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Heather Sellers Recommends...

Writers Recommend

Posted 1.19.11

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“The bath. Endlessly, luxuriously, the tub. I write almost every morning and after an hour or two or three or (if I’m very lucky) four, I run out of road. And then I know it’s time. I gather up my pages, a book or three of poetry (lately Marianne Boruch, Shakespeare, James Tate, Hopkins, Emily Dickinson), the New Yorker (just in case), some reliable crutches—the Paris Review or Best American anything—and a couple of pens. And I set all that on the commode, which seems so wrong and disorderly, but it’s perfect. Hot water, three drops of lavender oil, maybe salts. No soap. Never soap. This isn’t about sanitation or cleansing. It’s about sinking. It’s about depth and quietness and suspended animation. It’s about a pristine and captured hour. I step into my steaming tub, read over my pages. My glasses fog up. The pages puff and curl. I set them on the edge. I read or don’t read. As I relax and melt, whatever stopped me in my tracks earlier, up in the studio, might transform into something else. Sometimes I don’t even look at any of the stuff I drag in there. It takes it’s own parallel bath.”
Heather Sellers, author of You Don't Look Like Anyone I Know (Riverhead Books, 2010)

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