Thursday, January 21, 2010

Dirty secret writing lives

Note: I'm going to keep this post short, since there are lots of awesome, recent new blog posts and I don't want to hog the top of the page. (And on an unrelated note, I hope y'all had pleasant winter vacations, too.) Okay, that being said...

I love poetry, and the more I learn about craft and literature, the more I expect from my own poetry (not that it ever delivers). But poetry (with a capital P) deepens constantly.

And yet this break I read a novel, Warlock (which is an amazing Western meets Plato's Republic meets the McCarthy hearings book by Oakley Hall), and I reread some awesome comic books (Zot, especially, by Scott McCloud). I mention this because this semester I'm taking a graphic novel workshop/seminar with Mat Johnson (Incognegro, under DC's Vertigo imprint, most notably--an excellent comic), and though I have not put any work into learning to write comics before, I had always kind of secretly believed it would be what I would do when I got out of school (before deciding to get my poetry MFA).

Any of y'all have mediums you secretly wish you worked in more (especially other kinds of writing)? Any of y'all think learning those other crafts will greatly inform your primary craft?


  1. I have a rather extreme obsession with graphic novels/memoirs recently and I secretly wish I could write one. I'm awful at visual art, though, and I'd feel like a fake if I wrote and someone else drew. I'm taking a graphic novel literature course this semester, though, and I know there will be a bit of writing involved, too, so we'll see if maybe I have a hidden talent for it.

    I think it's awesome that Houston offers that workshop! I haven't seen that anywhere else. That's really cool.

    Also, I wish I was a poet. Sadly, I am not.

  2. I'm dying to write a trashy romance novel!

  3. I wish I explored the graphic novel more. UNCW offers a class in this. If I end up there I will take it. It takes me way too long to draw though because it's not one of my strengths, at least not the way writing is.

  4. ooooh Mat Johnson. More points for Houston!

    So other genres....I want to be a tv writer so bad that sometimes it hurts! I just can't seem to focus on learning how to really do that while I'm working on poetry. I don't think it will help my poetry but I think the economy of words thing I get from writing poetry (or am trying to get) will help me in screenwriting.

  5. I'm a fiction student who's better with nonfiction. I'm taking nonfiction this semester and it is a big exhale.

  6. I would love to work more in screenwriting and writing for television. I love writing fiction, but should I be successful I will one day make time for screenwriting.

  7. oh i love that you get to study graphic novels! i've been reading many of them myself lately and wish i could draw so i could do my own :)

  8. What a bunch of dirty secret writing lives the lot of us have! Excellent.

  9. My dirty secret writing wish: I wish I could write an amazing fantasy epic. I don't even write fiction at all, but I wish I could. I also have a long and abiding love of reading fantasy/scifi/speculative fiction/whatever you want to call it.

    Re: working in other genres. I'm taking a nonfiction workshop now, experimenting with writing a memoir. I think it probably will help me generate ideas for my poetry and perhaps help me separate my prosey instincts from my poetic ones.

    And a bunch of my MFA peers at Penn State are taking a lit course in the graphic novel this semester; I'm not in it (chose a lit sem in contemporary African American poetry instead), but it sounds really good so far. Nice to see that lots of other people are studying what I think is an under-appreciated medium.


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