and universities and drawing or painting nearly every day of his life from age 11 on.  A number of his art works are on display in galleries across the country.

Indefatigable was often a word used to describe him, but he said it was “just something I felt I had to do to keep my life in balance.”  He wrote right up until his death in 2005.  He said that of all his writings, he most enjoyed fictionalizing historical events and figures – a sort-of “What If?” scenario that make his works both fast-paced and intriguing.
                                                                                                              
“As long as you have ideas, you can keep going,” he said.  “That's why writing fiction is so much fun: because you're moving people about, and making settings for them to move in, so there's always something there to keep working on.”

Monday, November 21, 2022

A Writer's Moment: 'The property of all'

A Writer's Moment: 'The property of all':   “The instruction we find in books is like fire. We fetch it from our neighbours, kindle it at home, communicate it to o...