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Jini Reddy on discovering travel writing and how fresh, diverse voices are pushing the boundaries of the genre.
'Select a book from my shelves, open it and you’ll find an unconventional bookmark — a Post-it note, a child’s drawing, even a prescription for folic acid never collected. My bookshelves contain secrets; I plot my life through the books I’ve read.'
'George Saunders develops the acronym TICHN — things I couldn’t help noticing. In other words, referring back to his advice ‘Don’t say something for no reason’; if you include a detail, make sure it means something, and repeat it, with subtle variations. '
16-02-2023

Andrew Greig speaks with Doug Johnstone about 60s music as his gateway to poetry, his accidental success as a poet while failing to becoming a musician, how a poem got him a place on Himalayan climbing expeditions and the value he places on triggering emotion in his readers.

'Commonly, a writer is driven by heartbreak, fury or the desperate need for money. A friend was so incensed at being sacked from a newspaper that she was inspired to write a novel which became a bestseller. ‘It was pure hatred which drove me’, she said. '
'E. L. Doctorow’s liberating idea that ‘writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.’ Whether you’re a plotter or a ‘pantser’, this is sound advice.'
'Jayne Anne Phillips' slim collection Sweethearts was published when she was in her early twenties. She does not refer to its contents as stories or poems; she calls the writing ‘pieces’. Each is a page, a snapshot of small-town American life. '
Donny O’Rourke looks at the career of country music star Kris Kristofferson, tracing a lifelong influence on his own development as a poet and lyricist.
29-09-2022

Julianne Pachico speaks with Caroline Sanderson about growing up in Colombia at an unstable and threatening time, how horror and suspense fiction have influenced her work, and how she marries the demands of teaching creative writing with those of producing her own work.

'All of my favourite writers are Dylan Thomas. I say this because his writing is so varied. There are so many of him. I love his comic prose; the incredible sonic and formal ambition and achievement of his poems.'
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