Profile: Laura Kasischke
M.F.A., University of Michigan 1987
Laura Kasischke on the Workshop
My workshop emphasizes the discussion of issues related to writing; specifically, these issues will arise in response to the new work written and submitted by workshop members:
I state my definition in this round-about way because I'd like to emphasize that my approach to the workshop privileges the discussion of the elements, techniques, and troubles of writing over the goal of setting out to fix a specific piece of writing.
In the rest of your writing life, you will learn primarily through struggle with your own work, alone. In this brief period of your writing life, you'll learn, too, by struggling with the work of your peers. It can be time- consuming, to be sure, but responding to the new work of others can be as great an act of creativity as writing one's own new work. And, it's a great short-cut to learning how to read your own work objectively. With some conscientious effort, the graduate writing workshop becomes not only a place to practice and improve our craft, but a true community of writers. We need to bring all the energy we can to each workshop, and an ambitious generosity. There's no such thing as too much passion when it comes to making art or responding to it. My goal for the workshop is that it will, eventually, become a sustaining memory of a place where serious insight and support were generated and shared--a place and time to which you can return again and again in your mind during the more solitary days of writing ahead.
From Dance and Disappear, "A Kitchen Song"
From The Life Before Her Eyes
The writing of poetry; the writing of fiction; the teaching of creative writing.
Contemporary poetics; the contemporary novel; the Black Mountain Poets; the literature of the Midwest.