“Teaching is another form of voice. I hate that saying, “those who can do, those who can’t teach” because it ignores the long-term impact of teaching. When we do something we influence the moment we are in; when we teach, we influence a future, and when we write, we have potential to influence a broader group of people we may never ever meet, people who may read what we have written as interpreted by someone else, or read our own work long after we are gone, if we are lucky enough.”
- Yearning for Praxis: Writing and Teaching Our Way Out of Oppression
Happy days. Just got to see Femi Martin and Paula Varjack scratch their shows: ‘How to Die of a Broken Heart’ and 'Show Me The Money’ respectively. If you weren’t here in the audience, you missed something. I mean you REALLY missed something. Socio-economic commentary, critique on the way society values art and culture + ideopathy and the value of a love worth dying for— all in one evening. Eyes open for the future developments. For more info, see: @femimartin @paulavarjack (at Battersea Arts Centre)
“Sell your expertise and you have a limited repertoire. Sell your ignorance and you have an unlimited repertoire. He was selling his ignorance and his desire to learn about a subject. The journey of not knowing to knowing was his work.”
- Richard Saul Wurman on Charles Eames, The Architect and the Painter (Frank Chimero quoted this on a slide in his talk last night. Added to my ever-expanding “not knowing” tag)
“I say this a lot, but technology is what we make of it. Language is a form of technology, a pen is a form of technology — as is a submachine gun, as is Twitter. They’re all extensions of ourselves. I am cynical about what we’re currently calling technology, which is connective technologies and apps and virtual reality. I don’t think that is going to liberate us. If the forces of control and technology are in the hands of the people, and people connect without the medium of a massive, monolithic corporate force, then I think we’d be in a good place. But we’re not there right now. Some things need to radically change in terms of the way that power, income, control, and connection are structured.”
- Into the future with YACHT’s Claire Evans and Jona Bechtolt — Hopes&Fears
Richard Serra, “Verb List Compilation: Actions to Relate to Oneself”
[1967-1968] (via UBUWEB)
“The most important thing to remember is that your so-called “career” is much less about the industry or the company and more about how you understand your own abilities and the value that you want to create for others (and as a natural consequence, yourself). You are your career in many ways which means that finding your own unique path is of critical importance.”
- John Saddington LIVE Chat on Product Hunt
“I could go on—about the way I modulate narrative spikes and emotional valleys, about the arrangement of set-pieces—but here’s the thing: now matter how carefully I plan, everything changes once I start writing. It wouldn’t be any fun otherwise.”
Benjamin Percy (@benjaminpercy) on writing vs planning. Via Warren Ellis’s Orbital Operations mailing list.
“It wouldn’t be any fun otherwise.” Yes. Resonates with recent thinking on the relationship between intent and discovery in making, particularly writing.
National Novel Reading Month (NaNoReadMo) is a celebration of the fact that we don’t just need great novel writers, we need great novel readers.
From November 1 to November 30, participants pledge to share one novel they love every day.
Inspired by NaNoWriMo, NaNoReadMo is for people who aren’t all that interested in writing novels, but love reading them.
How you can participate:
It’s very simple: every day of November, share a novel you like with the #NaNoReadMo tag on your tumblr or twitter or other social media account.
Who’s behind this?
Some joker named Austin Kleon.
I made a thing.
THIS. But NaPoReadMo in celebration of poetry.
Dear Austin: rule.
“Find meaning. Distinguish melancholy from sadness. Go out for a walk. It doesn’t have to be a romantic walk in the park, spring at its most spectacular moment, flowers and smells and outstanding poetical imagery smoothly transferring you into another world. It doesn’t have to be a walk during which you’ll have multiple life epiphanies and discover meanings no other brain ever managed to encounter. Do not be afraid of spending quality time by yourself. Find meaning or don’t find meaning but “steal” some time and give it freely and exclusively to your own self. Opt for privacy and solitude. That doesn’t make you antisocial or cause you to reject the rest of the world. But you need to breathe. And you need to be.”
- Albert Camus, Notebooks, 1951-1959 (via creatingaquietmind)
Tonight, Barbican Young Poets are writing on experiences of awe and the supernatural. And some of us are exploring the concept of the anti-poem. Yes. (at Barbican Centre)
“To be a poet, you have to understand fixation.”
- Mae Barizo— http://flip.it/1iQz0
“Changing education is an act of empathy. … [E]ducators are often educators because the system worked for them. To be an educator and seek to change it, means you have great empathy for those for whom the system is failing.”
- Melissa Pelochino (via designschoolx)
We may utterly lack confidence–we may even suspect that failure is a near-certainty. But that determination has no bearing at all on our ability to be courageous in the face of those long odds. The issue isn’t the likelihood of failure–the issue is the relative cost.
The key to untangling this confusion lies in understanding these two qualities and how they differ: Confidence is a calculation of the odds of success. Courage is a calculation that the cost of not trying is higher than the cost of failing.
- Courage Isn’t Confidence (Ed Batista)
“But things were different then—young poets simply didn’t send their poems to older ones with requests for advice and criticism and “suggestions for publication.” At least I don’t think they did—none of the ones I knew did. Everyone is bolder now. This leads to a sad situation (and I’ve often discussed this with poets of my generation like Kinnell and Merwin) of having a tremendous pile of unanswered correspondence about poetry—Kinnell calls it his “guilt pile”—from poets who want help and should receive it; only in this busy world of doing things to make a living and trying to find some time for oneself to write poetry, it isn’t usually possible to summon the time and energy it would require to deal seriously with so many requests; at least for me it isn’t. But I feel sad because I would like to help; you remember how valuable it would have been for you; and it’s an honor to get these requests.”
- Paris Review - The Art of Poetry No. 33, John Ashbery
“This breaking down of barriers has … created a false sense of entitlement, giving some readers the impression that artists and writers not only inhabit a privileged world, in which there are no bills to pay and in which time is infinitely flexible, but that they also exist primarily to serve the public, to be available night and day, and to cater for the personal needs of everyone who contacts them”
Joanne Harris issues call for greater respect from readers | Books | The Guardian
I won’t be able to make it to the Manchester lit-fest on Monday, but I’m curious to see what Harris’s 12 point manifesto for writers will be…
“I read the book, “ The Art of War,” a long time ago, and in it, Sun Tzu writes you have to have a plan but you also must be ready to abandon that plan quickly. I think that’s a great metaphor for approaching stories. You have to do research, you have to an idea but you also have to be prepared for the story to not be what you wanted it to be. Otherwise, you’re just on your own agenda and you might be missing what’s actually in front of you. You have to be kind of like water.”
- Sara Lewkowicz via Lens Culture
“I’m still very interested in testifying against the self-promotion obsessively imposed by the media. This demand for self-promotion diminishes the actual work of art, whatever that art may be, and it has become universal. The media simply can’t discuss a work of literature without pointing to some writer-hero. And yet there is no work of literature that is not the fruit of tradition, of many skills, of a sort of collective intelligence. We wrongfully diminish this collective intelligence when we insist on there being a single protagonist behind every work of art. The individual person is, of course, necessary, but I’m not talking about the individual — I’m talking about a manufactured image. What has never lost importance for me, over these two and a half decades, is the creative space that absence opened up for me. Once I knew that the completed book would make its way in the world without me, once I knew that nothing of the concrete, physical me would ever appear beside the volume — as if the book were a little dog and I were its master — it made me see something new about writing. I felt as though I had released the words from myself.”
- Elena Ferrante, “Art of Fiction No. 228,” Paris Review (via thisobscureobject via fansylla)