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.


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 . . . .



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.