Write Well, Live Well

The third of six essential points from the Shambhala Art weekend that I’m reviewing can be summarized in this sentence:

“In art, as in life generally, we need to study our craft, develop our skills, and absorb the knowledge and insight passed down by tradition.”from page 1 of True Perception

The alternative to this approach, Trungpa says, is very “hit or miss”. A novice can pick up a brush and create a profound work of art but only rarely.

I see this to be true when teaching poetry in schools. Visiting second grade classrooms once a week for two months ensures that almost every student will write a great poem. The creative process itself is beautiful for that reason. But these students invariably struggle the way all artists struggle when confronting a blank page or empty canvas or lump of clay. Confidence falters, and fear arises. My role in the classroom is to bolster students’ confidence so that their natural creativity can shine.

The best and most sustainable means of generating confidence is practice. The […]

It Gets Greater

The first issue of Crescendo City, a Harlem based literary magazine, is available for purchase online.

Editors Katherine Sanders, Julia Guez, Kat Laskowski, Stephen Payne, and Anna Smith have put together a lovely publication that pulls on a broad range of talents around Harlem including:

Matvei Yankelevich, SCOO D FOO, DA BOM!, Ella Veres, Diana Santana, Erin Ehsani, Hilary Vaughn Dobel, Dawn Marie Perry, Dina Montes, Justin Long-Moton, Emily Herzlin, Bob McNeil, Molly Aubry, Nitsa, Annastasha Larsen,and yours truly.

The first draft of Butterfly Affect was written in Brooklyn several years ago. I was inspired by Anton Chekov’s Gooseberries to frame concentric tellings of a story. Last year, the Harlem Writers’ Circle workshopped the story and provided many helpful insights. I am proud of how it turned out and hope you enjoy.

LORENZ AND MADI were the type of couple everyone likes to have in their extended network. Madi was a school teacher. Lorenz was career minded without being opportunistic. Friday night, he had to work late and caught a cab across town to […]