On Writers, Writer’s Block, Generosity, Creativity and Community
From the moment my father gave me Go Tell It on the Mountain and told me,
“Read this and you’ll know more about who I am,”
I knew one thing was inescapable:
I would need to read that book, get back to him about it, and keep on reading and reading—
This ain’t the Ivy League, there’s no huge endowment here, but there’s no slaveholders either.
MFAW faculty Keenan Norris: …my father, was less a reader than a storage chest of historical anecdote and information, come upon by means academic and experiential. He was also a runner, my father, a collegiate national record holder for twenty four hours at one point in time, so while my writings are much less the result of natural talent than dedicated labor, the running is in my blood.
Goddard MFAW Faculty Keenan Norris: While life still goes on as unpredictably as ever, the sabbatical itself is proving to be the perfect vehicle for productivity. It’s the safest means of going off the grid that I think exists outside of utilizing all that trust fund money I don’t have and selling my majority share in that wildly successful company of mine that doesn’t exist. In all seriousness, I feel really privileged to have this time away from teaching to write, to read, to explore some new creative directions for my work and to assess and re-develop my teaching strategies.
I published my first stories while an undergrad. I learned the difference between ego and real confidence in my writing and ultimately I learned how to stand by my work even as I reimagined it, recreated it.