Charles Simic on His Writing Process

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Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Charles Simic discusses his writing process of using various writing instruments—including envelopes, notebooks, and printed paper—in this brief interview for Poetry Breaks, a series created by Leita Luchetti in the 1980s and 1990s presented in partnership with the Academy of American Poets.

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Turn Every Page

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“He does the work. I do the cleanup, and we fight.” Turn Every Page: The Adventures of Robert Caro and Robert Gottlieb is a documentary directed by Lizzie Gottlieb exploring the remarkable fifty-year relationship between Pulitzer Prize–winning author Robert Caro and his longtime editor Robert Gottlieb, and the art of editing.

George Saunders on His Writing Process

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In this interview for The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, George Saunders speaks about his latest story collection, Liberation Day (Random House, 2022), and the need to be in a “holy state of not knowing anything” when starting a new writing project. Liberation Day is featured in Page One in the November/December issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

Celeste Ng on Our Missing Hearts

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“A lot of this book was me figuring out, how do you hold on to hope when it feels like the world is falling apart?” In this Late Night With Seth Meyers interview, Celeste Ng talks about the process of writing her latest novel, Our Missing Hearts (Penguin Press, 2022). A profile of Ng by Renée H. Shea is featured in the November/December issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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Peter Straub on Character and Story

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“There’s something in people that is naturally story-like. You’re taking all this unformed, chaotic stuff and making sense of it.” Award-winning novelist and poet Peter Straub speaks about creating characters and his love of writing horror stories in this 2012 Open Road Media interview. Straub, who received the 2008 Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award for his generosity to the literary community, died at the age of seventy-nine on September 4, 2022.

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James Longenbach at the James Merrill House

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“As I often tell students: What other people call revision, I call writing,” says poet, critic, and professor James Longenbach about writing his books The Lyric Now (University of Chicago Press, 2020) and Forever (Norton, 2021) as a writer-in-residence in this 2021 installment of James Merrill House’s video series Studio 107. Longenbach died at the age of sixty-two on July 29, 2022.

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The Big Read: A Conversation With Tobias Wolff

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“A book can change your life, and I know because I had that happen to me.” Award-winning author Tobias Wolff talks about his childhood, education, writing life, and his novel Old School (Vintage, 2003) in this short film directed by Lawrence Bridges for the National Endowment for the Arts’ “Big Read” initiative. For more from Wolff, read this profile by Joe Woodward published in the March/April 2008 issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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Eimear McBride and Discovery

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“It doesn’t interest me to know how a book will end, I have to discover that for myself.” In this video from the National Centre for Writing, Eimear McBride, who won the 2014 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction for her debut novel, A Girl Is a Half-Formed Thing, speaks about how character and story and the process of discovery are the keys to her writing process.

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Blair Hurley on Imaginative Empathy

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“The more that I wrote I discovered that writing in a pretty way actually wasn’t the goal,” says Blair Hurley about breaking down good writing and prioritizing writing clearly with characters that feel real in this interview with Junia Doan. Hurley’s essay “Tiny Doable Things” is featured in the January/February issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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