Welcome

“The role of a writer is not to say what we can all say, but what we are unable to say.” -- Anaïs Nin

At virtually every contemporary author's reading, a fan asks, "What's your process?" They probably asked Euripedes the same question, just in ancient Greek. What those fans are really asking is: "How do you do it? And how can I do it?"

Authors dutifully search for sympathetic, yet inspiring words to say, "sit your butt in the seat and write the words one after another." Authors know there is no secret to writing a book besides hard work. But there are clues to the writing life, and there are interesting questions to ask authors about their work.

Collected below are interviews with some of today's most compelling contemporary poets and prose writers. I am grateful for the time they gave up from writing to speak with me, and with all of you. These interviews first appeared in the Little Patuxent Review, as I worked for the Howard County Poetry and Literature Society (HoCoPoLitSo) to bring contemporary authors to local audiences.

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Selected Interviews

M.K. Asante: Memoirist, poet, musician
David Byrne: Musician, author, artist
Michael Chabon: Novelist
Lucille Clifton: Poet
Martín Espada: Poet
Michael Glaser: Poet
Donald Hall: Poet, essayist, children's book author
Joy Harjo Poet, musician, performer
Jane Hirshfield: Poet, essayist
Marie Howe: Poet