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Lit from Within: Contemporary Masters on the Art and Craft of Writing

Overview

A Choice Significant University Press Title for Undergraduates, 2010-11.
Ranked ?Outstanding? in the 2012 University Press Books for Public and Secondary School Libraries listing.

Lit from Within offers creative writers a window into the minds of some of America?s most celebrated contemporary authors. Witty, direct, and thought-provoking, these essays offer something to creative writers of all backgrounds and experience. With contributions from...

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Overview

A Choice Significant University Press Title for Undergraduates, 2010-11.
Ranked “Outstanding” in the 2012 University Press Books for Public and Secondary School Libraries listing.

Lit from Within offers creative writers a window into the minds of some of America’s most celebrated contemporary authors. Witty, direct, and thought-provoking, these essays offer something to creative writers of all backgrounds and experience. With contributions from fiction writers, poets, and nonfiction writers, this is a collection of unusual breadth and quality. 

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Ever year the Ohio University Spring Literary Festival (AKA Lit Fest), invites writers to talk about writing: forty-five minutes on any topic, no stipulations, no themes. It's nice that the organizers assume that all readers, whether writers or not, are interested in issues of craft, and that divisions of genre are less important than a shared love of words. Alas, the resulting anthology, edited by Moore and Haworth, both of whom teach at the University, also suggests the potential pitfalls: the 15 talks (by Billy Collins, Francine Prose, Charles Baxter, and Peter Ho Davies, among others) are not all equally interesting. Some, though effective, will makes readers feel like they've returned to school. Others, like memoirist Robin Hemley's pique as to the low regard for the memoir or poet David Kirby's ire about being asked stupid questions about poetry, seem like vanity projects. However, when authors genuinely explore something—questions, in Claire Bateman's case and facts in Maggie Nelson's—we get what we hope for when we let writers loose: essays we couldn't have imagined or predicted and for which we will always be grateful. (Mar.)
From the Publisher
 “The essays are detailed and sophisticated enough to appeal to writers, particularly novice writers, yet general enough to appeal to readers who are not necessarily writers.”
— NewPages

 

“Reading Lit From Within reminded me of the best of the genre, including Anne Lamott's Bird By Bird, Nancie Atwell's In the Middle and Stephen Koch's The Modern Library Writer's Workshop."
— The Plain Dealer

 

“This collection of 15 essays, written by literary luminaries such as poet Billy Collins, novelist Francine Prose and nonfiction author Rick Bass, offers wonderful insight into the working habits of some of America's most celebrated authors…. Smart, concise and thought-provoking, this collection is a treasure for writers looking to improve their craft.”
— The Writer

“Representing widely diverse approaches, the result is a useful book containing a wealth of creative writing wisdom.”
— Book News

“The pieces in Lit from Within can be laugh-out-loud funny or seriously contemplative; either way, they all contain nuggets of wisdom that will speak to anyone who sits down to write.”
— Ohio Today

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780821419489
  • Publisher: Ohio University Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/2011
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 1,125,868
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

 Kevin Haworth’s novel The Discontinuity of Small Things was winner of the Samuel Goldberg Prize for best Jewish fiction and finalist for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. He teaches writing at Ohio University and serves as executive editor of Ohio University Press/Swallow Press. 

Dinty W. Moore’s memoir Between Panic & Desire was winner of the Grub Street Nonfiction Book Prize in 2009. His other books include The Accidental Buddhist, Toothpick Men, and The Emperor’s Virtual Clothes. He is a professor of nonfiction writing at Ohio University. 

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Table of Contents

Table of Contents
• Acknowledgments
• Introduction
• RON CARLSON
The Wrong Answer
• ROBIN HEMLEY
Confessions of a Navel Gazer
• FRANCINE PROSE
Gesture
• BILLY COLLINS
The Myth of Craft
Thoughts on the Writing of Poetry
• PETER HO DAVIES
Only Collect
Something about the Short Story Collection
• CHARLES BAXTER
Stillness
• DAVID KIRBY
Thirteen Things I Hate about Poetry
• CLAIRE BATEMAN
Some Questions about Questions
• STEPHEN DUNN
The Poem, Its Buried Subject, and the Revisionist Reader
Behind “The Guardian Angel”
• LEE K. ABBOTT
Thirteen Things about the Contemporary Short Story That Really Hack Me Off
• TONY HOAGLAND
Litany, Gamesmanship, and Representation
Charting the Old to the New Poetry
• MAGGIE NELSON
All That Is the Case
Some Thoughts on Fact in Nonfiction and Documentary Poetry
• CARL DENNIS
A Poem of Character
• RICK BASS
Good Fortune Befell Me
Notes on the Writer/Editor Relationship
• MARY RUEFLE
Someone Reading a Book Is a Sign of Order in the World
• Credits

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