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Friday, December 3, 2021

'When we write, we are changed'

 “Writing is literally transformative. When we read, we are changed. When we write, we are changed. It's neurological. To me, this is a kind of magic.” – Francesca Lia Block

 Born into a creative family (on this day in 1962 to a poet mother and painter father) she has established herself as a writer of fiction, short stories, screenplays and poetry and also a teacher of those topics.   She wrote her first novel while still a student at UC Berkeley, one of the few times she did any writing or teaching outside of her beloved Los Angeles, the focal point for most of her work.  She has won acclaim for her use of imagery, especially in describing the city of Los Angeles.  One New York Times Book Review critic said, "Block writes about the real Los Angeles better than anyone since Raymond Chandler.” 

She writes for both adults and teens and won the Margaret Edwards Award from the American 
Library Association for her contribution to writing for teens.  While best known for her novels, Block is also a lifelong writer of poetry. Her first two books, Moon Harvest and Season of Green,
were small-press illustrated poetry collections, and since then, she has released several standalone collections of poetry, as well as incorporating poetry and lyrics into many of her novels.

“Writing is very cathartic for me. As a teacher, I hear many students say that writing can be painful and exhausting. It can be, but ultimately I believe that if you push through, the process is healing and exhilarating.”


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