Portraits of a Young Artist

My six-year-old is at the art table, drawing pictures of sunflowers when the tormented spirit of Van Gogh suddenly swoops in and possesses her body.

 

I can’t work with these lousy crayons, she yells.

 

I sit down next to her and explain that it’s the process not the product that matters, that when we slow down and take the time to observe something carefully, we move from passive absorption, as Maria Konnikova tells us, to active awareness.

April 12, 2017 | Ben Berman

The Writing Life

When Stumbling on a Book Can Change Your LIfe

By Katrin Schumann

Do you ever really struggle to find just the right book to fit your mood? When I’m deeply embroiled in my own writing, I get particularly fussy about my reading material. I want to be inspired and energized—I really don’t want to think: How the hell did THIS get published?

So when I find a book that grabs me and won’t let go, I’m filled with pure delight and gratitude

April 5, 2017 | Katrin Schumann

Craft Advice Read The Writing Life

Passage Analysis

The safety gate in our front hallway had been obsolete for a while – my three-year old had figured out how to unlock it by herself, and for the past few months we’d been primarily using it as a drying rack for wet mittens.

 

When I finally got around to disassembling it last week, my daughters treated it like the fall of the Berlin Wall and celebrated with some prolonged butt-wiggling

March 8, 2017 | Ben Berman

The Writing Life

Meet a Grubbie: Emmanuel Oppong-Yeboah

GrubStreet runs on coffee, printer ink, and community. This series features just some of the Grubbies who make our community strong. In this edition, meet Poetry Instructor Emmanuel Oppong-Yeboahan associate editor at Pizza Pi Press, and the reviews editor at Winter Tangerine

February 10, 2017 | GrubWrites

Meet a Grubbie

The Art of Personas

Off with your head, my five-year-old recently told me when I said no to a second piece of dessert.

 

Though after I explained to her what that phrase meant, she looked at me in a slight panic and asked: But would it grow back?

 

My daughter, of course, picked that line up from the Queen in Alice in Wonderland, but it got me thinking about Emily Dickinson, who said, If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry.

February 8, 2017 | Ben Berman

The Writing Life