Sunday, November 25, 2007

Walter Mosley on the Uses of Poetry in Fiction Writing

From Kate's Book Blog:

Walter Mosley writes of having taken several poetry workshops at the City College of New York in Harlem, and he says that though he has yet to write "even a passable poem," he is convinced that reading, studying, and attempting to write poems has served his fiction well.

. . . The poet seeks perfection in every line and sentence; she demands flawlessness of form.

If the fiction writer demands half of what the poet asks of herself, then that writer will render an exquisitely written novel.


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I'm thinking about this today, as I'm going to try reading some poems, and a short story, to a creative writing class on Tuesday. I've been told in the past that my fiction is "poetic," and that my poems are like "little stories." Hmmmm. We'll see how it goes . . . .

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2 comments:

Paul said...

Good news: WM's classes worked! Anyone who wants to read an exquisitely written novel need go no further than Mosley's "Fortunate Son," my personal favorite of 2007. It's a genuinely beautiful and moving book, one that will stay with me for the rest of my life.

Pamela said...

I loved Fortunate Son, too, and also RL's Dream. Mosley is a great writer. His continuing series of Easy Rawlins books is anything but formulaic.