Writing

Shaun Randol

What is a literary festival without a panel on war writing? The final event I attended at 2011’s Brooklyn Book Festival was simply titled “Writing War,” and it featured authors Juris Jurjevics, Ron Leshem, and Maaza Mengiste (the latter of whom also completed my 2010 BKBF experience).

Vicente Garcia Groyon

In a 2010 roundtable discussion here at the Mantle, I wrote about the responsibilities of a writer in a time or place of conflict. While my opinions on the subject continue to inform my writing and the creative decisions I make, two encounters with nonfiction writing classes during the 2011 Writers in Motion study tour of America occasion a coda of sorts.

Vicente Garcia Groyon

[read part one here]

Because the study tour was pre-planned, it was inevitable that these very different cities would thread together in predictable ways: “Fall and Recovery.” However, as I and the other writers on the tour discovered, there were other themes that arose, all related to issues that extended beyond specific regions of the United States. Here, I identify the three most predominant.

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Michael J. Jordan

BRATISLAVA –From the slumber of their winter hibernation, I've pulled our bicycles from the depths of our cartoonishly overstuffed hall closet.

Dad’s self-appointed task: wipe down the dust and cobwebs, pump some life into those tires. Sure, I’ve suffered minor injuries, like a bruised shin, but I get no sympathy from this crowd.

There's another cost, too. When you go so many months between riding a bicycle, as we did from fall to spring, certain muscles grow dormant. Guess what? They begin to atrophy. At least at my age, they do.

Vicente Garcia Groyon

When I first received the invitation to participate in Writers in Motion 2011, a project of the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa, I jumped at the opportunity to be involved in another IWP undertaking.

Vicente Garcia Groyon

Most writers sidestep the problem of the audience, the reader, by saying that they write first for themselves, the things they would want to read. Problem solved. However, the matter is compounded by the needs of the publishing industry, which today (or since its inception?) tends to, has to, view the book as a product that it must sell. This involves identifying a target market and producing books that the target market will spend its money on.

Corinne Goldenberg

Shaun Randol

A few days ago I predicted that, if PEN World Voices Festival kept up its smart pace, at the closing night Wole Soyinka would be “pondering the discrepancies in the duality foundations of M-theory.” Turns out, I wasn’t that far off! For the Arthur Miller Freedom to Write Lecture, rather than pontificating on the magical realm of string theory, Soyinka delivered an address dripping in other forms of magic, sorcery, and necromancy.

Shaun Randol

Editor's note: The following is Kjersti Annesdatter Skomsvold's opening remarks given at the PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature panel, "Loneliness and Community." You can read my write-up of the event here. You can read my review of Ms. Skomsvold's debut novel, The Faster I Walk, The Smaller I Am, here. My sincere gratitude to Ms.

Shaun Randol

I am neither lonely nor in solitude, but I am alone…

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