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Monday, July 29, 2013

Terry Tempest Williams Interviewed

Terry Tempest Williams is a writer I admire more than almost any other: for her inimitable and insightful writing, for her reverence and passion for nature, and for her courageous response to her family's heritage, a heritage we share and have similar reactions against, though I have never been as courageous as Williams in that respect.

Lorraine Berry has interviewed Williams at the blog Talking Writing, and here are some quotes from the interview.

"Time for a writer translates into solitude. In solitude, we create. In solitude, we are read. If we’re lucky, our books create community having been written out of solitude. It’s a lovely paradox. It’s the creative tension that I live with: I write to create community, but in order to do so, I am pulled out of community. Solitude is a writer’s communion." Terry Tempest Williams

"TW: In When Women Were Birds, you write that the biblical Eve “exposed the truth of what every woman knows: to find our sovereign voice often requires a betrayal.”" Lorraine Berry, reading back to Williams a quote from her book

"Art can transform patterned thinking. It shows us what’s possible. It brings us home to ourselves, quietly, forcefully. Art disturbs." Terry Tempest Williams

These last two quotes remind of a time I wrote a poem that I was frightened to read afterward. Every time I read it I got a sick feeling in my stomach, a feeling that I was going to hell, even though I don't believe in hell. I can read that poem now without such a visceral reaction; I have come to accept the feelings and truths I accessed in the poem that had been buried so deeply inside me prior to that time. That's the kind of writing I aim for, but all too often fail to achieve.

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