CCTE: Creative Writing 3- Audience Response

Chris Willerton: How does it help each of you three to write about your lives? We’re not doing confessionals anymore.

Sharon: When I write, I’m thinking about language. A poem is made up of language. Any writer makes himself/herself manifest on the page. It’s pretty impossible to not go to those places that represent your life…

The language I choose, as long as it includes both literal and figurative language, I know their is a place in the poem for the reader.

It is, in fact, my experience… someone suggested to me once… Leader of a writing workshop suggested that I write memoirs. I couldn’t do it. I wrote about fifty pages. There was no form. I had no idea that poetic form was essential as a beginning place for me to communicate things that may be very painful. Memoir there was no protection between me and the information.

Cheryl: Part of the reason I enjoy doing it. I have a background in journalism. Both blessed and cursed with a good memory. From years of interviewing people, I had to learn, forced to learn, rhythm of conversation. That’s really come in handy with remembering conversations.

9/11 I remember thinking I need to spend some time in reality.

This is pretty peaceful for my essays. A pretty gentle, nice one.

Not one of the conflicts in my short stories holds a candle to what I could tell you about a family reunion. It has five acts and a death.

My students have had a lot to do with my writing memoir. When they get bored, I’ll tell them a story. How was that received? Can I form the structure? Tell a joke. Figure out if it will work or not.

Lot of it is laziness.

When you write fiction, you have to take the time… When you are teaching six classes a semester and you have a five year old, it’s a whole lot easier to write the truth than take the energy to tell a lie.

Sally: Write out of necessity. Catharsis.
The things that I write that are most important are written pretty much from pretty deep experience, from laying myself out on the page.

The rest was lost to the Tarleton problematic internet connection. Here is a recreation of what I can remember.

Cheryl: One colleague who has read all my work said, “I start off laughing, and I always know I will pay for it.”

I can tell you about a family reunion, five acts and a death.

Poetry is the higher art. One of my uncles who teaches at Sam Houston has been pulling me towards poetry. “You’re in journalism… that’s the lowest form there is… Now you are writing memoir… If I can just pull you into poetry…”

Sally:
I write selfishly. It’s all about working through what I’ve experienced. Subjective. Very much what I have experienced.

My husband said, “How many dead people poems are you going to read?”

Cheryl:
All my stories are love stories. The people in them are folks that I love. When I write it is all about the people I love and how much I love them.

Sharon:
Art is nature. Nature is life.
You are taking a piece from the cycle of life and you are pasting it to a form so that you can hold it/save it.

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