Craft of Literary Category

CRAFT OF LITERARY 2.5 (Special Macro Edition): Featuring Raquel Hollingsworth – “Growing the .06%: Shifting the Classroom Focus from Creative Writing to Literacy”

The New York Times and The Huffington Post both recently cited surveys that claim at least 80% of Americans think they can or want to write a book (Dietrich and Epstein). However, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only about .06% of the American working population are actually employed authors and writers. Just let […]

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CRAFT OF LITERARY 2.4: Featuring Daniel Lassell – “4 Tips to Getting a Career Outside of Academia”

Some might say inspiration leads English students away from the corporate landscape and down the same career paths as their instructors. Others blame comfort or fear. But I would posit these students simply don’t know other options exist. The very purpose of education is preparation for the future. But, as of late, it appears institutions […]

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CRAFT OF LITERARY 2.3: Featuring Kendall Dunkelberg – “Adapting a Traditional Form”

In this post, I will discuss how I adapted a form for my new book, Barrier Island Suite. I’ve been thinking about this a lot because my book is just out and because I am teaching a Forms in Poetry graduate class on free verse. Form doesn’t always happen in a vacuum, and a free-verse […]

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CRAFT OF LITERARY 2.2: Featuring Kevin Dwyer – “Defining the Writer’s Role as a Translator”

Francis Grose in his Dictionary in the Vulgar Tongue (1811) defined translators as “sellers of old mended shoes and boots, between cobblers and shoemakers.” Translation is not simply the transfer of texts from one language into another. It is a creative process, a process of negotiation between texts and between cultures, an act of liberation […]

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CRAFT OF LITERARY 2.1: Featuring T.K. Lee – “Overcoming Writer’s Block: Boxing the Block”

I no longer believe in Writer’s Block. Here’s what I did. I took that big old block, that mean, splintered Writer’s Block, and I carved out the inside of it, added a hinge and a handle, and called it a Writer’s Box. And in this Box I put several reminders, knowing full well I’d be […]

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CRAFT OF LITERARY 1.7: Featuring Daren Dean – “Ambiguity and The Staging of Desire”

One of the biggest problems I see in student writing in my creative writing classes has been the failure of the student not to explain within the confines of the story just what the story adds up to for the reader. It’s the difference between that old phrase, show don’t tell. Sometimes we need a […]

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CRAFT OF LITERARY 1.6: Featuring Leigh Camacho Rourks – “Bodies and Places”

The pads on my feet are thick. Tough. I spent much of my childhood skidding across the bottoms of jagged, concrete swimming pools, calling “marco,” listening for “polo.” I cut my heels on shells and scuffed sand in the wounds. I was stung by a jellyfish and nipped by darting shadows under waves. Ask my […]

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CRAFT OF LITERARY 1.5: Featuring Michael Lauchlan – “Noticing as Key Element in Craft”

I am from Detroit. The history, grime, music, chaos, and kindness of this town have marked me: marked my flat, midwestern accent, and, more subtly, my eyes and ears. As Annie Dillard suggested decades ago, simply learning to see a place, to “notice” its hidden elements is a key element of craft. Two writers with […]

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CRAFT OF LITERARY 1.4: Featuring Betsy Johnson-Miller – “Don’t Strangle Your Brother: The Imperative Mood in Writing”

The best way to get me to dig in my heels and say no? Try telling me what to do. Eat your peas. No. Run five miles. No. Stop and smell the flowers. No no no (even though I love peas, running, and smelling flowers). Hence, the mystery: why is every poem I write lately […]

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CRAFT OF LITERARY 1.3: Featuring COL Editor Christie Collins – “Surrendering to the Writing”

Just as I won’t take that step off the ledge of a plane to dive into the wide mouth of the sky. Just as I would never skinny-dip with you in your grandfather’s creek. So too do I not surrender myself to my writing. This is not a new concern for me, but I’m coming […]

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