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Notes for Young Writers

By Annie Dillard Essay

The following advice was sent to the creative writing students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, following a series of talks Ms. Dillard presented to the students there. § AFTER I left Chapel Hill, I thought of many things I wish I’d said to you. Here are some of them. Dedicate (donate,…

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Verdigris

By Melissa Range Poetry

Not green as new weeds or crushed juniper, but a toxic and unearthly green, meet for inking angel wings, made from copper sheets treated with vapors of wine or vinegar, left to oxidize for the calligrapher. When it’s done, he’ll cover calfskin with a fleet of knotted beasts in caustic green that eats the page…

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Finding Our Names

By Leslie Leyland Fields Essay

Fathers and teachers, I ponder, “What is hell?” I maintain that it is the suffering of being unable to love. —Dostoyevsky How did I get so lucky to have my heart awakened to others and their suffering? —Pema Chödrön WHEN MY FATHER DIES, I may not know about it for days. The people at his…

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The Harboring Silence

By Gregory Wolfe Essay

The following is adapted from a commencement address given at the Seattle Pacific University MFA in creative writing graduation in Santa Fe on August 8, 2015. The great poet does not completely fill out the space of his theme with his words. He leaves a space clear, into which another and higher poet can speak.…

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The Yoke of Sympathy

By Mary Kenagy Essay

The Yoke of Sympathy: The Fiction Writer and Her Characters   Although the general tone of your [story] “Kirilka” is well maintained, it is spoiled by the character of the land captain. Keep away from depicting land captains. Nothing is easier than to describe unsympathetic officialdom, and although there are readers who will lap it…

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The Reader’s Prayer

By Kim Stafford Poetry

The road takes you from there to here. Here is where you are. Time takes you from then to now. Now is what you have. Language takes you from what you have to what you have to say. When we meet, this is your gift. And writing takes you from what you have to say…

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The Persistence of Faith

By Dennis Covington Essay

Why Believe in God? Over the past few years, the Image staff contemplated assembling a symposium based on this simple problem. But we hesitated. Should we pose such a disarmingly straightforward question to artists and writers, who tend to shun the explicit and the rational? Or were we hesitating because the question itself made us…

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A Conversation with Ron Hansen

By Brennan O'Donnell Interview

Ron Hansen’s novels are Desperadoes, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (both from Knopf), Mariette in Ecstasy, Atticus, Hitler’s Niece, and Isn’t It Romantic? (all from HarperCollins). Atticus was a finalist for both the National Book Award and the PEN/Faulkner Award. Hansen is also the author of the story collection Nebraska…

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My Nineveh

By Moira Linehan Poetry

Reel rolling from the spliced-together lot of my past, this time around: senior year of high school, singsong voiceover of girls bowing to whatever she said, Yes, Sister/ No, Sister as still shots are superimposed on our faces: lone crow on a fencepost, cow silhouetted against late afternoon. Byron, Keats, Shelley—lining up to wander line…

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Web Exclusive: A Conversation with Melissa Pritchard

By Mary Kenagy Mitchell Interview

The spring issue of Image includes Melissa Pritchard’s story of the peculiar and incendiary real-life historical figure Pelagia Ivanovna Serebrennikova, born in 1807 in Arzamass, Russia, one of the eastern churches’ Holy Fools, figures whose wild behavior embodied Saint Paul’s description of the early Christians: “we are made a spectacle unto the world…. We are…

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