Friday 17 April 2009

Their writing

Love, siblings, speaking up, Mary Oliver, drawing, mind, autobiography, waking up, Sweden, how to get him to talk to me, being a 20-year-old male, a shuffle-text of pet stories--that's what I got. Most of it was quite lovely, sometimes dazzingly so. Almost always genuine, if occasionally too obvious.

This weekend I'll finish work on the class anthology: Playground. Here's my intro:

We went around the table, each choosing a favourite playground apparatus to write about. I was amazed when my choice, the giant slide, was not selected. (I must be as out of date about this topic as I am about most others, I thought. Those giant slides of decades past—they’re probably not even legal anymore.)
That was reason enough, I hoped, to get involved as one of the 14 writers whose words you are about to read. The idea was simply to play, in
writing about play. And I wanted to play with the other kids, just as I always did those many years ago in playgrounds from Herbert to Moose Jaw.
I got involved in another way—as editor. Credit the writers for the energies of memory and story, the notations of times past and passing. Blame me for tampering with what they wrote. These are smart, open, lively writers who over and over again this term exposed themselves, always appropriately, in language. It’s been my great pleasure to work with them.

Thursday 2 April 2009

English 251: Longer Writing Assignment #4, due Thursday, April 9

“The world, moist and bountiful, calls to each of us to make a new and serious response. That’s the big question, the one the world throws at you every morning. ‘Here you are, alive. Would you like to make a comment?’”
- Mary Oliver, Long Life: Essays and Other Writings

Your comment will be an expository essay.