"What matters to me is the kind of soil in which people have, out of which they have to grow, and the kind of climate around them." Prose editor DeWitt Henry shares his highlights from a transcribed recording of Tillie Olsen's reading at Emerson College in 1974.
"For my ninth birthday I received my first diary. The first words I wrote: 'I want to be a writer.' This was the first time I articulated what I must have always known. It was always about words—and story—for me."
"I do believe an author’s biographical identity is an insufficient marker for experience—even impossible to pin down with any accuracy—and the same holds true for a reader’s. This is the beginning of compassion for others."
"We don’t have to bullfight to write believably about bullfighting, or love, or crime, or suicide." DeWitt Henry on the lines writers blur between fact and fiction.
Lynn Casteel Harper on her experiences with dementia and spirituality and how they inform her writing.
Beth Kephart learns "the liability of having, the politics of possession, the sound of time crashing time, the ache of what is loved and what will be lost."
DeWitt Henry on the challenge of balancing author tone with character tone, and the difficulties that arise as far down as word choice.
Nina Badzin questions whether there is a need for a singular "identity" in the life of a working writer.
How Viet Thanh Nguyen's THE COMMITTED teaches memoir writer Anita Gill about storytelling.
John Skoyles writes between genres, from poetry to prose to nonfiction. He talks his most recent publication The Nut File, excerpted in WTP.