Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Wider Shores of Creativity: Letters

Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Wider Shores of Creativity: Letters

Article excerpt

Nicholas Royle's article on creative writing is facile and fairly indulgent itself ("Reader's block", 28 March). If he sat in on my creative writing seminars, he would see students learning the construction of formal poems through practice, which not only adds to the craft of their own poetry but also provides a better understanding of the canon of poetry in which these forms appear (that is, literary study).

We consider voice but there is no indulgence of the "I" - this whole "writing from the self" is one small aspect of a much larger discussion of voice in poetry. The focus on self is a myth by those who do not understand how creative writing is taught: there is room for an "I" (as well as a "you", "he" and "she"), but this does not mean it is the writer every time.

As for calling students "20 egotistical know-nothings" - this is an insult to the very many intelligent, well-read young adults I have taught over the years. …

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