The Answers Are Inside the Mountains: Meditations on the Writing Life

Overview

A volume in the Poets on Poetry series, which collects critical works by contemporary poets, gathering together the articles, interviews, and book reviews by which they have articulated the poetics of a new generation.

In this fourth collection of reflections on writing and the writing life, the late William Stafford's lifelong refusal to separate his work from the task of living responsibly-"What a person is shows up in what a person ...

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Overview

A volume in the Poets on Poetry series, which collects critical works by contemporary poets, gathering together the articles, interviews, and book reviews by which they have articulated the poetics of a new generation.

In this fourth collection of reflections on writing and the writing life, the late William Stafford's lifelong refusal to separate his work from the task of living responsibly-"What a person is shows up in what a person does"-rings clear.

The Answers Are Inside the Mountains collects unpublished interviews, poems, articles, aphorisms, and writing exercises from this great American man of letters and hugely prolific author, who kept a journal for nearly half a century and produced over 20,000 poems-a staggering output by any standard.

The book begins with the words "To overwhelm by rightness," a phrase evoking the two demands Stafford made on himself: to write daily, and to live uprightly. The Answers Are Inside the Mountains lives up to those deceptively simple ethics, and confirms William Stafford's enduringly important voice for our uncertain age.

About the Author:

William Stafford (1914-93) authored more than thirty-five books of poetry and prose, including the highly acclaimed Writing the Australian Crawl, You Must Revise Your Life, Crossing Unmarked Snow: Further Views on the Writer's Vocation, and Traveling Through the Dark, winner of the National Book Award for Poetry.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780472068548
  • Publisher: University of Michigan Press
  • Publication date: 11/25/2003
  • Series: Poets on Poetry Series
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 1,007,200
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

I Being a Poet: Comments and Interviews
A Just Right Resonance 3
"It Still Takes a Spark from Heaven": An Interview with Amy Godine 5
Contradictory Influences 11
Poems on Poets: Emily Dickinson, John Berryman, John Ashbery, Galway Kinnell, Richard Hugo 17
The Art of Poetry: The Paris Review Interview with William Young 22
Opportunities to Retrieve Paradise 42
Speaking of Writing ... 46
Some Suggestions from Experience 50
The Answers Are Inside the Mountains 52
II On Workshops and Poetry Classes
Meeting the Workshop 57
The Minuet 59
Goals 62
An Allegiance to the Most Tongue-Tied: A Discussion of Workshops with Claire Cooperstein 65
A Memory Map Exercise 73
Workshop Insights 79
The Classroom Contract 84
From a Class on Poetry 90
Farewell after a "Craft Lecture" 93
III Daily Writing
Three Poems on Writing 97
Three Days, Four Poems: An Interview with Vincent Wixon and Michael Markee 100
Four Early Poems: "Vacation," "Fall Journey," "Traveling through the Dark," "Back Home" 121
On Revision: An Interview with Vincent Wixon and Michael Markee 130
Whatever the World Gives Me: "The Animal That Drank Up Sound," "At the Playground," "Coming Back," "The Magic Mountain" 141
"An Indulgence in Loss": A Dialogue with Richard Hugo 153
Just Thinking 177
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