Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Poets & Writers Asked Sarah Gorham For Writing Tips
Poets & Writers has a wonderful section called Writers Recommend where writers give suggestions to other writers on how to deal with "writer's block". Four Way Books author, Sarah Gorham gave her tips.
“A common statement, I know, but the best stimulant for writing is reading. When it's prose, I'll turn to rich sentences from Nabokov or F. Scott Fitzgerald. If poetry, I start with the Eastern Europeans (especially Zbigniew Herbert). Otherwise, I often begin with a simple exercise I call ‘negative inversions.’ Find a one-page poem with relatively short lines. In the right-hand margin, invert each line to its opposite. I stumbled down a kudzu-choked ravine becomes I picked my way over the talislope to higher ground. Or: They bloom and loom in cities and no one notices becomesIt shrivels and cowers under the tiniest shrub and somehow everyone knows. A half-dozen lines in, the poem takes off on its own and you can abandon the exercise.”