Views from the Loft: A Portable Writer's Workshop

Daniel Slager, Editor
Edited by Daniel Slager, Milkweed (PGW, dist.), $20.00 paper (352p) ISBN 9781571313232
Reviewed on: 08/16/2010
Release date: 07/01/2010
Open Ebook - 365 pages - 978-1-57131-813-8
Open Ebook - 343 pages - 978-1-282-78489-5
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Celebrating its 35th anniversary this year, The Loft is the largest independent literary center in the country, offering writing classes at all levels, readings and competitions, providing mentorship, and working to "support the artistic development of writers, to foster a writing community, and to build an audience for literature." Despite the book's subtitle, this is not a pocket-sized workshop, but rather a compendium of pieces by writers—some famous, some less so—loosely arranged under a series of headings: Teaching, Writing, Critique, Publication, and "Writing for Life." Like many compilations, it's a mixed bag. The interviews in particular cover familiar ground, and beginning writers hoping for practical tips should look elsewhere. Slightly more seasoned scribes will find some help and heart, notably from Katrina Vandenberg's "Some Notes on Negative Capability," which reminds writers to imagine the internal life of objects, and applies to far more than its stated topic. With essays or interviews from over 60 contributors, serious readers will enjoy getting an inside look at the processes and practices that help fill the empty page. (Aug.)
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