In class the other day (I'm taking a nonfiction writing workshop this summer), I watched "Storytellers," a documentary made in 1985 by the PEN Center featuring a bevy of famous writers (Kurt Vonnegut, Toni Morrison, Tom Wolfe, Joan Didion) talking about their craft. Essayist Fran Leibowitz described the process of writing as "slowing down your thinking to 1/100th of its pace." Didion said she writes in order to find out what she's thinking. Morrison, who said she unapologetically focuses on classic themes like love, loneliness and death, decried the lauding of originality as a virtue in and of itself. Wolfe, as expected, talked about co-ed dorms and X-rated movies.
Seeing all these writers together was inspiring -- but also, wow, what a bunch of oddballs.
One such oddball is poet Andrew Hudgins. Here's one of my favorite poems by him; it's very funny and the language is refreshingly idiomatic, and yet he manages to sneak some profundity in at the end.