Tag: Aesthetics

  • Art and Madness

    Art and Madness

    There are studies on the connection between the artistic impulse and mental illness. The best are books written by Kay Redfield Jamison, especially her “Touched With Fire: Manic-Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament.” In that book, she charts hundreds of writers, from George Gordon Lord Byron to Virginia Woolf, and reveals how the mental illness […]

  • Why I Read Poetry

    Why I Read Poetry

    When my kids were little, I told them early on: don’t let your school get in the way of your education. Our education system kills beautiful things within us, and one of those casualties is our love for poetry. Poetry. I’m not talking Hallmark cards, or boxes of candies, or any of that shit. I’m talking […]

  • TWB Podcast: What Is Aesthetics? And Why Should a Writer Care?

    TWB Podcast: What Is Aesthetics? And Why Should a Writer Care?

    In class, we talk a lot about aesthetics, or the study of art–both appreciating it and creating it. It’s something the writer (the literary writer) is thinking about all the time, even if she doesn’t know she is. Walk with me into the Smokey Mountains of Tennessee, where I once held a classroom with a […]

  • Writing Against the Taboos

    Writing Against the Taboos

    I’m supposed to stay away from the taboos. This is both what my doctor and Michelle recommend. This is a time of rest, they say. They remind me that the tender weeks after a mental collapse need to be calm, with near-zero stress. I don’t disagree. Asylum means sanctuary, refuge, protection. True asylum is a […]

  • My Friend Monty

    My Friend Monty

    I have a poet friend in North Hollywood named Monty who says he’d kill a small domestic animal if that’s what it took to get the exact word in an exact line. He likes to make sweeping statements like that, though, when I visited him recently, his dog Rvr wasn’t around—yes, Rvr. When he’d rescued […]