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Our Newest  Releases


Yesterdays Noise:

A Family Legacy of Rage and Radiance




Essays by Joe Mackall

“At the heart of this superb collection of essays is the essential and enduring question: how is it possible to live fully in the present without also honoring the ancestral blood flowing through us?”

Andre Dubus III

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Publication Date: March 1, 2021

Paperback price:  $15.99

As nonfiction writer Joe Mackall reaches age sixty—an age the novelist William Styron called “the hulking milestone of mortality”—he finds himself pinioned between past and future, struggling but mostly failing to abide in the present. Blindsided by his reaction to becoming a grandfather, he moves “toward the edge of a foreign land, the plains of an emotional dystopia.” He knows these feelings are connected in ways he doesn’t fully understand to life as a grandfather and as a man likely in the last third of his life. He worries about his country, an America increasingly polarized, fracked, outsourced, droned, downsized, teetering on the dream-edge of itself.


When he’s not agonizing over the future he and the world have made for his granddaughters, he wonders what he has inherited from his ancestors and what he owes them. How have their lives affected his life? Did they die secure in the knowledge that they had improved the planet for future generations? How has he been shaped by their stories? Why are some defined by their tragedies? Some by a marriage? Others by resentments? A few by their work? Too many by violence, including the murder of a beloved uncle living a secret life? And finally, he asks what he is offering his own grandchildren? Which stories will they tell and how will his role in their tales be defined?


The essays in Yesterday’s Noise: A Family Legacy of Rage and Radiance are not necessarily Mackall’s attempt to answer his queries, but rather his desire to fully explore them as a writer humbled and haunted by history, and as a man nurtured and gratified by the stories he has been told and the ones he must tell.

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About the Author

Joe Mackall is the author of Plain Secrets: An Outsider Among the Amish, and of the memoir The Last Street Before Cleveland: An Accidental Pilgrimage. He’s the co-founder and -editor of River Teeth: A Journal of Nonfiction Narrative and co-editor of River Teeth: 20 Years of Creative Nonfiction. His articles have been published in a number of newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times and The Washington Post. His essays have appeared in several anthologies, literary journals, and on National Public Radio's Morning Edition. He’s an emeritus professor at Ohio’s Ashland University.

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Advance Praise

“At the heart of this superb collection of essays is the essential and enduring question: how is it possible to live fully in the present without also honoring the ancestral blood flowing through us? Deeply moving, often funny, always compelling, Yesterday’s Noise is a triumph by one of our finest essayists. I could read Joe Mackall every day, all year long, and this book is a gem.”


Andre Dubus III, author of House of Sand and Fog and Townie


“Joe Mackall’s capacity for delight and dread fuel the stories in his essay collection, Yesterday’s Noise: A Family Legacy of Rage and Radiance. In one story he prances around a room playing dress up with his granddaughter while harboring fears of what might happen to her when she grows up. In another he meticulously recounts the story of his murdered uncle while inwardly anxious about probing the lives of those he loves. In a voice that is fresh, crisp, heart-breaking, funny, lyrical, and unrelentingly honest, Mackall explores a past-drenched present where “the stuff of forever is hidden,” fully aware that “by tomorrow it will be yesterday.” These are stories that square off against life’s mysteries, test the limits of love, and enlarge the heart.”


Steven Harvey, author of The Book of Knowledge and Wonder



“Joe Mackall’s marvelous new collection of essays occupy themselves with a struggle many of us find familiar: the role our past plays in the present while we worry about the future. Walloped by an unexpected and overwhelming love for his grandchildren, precipitating a profound (but intermittent) appreciation of the present, Mackall reassesses this difficult balancing act with a wry but scrupulous honesty, and a combination of humor and irony that roused me from a pandemic stupor.” 


Abigail Thomas, author of Safekeeping and A Three Dog Life

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Author’s Study Guide: For Readers

Discussion Groups, Teachers, and Students


  1. What does the author mean when he writes that he is “humbled” and “haunted” by history? He writes “I am not a prisoner of the past, but I am certainly caught up in it—by how today becomes yesterday.” What are the distinctions between being a “prisoner of the past” and being “caught up” in it? Are there distinctions?

  2. The author is not only obsessed with the past but also in the way the past becomes known, primarily through the stories told, by historians as well as family members. How has the author been molded by the stories of the past? How does he see his stories shaping the lives of his children and grandchildren?

  3. How does the writer appear to reconcile (or not) his assertions about love in the passage “I understand that love is all we have, and I also realize how vulnerable love makes us”? Do you agree with the author’s philosophy on the nature of love?

  4. Discuss what you believe the author means when he writes, “I often feel as though I’m moving toward the edge of an emotional dystopia. I know it’s connected in ways I don’t fully understand to life as a grandfather…life as an American in a country increasingly polarized, fracked, outsourced, droned, downsized, teetering on the dream edge of itself.” Do you share the writer’s concerns about our country’s future?

  5. What aspects of the writer’s character are revealed in “The Little Girl at the Door”? Does your opinion of him change from the beginning to the end of the piece? If so, how and why?

  6. In “The Private Wars of a Dying Storyteller,” the author describes his aging grandmother as achieving the perfect mix for storytelling, which he interprets as “memory, imagination and desire.” How do these elements work for the nonfiction storyteller? How might they complicate a creative nonfiction writer’s believability?

  7. Discuss the last sentence in the essay “Words of My Youth.” “The slur just seems to have been out there, there and somehow not there, like incense, like the way a Whiffle ball whips and dips, the way adults laugh at things kids don’t understand, the way the background noise from a baseball game leaks out of transistor radios, the way factory fires flirt with the night sky, the way sonic booms burst the lie of silence.”

  8. Discuss why and how the author uses first-, second- and third-person points of view and past and present tense in “By Force, Threat, or Deception.” Why does the author believe three points of view are necessary? Do you agree? Why does he shift between past and present tense? Are both imperative to the essay?

  9. In the same essay the author writes competing versions of the night his uncle was murdered. Discuss why he does this. What does this say about the author’s belief in the nature of storytelling? Try to answer for yourself the following question the writer asks in “By Force, Threat, or Deception.” “Does loving somebody and being a writer give you a right to his or her story?”

  10. Discuss why the author includes the story of the killdeer in the essay “Gazing at My Father Gazing.” How does the killdeer story reflect the concerns the writer has about the past, present and future in the more reflective sections of the essay? How does the story of the killdeer complement the themes of the essay?

  11. The writer alludes to several historical figures in the book, most prominently Teddy Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln, and John Brown. Why are these “stop-times” included in the collection? What do you see in these brief stories that are also discussed in other essays?

  12. What does the writer mean by the sentence that appears at the opening of the essay “Yesterday’s Noise”? He writes, “I believe on that day in the mountains of western Pennsylvania our genetic code shifted to accommodate the ugly truth that one of us had annihilated beauty.” Discuss the Charles Wright poem the author uses as the epigraph for this book: “How sweet the past is, no matter how wrong, or how/Sad./ How sweet is yesterday’s noise.”

Annie Dawid

Put Off My Sackcloth: Essays

by Annie Dawid

“If you are an artist hounded by a calling you can’t escape, this book is for you.”


Reginald McKnight, author of He Sleeps and White Boys


Order Here

(Or ask at your favorite bookstore.)

Put Off My Sackcloth is a mosaic of essays about one writer’s journey through a life fraught with crippling interior darkness in an uncertain world to the salve she finds in her “shored-up ruins” and new maternal life beneath the lambent glow of the Sangre de Cristo mountain range in South-Central Colorado.


The daughter of a Jewish refugee from Nazi Germany and an American mother prone to suicidal depression, Annie Dawid, in these essays, traces the history of her life, pivoting between the hanging trees of her most despairing moments, the fouettés of her youth, her archetypal dig into the horrific mass suicides of Jonestown, and the aching “architectural wonders” of her beloved son, Elijah. 


After her father’s death, Dawid finds in the wording of his will a “code” that sends her on a search for a new and better life.  Dawid’s rich and gratifying intellect, her cultural and political insights are enmeshed with the decisive moments of her life that lead her into emotional maelstroms and, at times, psychological bankruptcy. And yet throughout these essays, we never lose sight of Dawid's compassionate, empathetic embrace of all those she encounters who stand on fragile shores. 


As part of this journey, place looms large as an important character in the book. Sackcloth shines with the rural Colorado community of ranchers and artists who share with Dawid a sprawling valley of scattered coyote and spiraling constellations.  Here, always, reigns the generosity of spirit, the life lesson shared, the simple hope carved out of this high mountain meadow land where Dawid lives with her son in an off-grid cabin amid cattle troughs and windmills and old pioneer tubs she fills with wildflower seed.  Put Off My Sackcloth is an unblinking look at the life of one woman—daughter, mother, artist, scholar—who sought change and ultimately found illumination. 

Dawid Author & Video

About the Author

Annie Dawid is the author of three books of fiction, one poetry chapbook, and has had several plays produced in Oregon and Colorado. She lives in the Wet Mountain Valley of South-Central Colorado, where she makes art and teaches online for the University of Denver. Find her author website at

Annie's Story: A Video

Dawid Praise

Praise for Put Off My Sackcloth


“Reading Annie Dawid’s essays for the first time, the question in my mind is: How have I lived so long in this world without reading Annie Dawid’s essays? In Put Off My Sackcloth, there are accidents and suicide attempts, drugs and accidents, guns and broken bodies—but Dawid’s intelligence and humor light up the darkest landscapes. In these essays, Dawid never flinches and when she can laugh, she laughs. She takes us down deep, but she shows us the sparkle of light glinting at the exit of the cave—and love? Love wins.”


Jill Christman, author of Darkroom: A Family Exposure and Borrowed Babies

“Annie Dawid’s essays in Put Off My Sackcloth, aren’t for the faint-hearted.”


Sarah Michaelson, producer of The Voice Box


“What demons must we survive? Why is death’s kiss too often sweet? When the coyotes sing at night, how do we answer the howl that calls for us to take our lives? For many years Annie Dawid has been listening, writing.”


E. Ethelbert Miller, writer and literary activist

“Part memoir, part essay collection, part author’s journal, Put Off My Sackcloth is completely fascinating.”


Rebecca Moore, author of Understanding Jonestown and Peoples Temple

“These essays bear witness to a life lived with emotional courage and intellectual integrity. Through dark and harrowing years of personal struggle, and her parallel inquiry into the psychology of Jonestown, the solaces of community, motherhood, and her beloved landscape in rural southern Colorado weave their bright threads.”


Carol Guerrero-Murphy, author of Chained Dog Dreams and Bright Path Dark River

“If you are an artist hounded by a calling you can’t escape, this book is for you.”

Reginald McKnight, author of He Sleeps and White Boys

Dawid Study Guide

Study Guide

for Readers, Discussion Groups, Teachers, and Students


These questions serve as a guide to help readers make their way through this collection of essays and deepen their understanding of this book and Annie Dawid’s journey through this book.  Readers can use them as ways to open discussions with others about the book. There are no right or wrong answers to these questions. Simply use them as another part of the story.


1. The title to Put Off My Sackcloth includes the word “Essay.” Yet, in the preface, the editor likens this collection to a mosaic.  Given the definition of a mosaic, what implications does the word have for the organization of Put Off My Sackcloth that “essay collection” may not? What other connotations does the word “mosaic” have that might apply to these essays?


2. Dawid very specifically calls attention to the dates pinpointing the year of her life the essay describes.  The earliest essay covers 1976 and the most recent essay 2020.  Given that these essays cover so much of Dawid’s life, why do you think she chose not to put them in chronological order?  What effect does the date for each essay have on your reading of the collection?


3. The essays in Put Off My Sackcloth are not directly spiritual essays, yet the book, including its title, contains quotes and epigraphs from the Psalms.  What do you think was Dawid’s purpose in creating that connection to the spiritual? How is your reading of the essays shaped by this connection?


4. Dawid refers to T.S. Eliot’s famous poem, “Four Quartets,” several times in the book.  In her essay, “A Writer’s Journal, Part II,” she says that she studied the “Four Quartets” for “a kind of answer,” as she dealt with her despair of the world. Given the excerpts included in the book on pages 20, 21 and 133, what kind of “answer” do you think she found in them?  Or hoped to find?


5. The “spine” of the collection includes many essays describing her experience writing a novel about the Jonestown Massacre in 1978, when followers of a cult committed mass suicide at the direction of their leader. Dawid becomes fixated on writing about Jonestown, giving up writing another novel she had originally planned to research, quitting her teaching job at Lewis & Clark College so she can move to the remote mountain valley of Westcliffe and continue to work on her Jonestown novel, then spending more than a decade pursuing a suitable publisher for it.  Thinking about the personal stories in the other essays, why do you think the Jonestown massacre and the novel she wrote about it are so important to Dawid?  How does moving back and forth between Dawid’s personal stories and the Jonestown essays affect the way you read and understand this collection? What do you see as Dawid’s vision for this organization?


6. Place is very important to Dawid.  Why do you think this academic, cosmopolitan New York daughter of a wealthy Jewish refugee finds the remote, rural area of Westcliffe and its valley so important to her sense of well-being? As Dawid writes about Westcliffe and the inhabitants of this small community, how does she keep these essays from feeling too isolated and insular for her readers?


7. In this collection, Dawid describes several disturbing moments of crisis when she contemplates killing not only herself, but her child.  How does she manage to present herself as a sympathetic narrator in these essays, one with whom the reader can empathize?  Or does she? Why or why not?


8. Dawid ends her collection with an essay written about 1999, in which she is searching for a bassinet for her unborn child.  The last line of the essay, the last line of the book, is spoken by Baba, a trusted wise woman, who throughout the book aids Dawid in her darkest times.  Baba says, “Hell sometimes disguises paradise.” Why do you think Dawid chose to end this collection with that sentence?  Which moments of paradise were disguised as hell?


9. Dawid’s Jewish background and the exotic lineage of her son, Elijah, are threads she returns to several times in this collection. Do the heritages of Dawid and her son serve as lenses through which Dawid sees the world?   How?


10. Many publishers are hesitant about publishing essay collections instead of memoirs, convinced that readers want to read a whole “story,” with a beginning, middle, and end.  Many essayists choose to write what’s called “linked” essays that create an arc for the reader and the author, a feeling that the author has unveiled for the reader a journey the author takes that leads to some kind of change, some kind of transformation for the author.  Do these essays chart such a journey?  How would you describe this arc?


--compiled by Kathryn Winograd

Mary Haug

Out of Loneliness:

Murder & Memoir

Mary Woster Haug

Mary Woster Haug’s Out of Loneliness is a stunning memoir that deftly weaves together history, memoir, and reportage.


Kate Hopper

October 27, 2021

Order Here 

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Out of Loneliness: Murder and Memoir opens on Memorial Day 1962 when Bev Waugh, a transgender man strode down a quiet street in a small South Dakota river town and shot Myron Menzie, a young Lakota engaged to Gina Lee, Bev’s pretty, teenage lover. Haug was sixteen years old that day and had no context for understanding the complications of a triangulated love affair that led to murder.


Forty years later, Haug discovers a picture of Bev. In her memory Bev was brawny, fierce, and freakish. She is stunned to see how tiny and vulnerable Bev appears in the photo. How could her memories be so faulty? This coming-of-age story follows the author's quest to answer that question. She braids her life with Bev’s in terms of how the western landscape shaped their understanding of masculinity, gender identity, fathers, love, and grief. It is an unexpected story in an unexpected place that balances the mundane life of a small-town with violence and the pervasive myth of the cowboy. At heart, this is a book about transformations.

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Note: Mary was scheduled to give a presentation in October based on her book at the South Dakota Festival of Books. It is called "Out of Loneliness: Murder & Misunderstanding in South Dakota." It was cancelled due to Covid, but she will present it on-line on Sunday, October 3, from 1:00-1:45 (Central Time). It can be accessed by googling here and clicking on the event schedule.

Haugh About

About the Author

Mary Woster Haug grew up on the grasslands of central South Dakota. Her Bohemian, story-telling father inspired her and her three brothers to pursue careers in journalism and literature.   She earned a Master of Arts Degree from South Dakota State University where she taught for thirty years focusing on Literature of the American West with an emphasis on regional writers. In addition to Out of Loneliness she is the author of Daughters of the Grasslands.  She has also been published in several anthologies and journals, and edited a collection of her brothers’ columns entitled The Woster Brothers’ Brand: Episodes of a Shared Inheritance. She has been twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

Check out her TED Talk here:

Haug Advance

Advance Praise

Out of Loneliness is an engrossing tale of small-town Great Plains uncertainty and murder penned with an intricacy that only a native to the place could manage. Haug gives us a timeless vision of South Dakota life beneath the all-too common regional stereotypes, tunneling down to a place that teems with fertile self-contradiction.”


--Steven Wingate, author of The Leave-takers and Of Fathers and Fire


Out of Loneliness is a gripping read on several levels, simultaneously an investigation of a tragic event, a revelation of how people are haunted by events in seemingly separate lives.  An intense memoir of discovery and reflection.”

--Robert Root, author of Lineage:  Reading the Past to Reach the Present, Walking Home Ground: In the Footsteps of Muir, Leopold and Durleth, and Happenstance


“Mary Woster Haug’s Out of Loneliness is a stunning memoir that deftly weaves together history, memoir, and reportage. Fifty years after a very public murder in her small South Dakota town, Haug embarks on an investigative journey that leads her back in time, to the staid 1950s and the open grasslands of her youth.  Haug pieces together the story of the love-triangle that ended in one man’s death, and also unpacks stereotypes, assumptions and the silence around sex and sexuality with which she grew up.  In the end, she uncovers a larger truth about what it means to be human.  Full of lyricism and narrative urgency, Out of Loneliness is, at its heart, a story about learning see to the humanity in each of us.”

--Kate Hopper, author of Ready for Air and Use Your Words

Haug Questions

Discussion Questions for Out of Loneliness

Is the author trying to elicit a particular response from the reader? If so, what? If so, how does she accomplish that?

Was the story compelling? Discuss the effectiveness of the author’s language and style. Is her voice authentic? Is the imagery evocative? Are the characters presented well?  Which passage seemed particularly effective?

How does memory function in a memoir?  What decisions did the author make in choosing the events that would best frame her narrative? Was there any time at which you thought the author was not being truthful?

What is the relationship between the past and the present in the author’s life?  How does the structure of the novel make that relationship clearer or foggier? Were there any gaps in the story or pieces of information that were missing?

What is the role of setting in this book? Was it effective?


How did the author define masculinity as a child? As an adult?

What is the author’s purpose in writing this memoir?

Discuss the author’s stance toward the people in the community, her family, and Bev, Gina, Myron and their families?

What strategies does the author employ to set the context for this story?

The author wrestles with her impulse to write the book.  How does she resolve that conflict?

What are the ethics of writing a story about others’ tragedies?

What central themes emerged in your reading of this book?



Philip Weinstein

May 1, 2022

Soul-Error is an invitation to travel and Philip Weinstein is an irresistible guide. 

Carol Gilligan

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Soul-Error explores the ways in which, stubbornly yet creatively, we go through life misreading ourselves and our world.  Heraclites claimed, long ago, that no one steps in the same river twice.  Reprising that riddle, Soul-Error explores how our lives, kaleidoscopically, take on new contours, abandoning old ones.


Put some flesh on these bones.  A man divorcing a spouse of 30 years' standing declares (to himself, to others), “I never loved her.”  A friend once said just this to author Philip Weinstein. He and his wife had been close to them both; countless conversations, shared meals and travel, their kids growing up as friends.  Did he never love her?  Or did his present need to divorce her keep him from recognizing who he had been—who they both had been—earlier?

It needs no Heraclitus to tell us that an experience—looked forward to—will not coincide with the experience that later arrives.  No surprise here: we are all failed soothsayers.  But reckoning with our past may involve more intractable error.  What to make of the gap between how our past seemed at the time and how we understand it later?  What if seeing through it means losing it?  Two-dimensional now, a set of images satisfyingly seen around, our revised past has shed its living density—when it was present.  Does re-seeing our past amount to lobotomizing our actual life over time? 

We are resourceful actors moving through time and space; we span them both as we enact our evolving identity.  No less, space and time span and play us in return.  Soul-Error attempts to take the measure of this double-edged play.

Weinstein Author

About the Author


Philip Weinstein grew up in the South, got his bachelor's degree at Princeton and then his doctorate in English at Harvard.  Teaching at Harvard and then at Swarthmore, he has written nine books of literary criticism, beginning with Henry James, moving through British and European fiction, and eventually centering on the life and work of William Faulkner.  He served as President of the Faulkner Society, and his Becoming Faulkner received the Hugh Holman Award as the best book published on Southern literature in 2009.

For the last several years, his writing has turned from a professional audience to a more inclusive one.  He has published two essays in Raritan, the last of which--"Soul-Error"--was chosen for Best American Essays 2020.  That essay's central idea gave birth to a cluster of kindred essays, all of them concerned with our unpredictable trajectory through time and space.  His new book of essays, entitled Soul-Error, explores what is both our gift and our curse: that we stubbornly misread--and creatively reread--ourselves and others as we move through our lives.

Weinstein Study Guide

Advance Praise...

Soul-Error is an invitation to travel and Philip Weinstein is an irresistible guide.  Soul-error refers to the mistakes we invariably make along the way as we go about revising our past and fantasizing our future.  With this quietly remarkable book, Philip Weinstein makes his life the text for exploring the difference between the way life is lived and how it gets told.


  (Carol Gilligan, author of In a Different Voice)


The personal essay at its very best: reflective, open-minded, insightful, thought-provoking, skeptical, endlessly probing. Philip Weinstein draws on Montaigne’s notion of “soul-error” as the “ineradicable tendency, seeded deep within us, to get things wrong.” Both intellectually and emotionally engaging, this wonderful collection vividly explores the many ways we read, reread, and misread our world.

(Robert Atwan, Series Editor, The Best American Essays)


Philip Weinstein's Soul-Error admirably joins the personal-biographical voice with that of the intellectual. Regardless of how our academic protocols insist on separating the two, we know--as Montaigne did--that they nourish each other continuously, and we are lucky that they do so in Weinstein’s book.


 (André Aciman, author of Call Me By Your Name)


In times of runaway stridency, where can we turn for measured thinking in artful language? I submit that Philip Weinstein’s Soul-Error is just the thing we need: mindful meanderings to stir our nobler feelings of universality-in-introspection and remind us that we are all imperfect, all contextual, all subjective (and subjects), and all worthy of humble examination.


(Patrick Madden, author of Disparates)

Weinstein Study Guide


Soul-Error: Study Guide


Why might one speak of something as trivial as “getting things wrong” (misreading self and others) in terms as “heavy” and significant as “soul-error”?  Given that “soul” is such a profound—religion-derived—term for what is enduringly valuable in human beings, why does this book insist on human error as a comedy of soul?


The Difference between Living and Telling: Think of recent instances in your own life when the way you described to others a particular event differed from the way that event actually happened.  Why might this difference be something that one never thinks about when speaking?  Why does telling an event, later, depart from how the event really occurred?


Have you ever traveled to a famous, much-written-about place—and discovered that the place feels very different from all that you read about it and were anticipating to find?  Why were the differences?  What were you looking for that you didn’t find?  What did you find that you were not looking for?


Have you ever had the experience of wanting something keenly—and then discovering, once you get it, that it’s not that important to you?  Why might it no longer have such value?  What gives the things you want their value in the first place?  What takes it away?


Think about the different homes you have lived in.  Is your memory of the first home different from that of the later homes?  In what ways does a place you care or cared for seem connected to the particular time when you came to know it?


Uncles, aunts, and grandparents can be wonderful—but when you are very young, they can be pretty scary too.  Are there ways in which time spent (when you were very young) with grandparents and uncles and aunts showed you things about your own parents that you didn’t know before?


The writer of this book grew up Jewish, but he became especially aware of that aspect of his identity only at specific moments in his life.  As you grew up, did specific moments occur when you became especially conscious of a family “tradition” coming your way?  Were you expected to take on specific roles and attitudes—involving gender or racial or religious identity—that your parents had taken on before you?  What was that like?  Does the drama of your taking on (or resisting) these familial roles—when you were younger—seem different to you in retrospect?  If so, how and why?


Has anything terrible every happened to you?  (It may qualify as terrible to you, even if others around you did not—or would not—find it terrible.)  How do such events look now—in the rear-view mirror?  Did they show you anything about yourself that you didn’t know before, and that has remained with you?  In what ways did they change you?


Have you ever practiced a profession for a long time?  If so, what particular set of thoughts or feelings or skills does the sustained practice of that profession “require” you to deploy?  (That is, you can’t continue to do the job responsibly without drawing on these thoughts or feelings or skills.)  How do these thoughts and feelings and skills—so necessary for doing your work well—affect your life outside your work?  If they have a tendency to get in your way, how do you negotiate that tension?


Have you ever been seriously ill?  If so, did that illness “teach” you anything about your body—or about your mind?  Did you come away from that illness essentially the same person you were before—or were you changed by it, even though the illness is now in the past? 


Do you have friends who seem to you to have greatly altered over the years?  If so, do these friends seem aware of the changes that may strike you as dramatic? 


This book seeks to understand how we change, often unknowingly, over time.  Looking back on your life, what changes (in how you see yourself, or your relationships, or the work you do, for example) seem most striking?  If these changes really are striking, what does it tell you about your own identity?  Insofar as your “identity” refers to “what is uniquely you,” what would be at stake in its having changed?


Remembering the Alchemists and Other Essays

by Richard Hoffman

Forthcoming January 15, 2023

Hoffman peels away lies, vanities and convenient half-truths in a struggle to attain that rarest and seemingly least-valued of contemporary virtues, humility.

Phillip Lopate, author of

Getting Personal, Selected Writings

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Remembering the Alchemists is an intense, passionate, and moving collection of personal essays that never loses sight of the moral issues it raises. At times thoughtful and wise and at other times a cri de cœur, it is held together by the experienced voice of an essayist at the top of his game. Richard Hoffman speaks softly, even reverently, in the presence of art and the natural world, but addressing militarism, war, and violence against children, he speaks with urgency and earnest questioning. Several of these essays ask how it is that we seem to have given up on ourselves, and what it might take to turn the cascading traumas of history into compassion for one another and lessons for the future. In this award-winning poet’s fourth book of prose, sentences can open into reverie or stop you in your tracks. Whether he is writing about a painting, the work of another writer, a tree that grew in front of his boyhood home, atrocities visited upon children, the superstructure of exploitation and oppression, or the responsibility to be a “good ancestor,” Hoffman pleads with us to move beyond familiar tropes and assumptions and relinquish a learned despondency that ensures a future of more wars, ongoing injustice, and stifled potential. He transforms personal experience not into “the universal,” that categorical abstraction, but into the public, the civic, the ethically useful. These seventeen essays aspire to do more than diagnose our current malaise; they attempt to lift us from it, to clarify our situation, to encourage and inspire. Although Hoffman's candor can at times be shocking, the beauty, intelligence, and bracing clarity of his vision challenges readers to meet the demands of our historical moment with confidence. Insisting that no conclusions are foregone, Remembering the Alchemists is ultimately a book about what it means to hope, to have faith, to see clearly and still insist on joy.

The trailer...

Hoffman Trailer
Hoffman author

About the author...

Richard Hoffman has published four volumes of poetry, Without Paradise; Gold Star Road, winner of the Barrow Street Press Poetry Prize and the Sheila Motton Award from The New England Poetry Club; Emblem; and Noon until Night, winner of the 2018 Massachusetts Book Award. His other books include Half the House: a Memoir; the 2014 memoir Love & Fury; and the story collection Interference and Other Stories. His work, both prose and verse, has been appearing regularly in literary journals for fifty years. He is Emeritus Writer in Residence at Emerson College in Boston, and nonfiction editor of Solstice: A Magazine of Diverse Voices.

Hoffman Interview

Interview with Dan Hill

Check out the interview between Richard Hoffman and Dan Hill for the EQ Podcast on Books. Dan Hill writes: Hoffman’s two essays recounted here, “The Egg” and the title piece, “Remembering the Alchemists,” deal respectively, with grieving over a lost opportunity to be closer to his now deceased mom and on how Eisenhower’s warning about the country’s “military-industrial complex” has come to complete, unfortunate fruition.

Hoffman Review


from The Boston Globe Review by Nina MacLaughlin

“In his intimate, excavatory new collection of essays, Remembering the Alchemists, Richard Hoffman asks questions — of himself, of us — of powers beyond what we can know or name. ‘Are we willing to admit that killing people is America’s business model?’ ‘What is the future with the present so precarious?’ ‘What maniacal dream unites us?’ Hard questions, and good questions, the biggest ones being those without answer. Hoffman’s are essays of wondering and of wonder...”

Read the entire review here.


from Vox Populi Review From Baron Wormser

These sentences illustrate, for me, the great gist of the essay as a form, how we can write about being human, which means what haunts us. The haunting varies—Cain’s killing his brother, the man passed out on the subway car, the two dead brothers, the endless shootings—but the haunting, as Shakespeare suggested in more than one play, is what defines us. If we are willing to admit it. One can make a fair case that the techno-addled world we inhabit is all about not admitting how we are human in that regard, that we are here simply to consume one sensation after another and then evaporate into the increasingly distressed ether. Reading this book is not something Alexa can do for us. The writing—and Hoffman shows what good things happen when poets write prose—invites us to partake. Amid all the babble, it’s heartening to read such a deeply felt and deeply thoughtful book.

Read the entire review here.

Hoffman praise

Advance praise for Remembering the Alchemists...

Remembering the Alchemists is a powerful and bracing collection of essays, a work of self-scrutiny and compassion, a work that seeks the linkage between public and private spheres in our culture of endless violence. Hoffman speaks for memoir—and other forms of art--as antidote to the “fictional distortion” about our history that clouds our sense of belonging. Memoirs may be our ongoing “truth and reconciliation hearings,” he writes. As his previous memoirs recount, his childhood was marked with the trauma of abuse and loss of two brothers who died “before we could be adults together.” And he understands that “killing people is the basis of the American economy.” Yet he is no catastrophist—and for this we can be grateful. His writing is a revelatory study in paying attention to the present and reframing the past so that the possibility of living a life of meaning and connection can be renewed.

—Alison Hawthorne Deming, author of

A Woven World: On Fashion, Fishermen, and the Sardine Dress

Points of pain, points of pleasure, and intelligence everywhere. It's both exhilarating and harrowing to read someone stripping away rationalizations and long-held illusions to get to what lies beneath. Hoffman is personal, but—as with the best writers—immediately relevant. Remembering the Alchemists and Other Essays has the authority of lived life and brims with wisdoms long distilled.


—Sven Birkerts, author of

Changing the Subject: Art and Attention in the Internet Age


Additional praise for Richard Hoffman's work...

Hoffman peels away lies, vanities and convenient half-truths in a struggle to attain that rarest and seemingly least-valued of contemporary virtues, humility.


—Phillip Lopate, author of

Getting Personal, Selected Writings

If Anton Chekhov returned as a modern-day poet, Richard Hoffman would be his name. His poems reverberate with the same lucid witness and precision. Bridging histories local and cultural, they drew on literary traditions while simultaneously heralding experiment and invention.

—Terrance Hayes

author of American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin

Richard Hoffman is a fiercely gifted poet whose stanzas revel in the infinite possibilities of language, and jolt, surprise, and satisfy at every turn. This is work to be savored and embraced.


—Patricia Smith

author of Incendiary Art


Hoffman is the poet traveling our nightmare of now, our descent into a lack of love for one another, but along the way he finds etchings of hope on the walls.


—Afaa Michael Weaver

Hoffman writes about male sadness and vulnerability with unusual insight and tough-minded compassion.

—Tom Perrotta, author of

Tracy Flick Can't Win

Some write lapidary prose but lack a compelling world vision; others have the vision but not the words to illuminate it; Richard Hoffman is that rare writer who has both in abundance. Hoffman's vision is wide and deep, with an artful grace that is a joy to read.


—Andre Dubus III, author of

Gone So Long


Humorous or brutal, transgressive or redemptive, Hoffman's writing is full of wisdom and beauty.


—Kyoko Mori, author of

Polite Lies: On Being a Woman Caught between Cultures


Hoffman taps into moments when civilization dissolves, not superficially, but at its emotional roots. Time and again through the poet’s weary irony comes the bite of life.

—Molly Peacock, author of

Flower Diary

Beautiful and dangerous, unforgettable, transformational, meaningful across academic and social borders.

—Linda McCarriston, author of


Hoffman is a rarity; his premise is dialogic, his canvas vast, his stance self-questioning. This new book is breakthrough work of hard-earned grounding, profound integrity, and scalding, visionary intensity.

—D. Nurkse, author of

A Country of Strangers: New & Selected Poems

Sydney Lea

Such Dancing As We Can

by Sydney Lea

January 15, 2024

Such Dancing Book cover (front).png

Sydney Lea’s Such Dancing As We Can is a compendium of one man’s ponderings on the events and changes in this world over the course of eighty-one years. Lea has devoted the greater part of those years to poetry, nonfiction, and fiction, but this collection of essays makes clear that other matters—chiefly devotion to wife, children, grandchildren and a handful of devoted friends and ­relations—are at very least as important as his art. More accurately, the essays often indicate that without these other affections and bonds, his art would be at best impoverished and more likely nonexistent.


Lea’s deep knowledge of his beloved northern New England woods plays an essential role in Such Dancing As We Can; but there are other motifs as well. His long-term delight in blues, country and western, rock n roll, and what the late Rahsaan Roland Kirk called Black Classical Music (especially the work of late bop composers and performers like Thelonious Monk, Max Roach, Miles Davis and others) informs many of his observations. The book finds genius and inspiration among people and in quarters that many of the nation’s elite wouldn’t tend to explore. Lea frequently meditates on the issues of race, American exceptionalism, class, privilege, and inequity through his own personal experiences and the experiences of those he has encountered over the last four decades.


This is a book written by the hand of a poet, its language often beautifully lyrical and studded by stunning imagery and contemplative metaphor.  It is through the poet’s heart that we follow Lea’s journey into the mysteries of grace and the small blessings bestowed upon even the humblest life.  Lea’s gratitude for the life and affections that have been granted to him makes us aware of our own and we share in his humility as he searches through his writing to understand the unknowable and its gifts, which reveal themselves to us through quiet contemplation.

About the Author

A former Pulitzer finalist, Sydney Lea served as founding editor of New England Review and was Vermont's Poet Laureate from 2011 to 2015.  In 2021, he was presented with his home state's Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts. He has published twenty-four books: a novel, five volumes of personal and three of critical essays, and sixteen poetry collections, most recently What Shines (Four Way Books, NYC, 2023). This is his sixth book of personal essays. His second novel, Now Look, is due in spring of 2024.

Advance Praise for Such Dancing as We Can

Early on in Sydney Lea’s mother lode of trenchant reflections, Such Dancing As We Can, he speaks of “taking stock toward the end of a lucky life.” He does just that, and admirably well, but what moves me most is his irresistible tendency to take stock of the unlucky lives he has known. His book stands in the place where empathetic imagination and true compassion kiss, where mere sentimentality averts its eyes for shame. What William Carlos Williams once said about poetry could also be said of these essays by one of our finest living poets: “It is difficult to get the news” in these pages, or much news, but people “die miserably everyday for lack of what is found there.”


—Garret Keizer, author of

Getting Schooled and The Unwanted Sound of Everything We Want


I read these essays straight through, helplessto turn loose before the end. There are precious few people left with stories of the sort Sydney Lea tells, stories built from the plain implements of living and the people who use them, with both love and awareness. And elegance. His language is so elegant it feels biblical, full of vision and compassion. Lea is a master of writing the tender landscape of the human heart, a landscape made of whistling, Patti Page, Fats Domino, the Vietnam War, wild violets, moose, carrion beetles, the singing of a brook, and all manner andm variation of human predicaments. It’s a priceless collection.


—Fleda Brown

former Delaware poet laureate and author of Flying Through A Hole In The Storm


In this engaging essay collection Sydney Lea manages to deftly blend the hyper-personal with the political in such a way that readers will come away not only moved and entertained, but also enlightened about the ageism, sexism, racism, and climate threats that affect all of us, and future generations.


—Sari Botton, author of

And You May Find Yourself...Confessions of a Late-Blooming Gen-X Weirdo, and editor of Oldster Magazine.

Study Guide


1. Perhaps because Lea is at heart a poet, his essays are very segmented and often end abruptly, often with only an image for a “conclusion.” As Lea frequently points out, often small occurrences or observations jolt him back into deep memories of the past.  Lea doesn’t always explain the connection between the image and the memories. One example is in The Cardinal, The Cops, and The Say-Hey Kid , which begins and ends with a cardinal that Lea finds.  The ending of this essay is rather shocking: the cardinal dead, Lea throws its “brilliant body” into a wood stove and describes the cardinal’s body as “lighter than air.”  How does this image work with an essay in which Lea touches on the racism he remembers from his childhood? How do we reconcile the two? What other essays end with an image and how do you “read” them?

2. For a personal memoir in essays, Lea’s book is filled with the stories of many other people: people he grew up with, people he met, people he heard about, people he loved. Choose some of your favorite “other” characters in the book.  What do these characters add to Lea’s personal story? What lessons does Lea learn from these characters as he contemplates the eightieth year of his life?

3. Lea brings up miracles and blessings throughout this collection as he contemplates his life.  Does the book belong in the genre of books on faith and spirituality? If so, what kind of spirituality is at the center of Lea’s faith?

4. Thanatophobia is the fear of oncoming death.  Lea’s later essays in the collection recount the various debilitating ailments, mishaps, and deaths of those Lea has known through the years.  Some might imagine that such a focus would make Such Dancing As We Can a depressing book to read.  But the argument could be made that despite, or even because of this focus, the book is not disheartened and that, ultimately, Lea comes to terms with those stories directly and indirectly. Is this book about one’s man’s fear of death? Or not? If not, how is any thanatophobia tamed?

5. Lea often quotes from other writers, either through epigraphs at the start of essays or in the middle of essays.  Those quotations bring in other voices to his essays and create another layer to his prose. Choose a couple of instances where Lea has brought in the words of another and talk about how such borrowings affect Lea’s stories.  What might the essays lose without these other voices?


6. The writer Alexander Chee writes in her introduction to The Best American Essays that during the years of Covid, when she was trying to deal with the debilitation of an entire world and her own family, she lost faith in what writing could or could not do, doubting its ability to “improve anything between people.” She doubted “especially the idea that writing could or should create empathy.” Do these essays of Lea’s serve as a counter- argument or at least a salve to such a crisis of faith in writing? If so, how?

Winograd 1

This Visible Speaking:

Catching Light Through the Camera's Eye

by Kathryn Winograd

March 15, 2024


Dante called the most beautiful things of this world the visible parlare— the visible speaking— that comes not from our hands but God’s. The surprise gift of a camera during Covid lock-down casts Kathryn Winograd into a journey through the intersections between written and visual image.  Mourning what feels like the broken world, she moves between the quaking aspen of her Teller County cabin and the South Platte River near her suburban home in search of the beautiful things of this world that might speak to us: the imprint of a dead flicker, the shell of a moon snail on a window sill, or taking a puppy outside at 3 a.m. to pee and contemplating the universe.  In this hybrid collection of photopoetry and prose vignettes, Winograd weaves together images of the Colorado she loves, whether wandering bull elks or cabbage white butterflies. These images give rise to meditations on love and loss and beauty and on the voices of those early explorers of the daguerreotype and the photograph who, dazzled and wary, learned to fix the world in light.

Learn more about the author, read her comments about ekphrastic writing, watch the trailer, ponder her study guide and more below.  They tell the story of the making of this beautiful book.

Advance Praise

This Visible Speaking creates a gorgeous polyphony of photographs, lyric meditations, and the voices of photographers. Image and text mirror each other, enacting the ways that the world of nature outside us can evoke and mirror our inner human life—our visions, loves, our losses. Like Georgia O’Keefe, Winograd says of her photos and forays into the wild, “I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way—things I had no words for.” Emily Dickinson writes of how “A light exists in spring” that “almost speaks to you”; in Winograd’s book, it finally does. This is a book to hold close, to travel with—and return to—for a very long time. 

—Angie Estes, author of Parole

Out of the ash of grief and loss that COVID left behind for so many of us, Kathryn Winograd has assembled an astonishing book of prose and photographs. “I was looking for anything like prayer,” she writes in her preface, “anything like visible parlare to bring back even a moment of peace, just a small quiet joy” and she has done more than that. She has caught “light through the camera’s eye” and in every photograph is some shard of natural beauty from this fragile and resilient world that held us through a pandemic and holds us still. Her patient, quiet eye brings us fox, heron, owl, kestrel, painted turtles, butterflies, shells, orchids, and so much more. Kathryn Winograd’s This Visible Speaking is a book with essays that honor and love the natural world—its birds and creatures, its fruits and flowers—and her book pays homage to other photographers and writers who share this holy regard. If praise is a form of prayer and prayer is a form of love, then these words and photographs are a love letter, touched by sadness and deep concern for the planet, yes, but not without a scintillating thread of hope for “what blossoms, what speaks.”

—Lisa Zimmerman, author of The Light at the Edge of Everything

Kathy Winograd’s This Visible Speaking is a gorgeous foray into the splendors of her Colorado landscape, particularly the wildlife near and around the South Platte River. The beauty of snowy egrets, young flickers, cormorants, red-tailed hawks and other animals and growth caught in Winograd’s camera-eye become astonishments. An essayist and poet Winograd’s photographs of visual speaking are enriched by her lyrical conversations with the likes of Man Ray, Edward Weston, Paul Strand, and writers from Dante to Baudelaire, Poe, and Barthes. Like those artists she converses with, it is the transformative power of the visual, particularly when in dialogue with the textual, that rivets her. Having been gifted a camera during the Covid pandemic Winograd finds herself on a quest “looking for some kind of prayer” in what she describes as “translations of light” – a magic, her camera and poetry have so luminously gifted us.

Adrianne Kalfopoulou, author of On The Gaze and Ruin 

This Visible Speaking is an appropriate title. Its lyrical prose conjures evocative images, its observant pictures invite thoughtful reading, and its attention to others’ contemplations of both the visual and the poetic enrich each section. The reader soon engages with the visible speaking as intensely and as intricately as the author has.

 —Robert Root, author of Happenstance 

Winograd image.jpg

About the Author


Kathryn Winograd is a Colorado poet, essayist, and photographer. She received a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Iowa Writer's Workshop and a Ph.D. from the University of Denver . Her poetry has been published in places as disparate from each other as The New Yorker and Cricket Magazine for Kids. Her first book of poetry, Air Into Breath, won the Colorado Book Award in Poetry. She has published two collections of essays, including Slow Arrow: Unearthing the Frail Children, which was awarded a Bronze Medal in Essay for the 2020 Independent Publisher Book Awards. Her photography has been published as cover photographs for literary journals, online essays and poems and shown as part of the Passionate Spectator Exhibit. Winograd has taught poetry and creative nonfiction for the Regis Mile-Hi and Ashland University Low Residency MFA programs. Learn more at the author's website here.

On Writing a Book of Ekphrasis: A Tale of Light

by Kathryn Winograd

The first "real" photo I took, the photo that made me breathless for a moment, was this one I call, Heron Flying in Snow:

heronflyinginsnow copy.jpg

It was winter. Snowing. My favorite time to walk the river after the fall anglers and cane pole fishermen have left to linger over small tables with bobbin holders and hair stackers, tying their lures and flies of deer hair and feathers before the bright fires I wish for them.

For me, the wish is winter solitude. Their leaving gives me that: frozen lakes and river banks where I can walk in quiet with my camera in hand, winter steam rising over the resident birds I have grown to love.


For most of my life, I have tried to catch and hold light only in words. Beautiful words, I always hoped. But I remembered  WH Auden's poem, "Musee des Beaux Arts," musing over Pieter Brueghel the Elder’s Landscape with the Fall of Icarus. I think this poem and this painting were my first time experiencing the "ekphrastic" and the power of image and word wedded together. 

Amidst furrowed fields and herds of sheep and the soft blow of ship sails against pale green harbor water, two tiny half-white dabs of paint in the right-hand foreground of this landscape are all that depicts the fall of poor Icarus, a boy dressed by his father in wings of wax and honey, the boy who almost touched the sun.


"About suffering, they were never wrong," Auden teaches us in his poem, and today, for me, still, the "delicate ship" goes "calmly on," while Icarus drowns.


My daughter and son-in-law gave me a camera for Christmas a few years back. That spring, during the pandemic, I took a Zoom naturalist course that sent me to the river and its byways, alone. "Record what you see with a camera or pen," the Zoom naturalist told my class. And so began my journey into the ekphrastic and the ways of rivers.

"Ekphrastic!" I must first admit my husband sputters each time I use the word. "Exactly who knows what that word means?" he asks. "And it's an ugly word, too!" he puffs at me as he fusses at his beloved fish tank.

But unlike my husband, I hear in that word's first two syllables the echo of "ecstatic," born from the Greek word, "ekstasis," meaning "to stand outside" oneself, to "transcend." And that is what I feel each time I mix the imagery of photo and word together.

The heron, I remember, startled me as much as I startled it:  the heron hunched at the shoreline, hidden by cattails, suddenly popped its wings open at my winter stepping and floated toward the river, its shock of feet dangling in the snow dusk like a pen's mark, the heron now something caught and lit within me.

After seeing a photo I took in a canyon of a grass skipper with the butterfly's surprise of tiny orange knobs on its antennas, someone said to me on Facebook, "I see a book."

Since those words, there have been all kinds of light I have found in this journey. And so, here, then, is the trailer to that book, one part of the journey.


Study Guide


​1. Ekphrastic is said to have been part of the writing world since Homer first described so richly the forging of the shield of Achilles in the Iliad about three thousand years ago. A simple definition of the ekphrastic is a detailed description of a visual work of art, written through prose or poetry. Do the prose pieces in This Visible Speaking work as ekphrastic pieces? How do they and how do they not focus on the photographs in each section of the book?  You can check out The Ekphrastic Review for more information on ekphrastic writing


2. This Visible Speaking is a series of photographs, prose poem pieces, and bits of discussion on the early history of photography.  Yet, it is a collection. What are some of the ways that this book progresses and unites these photographs and pieces of writing? For instance, “Unlocking the Wild Life Camera” and “Catching Light” both have visual images of a buck half-hidden in the grass. How are the two pieces tied together? How are they different? Do they suggest that a kind of journey has occurred throughout the book?


3. The images in this book are not only the visual images in the photographs but, the written images in the text. There is an old adage in poetry, “Show, Don’t Tell.”  Choose a few written images in the book and brainstorm on what you think the images are showing. For instance, in the piece, “Owl’s Head at Beaver Creek,” the last line in the prose poem piece is, “Don’t ask me why I think this: but how wild, my love, we once were, how blossomed we must have seemed to the wheeling hawks, to those smooth blades of the sky we still lift our faces to, white and dark our flesh.” What feelings do you get from the images that describe the “we” as “blossomed” and the “smooth blades of the sky”?  Why are the lifted faces both “white and dark”?


4. An important part of the book are the voices of past photographers and those who write about the beginning of photography. We hear their questions, excitement, and wariness about the dawn of photography and the new age of visual art it promised. What do these voices bring to the rest of the book?  How do they interact with the photographs and the prose poems?


5. An epigraph is a short line or sentence at the beginning of a book or a poem or a prose piece. This Visible Speaking begins with an epigraph by Jacob Burckhardt, considered the founding father of art history. Each section has its own epigraph before the prose poem. How do those epigraphs set up for the reader a possible way to read the book and each section? Choose an epigraph and discuss how you see it working in conversation with the prose poem.


6. Often the prose poems in this book wander through description, event, and memory. For instance, in “3 a.m. and taking the puppy out for a pee beneath the new moon,” the author begins with a very mundane and real task: waiting for the new puppy to pee in the early morning. But then she finds herself remembering Leonard’s questions about the universe and she remembers what she learned about the moon snail. Finally, the piece ends with the puppy and the author blinking beneath the moon. How does the piece find its way through all this? What connections might there be between waiting for a puppy to pee, a new moon, and a universe caught in a soda straw?



7. Look at the cover photograph for This Visible Speaking entitled, “Two ducks swimming Eaglewatch Lake beneath a tree called holy.”  Why do you think the author felt like this photograph was the photograph to represent the whole book and Dante’s concept of “visible speaking” (see the preface for Dante’s quote and what he says about “visible speaking”)?   How might the photograph metaphorically represent this idea of visible speaking?


8. Ekphrastic writing is an interesting way to explore the inner and outer worlds. Either find your own photos or go to online art museums and choose photos there to write about. Try a few of these writing experiments:”



  • Put yourself into the place/setting of the photograph. Title your piece with the place in the photograph and then make a list describing the place as you see and imagine it, using all of your senses: touch, hearing, sight, smell, and taste.


  • Put yourself into the role of the photographer and write a piece from his/her point of view about taking this photograph: what do you imagine the photographer was feeling before, during, and/or after taking this picture? Why did the photographer choose this subject to photograph?


  • Choose a photograph that was taken of an actual object:—animal, plant, person, structure—and write a  piece in which this object talks about being photographed. Have fun: make the object whiny or mad or bored or ecstatically happy.


  • Write a piece about what happened the moment before the photograph was taken and/or immediately after the photograph was taken. Create scenes.


  • Find a morning photograph or your own photograph of a special morning place and write an aubade placed in this setting.  An aubade is a love poem to a loved one who must leave you in the morning (think Romeo and Juliet).

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