The honest reckonings of individuals, the capacity for justice in a society, and a language that is deft, honed, clear and beautiful, are all very much connected. Which makes our role as writers, whether we are writing determinist realism out of the school of Dreiser and Sister Souljah, or gonzo non-fiction in the tradition of Hunter Thompson and Charlie LeDuff, whether we are memoirists or fantasists or poets or playwrights or practice the dark arts of sci-fi and speculative fiction, vitally important in this moment.
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.