BY DAVIS ENLOE In the poem, “Approaching Prayer,” James Dickey takes on the dilemma of the irrational, or more directly, the soul. This poem, which Dickey calls his most “complicated and far-fetched,” appears in his fourth book, Helmets. Consider the five opening lines of “Approaching Prayer,” A moment tries to come in Through… Read More Approaching Dickey’s “Approaching Prayer”
BY AMBER WHEELER BACON In Malone Dies, Samuel Beckett breaks many of the rules that writing teachers teach in workshop—regarding breaking sequence, reader confusion and plot. While reading it, I kept asking myself, “Why do I love this?” If there’s a plot, it’s barely there. The reader is confused from the beginning and stays confused… Read More Reading Malone Dies: How and Why Does it Work?
By Amber Wheeler Bacon When I worked with Alice Mattison at the Bennington Writing Seminars, she helped me see that what I thought was my novel was actually a series of strong, barely connected episodes. I began studying novel structure then and saw that a novel needs some kind of narrative momentum to keep a… Read More Questions and Momentum in the Novel