Of a Piece: The Teen Teach, Figment, Chasing Ray and Elizabeth Hand

Monday, December 6, 2010

I spent much of the weekend preparing for my long morning at The Baldwin School, where I will today be talking about, reading from, and building exercises on the shoulders of Wordsworth and Mary Oliver, Sei Shonagon, Rilke, Neruda, Sandra Cisneros, Marilyn Nelson, and Gerald Stern, among others.  I never conduct the same workshop twice, don't give the same talk over again, and while my husband will be the first to remind me of how terribly inefficient all that is, I know no other way.  No two students or group of students are the same.  It matters, I think, that we actively lean in their direction.

The students pictured above were girls I met during my spring trip to Wisconsin for the unforgettable Fox Cities Book Festival.  I was thinking about them earlier this morning, as I explored Figment.com, a new site designed to enable the young to "share your writing, connect with other readers, and discover new stories and authors."  How cool, might I ask you, is this?  I know dozens of young big-dreaming, risk-taking blogger/writers whose work should grace this site and whose insights could power it forward.  You know who you all are.... and you know that I love you.  Take a spin through Figment and let me know what you think.

And while you're at it, spend some time at Chasing Ray today, because Colleen Mondor has assembled a bang-up interview with one of my very favorite writers/people, Elizabeth Hand.  I wouldn't know Liz if it weren't for Colleen.  I wouldn't know a lot of things, were it not for Colleen.  But listen to Liz talk, for example, about the beautiful big rawness of teens, the "thrilling and often perilous" process of self-discovery for young artists.  I was cooing just this weekend about how happy the Johnny Depp-Patti Smith interview in Vanity Fair made me.  Substance! I declared, I danced.  Substance! I shout again today. 


Colleen said...

Liz blew my mind with that interview - she is so so sooooo cool.


Sigh. I would have loved it - and will certainly share it now with teen writers I know.

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