Encourage Others

Mentor

One way a writer can become successful is by having a more established writer as a mentor. Writing groups can serve the function of a mentor. Let me share an example of the influence a mentor.

In 1919 a young veteran returned from World War I. He moved to Chicago moving into a particular neighborhood for the purpose of being close to the author Sherwood Anderson.

Sherwood Anderson

The young beginning writer was impressed by the critical praise for Anderson and his book Winesburg, Ohio. He had heard that Sherwood Anderson was willing to help aspiring writers. He worked to meet Anderson. The two men became close friends. They met almost every day to read newspapers, magazines, and novels. They dissected the writings they read.

Ernest Hemingway

The aspiring writer brought his own works for critique having Anderson help him improve his craft. Anderson went as far as introducing the want-to-be writer to his network of publishing contacts. The aspiring writer did okay with his first book The Sun Also Rises. The aspiring writer was Ernest Hemingway.

William Faulkner

Sherwood Anderson didn’t stop there. He moved to New Orleans where he met another aspiring writer. He took the young man through the same steps and paces of the craft. He actually shared an apartment with this young man. He even invested $300 in getting this writer’s first book Soldier’s Pay published. This young author was William Faulkner.

John Steinbeck

Anderson would later move to California and repeat the process with John Steinbeck. Thomas Wolfe and Erskine Caldwell were also mentored by Sherwood Anderson.

Ray Bradbury says Winesburg, Ohio was on his mind when he wrote The Martian Chronicles. Bradbury basically wrote Winesburg, Ohio placing it on the planet Mars.

Mark Twain

Arguably, only Mark Twain has had a greater influence in shaping modern American writing than Sherwood Anderson. Anderson didn’t do too badly, did he?

Nobel Prize for Literature and Pulitzer Prizes

William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway and John Steinbeck each won the Nobel Prize for Literature and there are multiple Pulitzer Prizes between them.

If you are serious about writing I encourage you to find a mentor or join a writing group. The encouragement of my writer’s group and critique group keeps me motivated.

Encourage your writer friends, keep reading and writing.
Jimmie Aaron Kepler


Photo Source: Public Domain

Meet the Poets: Maxine Kumin – Pulitzer Prize in Poetry 1973 and Poet Laureate of the United States of America 1981 -1982

Biography

Maxine Kumin (born June 6, 1925 and passed away February 6, 2014) was an American poet and author. She was appointed Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in 1981–1982. She received her BA and MA from Radcliffe College.

Publications

Her published books of poetry are many. They include Where I Live: New & Selected Poems 1990-2010 (W. W. Norton, 2010); Still to Mow (2009); Jack (2003); The Long Marriage (2003); Bringing Together (2003); Connecting the Dots (1996); Looking for Luck (1992), which received the Poets’ Prize; Nurture (1989); The Long Approach (1986); Our Ground Time Here Will Be Brief (1982); House, Bridge, Fountain, Gate (1975); and Up Country: Poems of New England (1972), for which she received the Pulitzer Prize in 1973.

Non-poetry works include a memoir, Inside the Halo and Beyond: The Anatomy of a Recovery (W. W. Norton, 2000); four novels; a collection of short stories; more than twenty children’s books; and five books of essays, most recently The Roots of Things: Essays (Northwestern University Press, 2009) and Always Beginning: Essays on a Life in Poetry (Copper Canyon Press, 2000).

Awards

She has received many awards and honors including the Aiken Taylor Award for Modern Poetry, an American Academy of Arts and Letters award, the Sarah Joseph Hale Award, the Levinson Prize, a National Endowment for the Arts grant, the Eunice Tietjens Memorial Prize from Poetry, and fellowships from The Academy of American Poets, and the National Council on the Arts as well as United States Poet Laureate, Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, Robert Frost Medal, and Poets’ Prize.

She has served as the Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress and Poet Laureate of New Hampshire, and is a former Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. She lived in New Hampshire.

Source: http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/94 and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maxine_Kumin

My Father’s Secret War: A Memoir by Lucinda Franks

My Father’s Secret War: A Memoir is the best book I’ve read in a long time. It is written by Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist Lucinda Franks. It reads more like a novel than a memoir.The book is both an intellectual search for an understanding of her father’s secret past as a spy in World War II as well as a heart-wrenching story of the complexities of the author’s relationship with him. What makes this book so very compelling is the honesty and poetic telling of naked truths in a real family drama. Everything is here: burning hatred and welcome forgiveness, love’s disappointments, parent’s failings, alcoholism, psychological torture, adultery, rebellion, revelation and resolution.

 

We care deeply as the author so desperately searches to understand why her relationship with her father had changed from childhood adoration to hatred, because of his alcoholic withdrawal. This is a universal story of every daughter’s struggle to know and forgive her father as he ages and declines. This author’s telling is unbelievably poignant. A must read!