All items: USA

A 'little hell' was how Patricia Highsmith described her Texan childhood. Seeking inspiration for her novel about the troubled writer, Jill Dawson travels to Fort Worth — and finds answers that go beyond the bounds of writing.
From William Carlos Williams’ prescription pads to George Szirtes’ Twitter-length stanzas, the medium has shaped the message of poetry. John Greening surveys the curious and influential choices made by modern poets.
Wrapping herself around cables so as to sleep and brushing her teeth in cattle cars, Cynthia Rogerson rode freight from San Francisco to Salt Lake City. She reflects on how those journeys, and the strategies she developed to endure them, continue to shape her fiction.
A serendipitous find can bring a writer’s research to life, as Deborah Chancellor discovered when she inadvertently rented slave cabins in North Carolina while working on a book about black abolitionist Harriet Tubman. As a riposte to those who believe that Wikipedia is the beginning and end of research, she argues for the benefits of immersing yourself in your subject.

Jeremy Seal tells George Miller how he overcame his fear of deadly snakes and about his 500km journey along Turkey’s Meander river by canoe.

Ron Butlin explains the role of the Edinburgh Makar, describing how he came to the job and his varied experiences as a civic poet in the Athens of the North.

Gerry Cambridge speaks with Kona Macphee about his route into writing, living simply and the pleasures of editorship.