"The genesis of a poem for me is usually a cluster of words. The only good metaphor I can think of is a scientific one: dipping a thread into a supersaturated solution to induce crystal formation. I don’t think I solve problems in my poetry; I think I uncover the problems. Then the novel seems a process of working them out. I don’t think of it that way at the time—that is, when I’m writing poetry, I don’t know I’m going to be led down the path to the next novel. Only after I’ve finished the novel can I say, well, this poem was the key. This poem opened the door. When I’m writing a novel, what comes first is an image, scene, or voice. Something fairly small. Sometimes that seed is contained in a poem I’ve already written. The structure or design gets worked out in the course of the writing. I couldn’t write the other way round, with structure first. It would be too much like paint-by-numbers. As for lines of descent—that is, poem leading to novel—I could point to a number of examples. In my second collection of poems, The Animals in That Country, there’s a poem called “Progressive Insanities of a Pioneer.” That led into the whole collection called The Journals of Susanna Moodie and that in turn led into Surfacing. Or, another line of descent, the poems in parts of True Stories have obvious affiliations with the novel Bodily Harm. It’s almost as if the poems open something, like opening a room or a box or a pathway. And then the novel can go in and see what else is in there. I’m not sure this is unique. I expect that many other ambidextrous writers have had the same experience"
Paris Review - The Art of Fiction No. 121, Margaret Atwood
Margaret Atwood science.
"There are so many joys, but I have only known the ones that come like a miracle, touching everything with light."
— Anaïs Nin on joy (via explore-blog)
"Diversity is not just about demographics. Yes, we should read writing from writers of color, queer writers, differently-abled writers, working class writers, writers from other countries, and writers from across the gender spectrum. The impetus for reading diversely is not about political correction, it’s about opening yourself to a multiplicity of perspectives. Reading diversely also includes reading work with diverse aesthetic approaches. We like what we like, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but it never hurts to read beyond your comfort zone once in a while. When you read, inhabit as much of the world of letters are you can."
— Association of Writers & Writing Programs
"Perhaps I’ve evolved in my expectations in comedy. The marketplace is so wide now that I expect nuance and subversion, and layered complexity in my humor. I’ve long since outgrown the cheeseball schmaltz of Leno’s Late Night puns and quips. Is this the universality of humor that SNL’s attempting to cater to? I was a little disappointed that the black talk show sketch “How’s He Doing?” didn’t get as many laughs from the audience. I also think that bit too is so dated and boringly reinforces the trope that all of the blacks support Obama without fault. I think the audience, which I may presume is majority white, missed the dig about how shows like that broadcast at ungodly hours for its target demographic “6AM.” Nor did they seem to get the humor in the exchange between the Pharaoh, Thompson and Washington about white people watching The Wire and telling black people about it. Because that shit was funny*. *A Disclaimer: I never watched The Wire. Why? Because every white guy I know has told me to watch The Wire. This has been happening for 5 years. No, seriously. It really has."
That one time SNL pretended to care about diversity
Wherein Team US(M)’s Managing Editor, Syreeta, weighs in “BROtastic” diversity problems of SNL for Feministing.
It’s true. She’s never watched The Wire.
"That’s so her. You know, torn between Big Ideas and a party. She’s always been that way."
[Claire Messud in The Emperor’s Children] (via skeery)
Hmm.. This may apply to one or two of our editors… We’ll let you guess :)
"Q: How many male novelists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
A: “The cocaine isn’t the point. The cocaine is a metaphor,” he explained wearily over the pile of cocaine. She folded her arms. She didn’t understand his cocaine. “Didn’t you read my manifesto?” The prostitute had read his manifesto. Why couldn’t she?"
Male Novelist Jokes
No, seriously. It doesn’t ever stop being funny.