The Muses Among Us is an inviting, encouraging book
for writers at any stage of their development. In a series of
first-person letters, essays, manifestos, and notes to the reader,
Kim Stafford shows what might happen at the creative boundary he
calls "what we almost know." On the boundary's far side is our
story, our poem, our song. On this side are the resonant hunches,
griefs, secrets, and confusions from which our writing will emerge.
Guiding us from such glimmerings through to a finished piece are a
wealth of experiments, assignments, and tricks of the trade that
Stafford has perfected over thirty years of classes, workshops, and
other gatherings of writers.
Informing The Muses Among Us are Stafford's own
convictions about writing--principles to which he returns again and
again. We must, Stafford says, honor the fragments, utterances, and
half-discovered truths voiced around us, for their speakers are the
prophets to whom writers are scribes. Such filaments of wisdom,
either by themselves or alloyed with others, give rise to our
poems, stories, and essays. In addition, as Stafford writes, "all
pleasure in writing begins with a sense of abundance--rich
knowledge and boundless curiosity." By recommending ways for
students to seek beyond the self for material, Stafford demystifies
the process of writing and claims for it a Whitmanesque quality of
participation and community.
Subjects: Language & Literature
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