“Silence Is the Weapon”

Silence. It's said to be golden, but it's more than that. It's a writer's tool. It's a speaker's tool. For how writers use it in interviewing, let's listen to biographer Robert A. Caro in his paragraph-sized essay, "Tricks of the Trade" from the book Working: "Interviews: silence is the weapon, silence and people's need to …

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Mother, May I?

Don't look now, but we're running out of month of May. May I offer up a poem, then, dedicated to this dying month, the one we consider the heart of spring? It's our old friend Robert Bly, one of those poets who seems especially attuned to nature. I like that in a poet, even if …

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“Stop Thinking with Your Fingers”

This Memorial Day weekend,  I've been poking around Robert Caro's new book, Working. In the introduction, I came across an interesting anecdote and a phrase I took a shining to. Caro (pictured above as a young man) talks about his Princeton days when he was taking a Creative Writing course with the literary critic and …

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When the News Kills the Muse

Sometimes it feels like you're faced with an everyday dilemma of rock or hard place, devil or deep blue sea, Scylla or Charybdis. You know what I'm talking about: poetry or citizenship. A steady diet of the news, it seems, is good for becoming an informed citizen (something all countries of the world need today, …

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