When I was in graduate school, Sandra Alcosser (a brilliant poet and inundated teacher) proclaimed: “Very few of you will become writers; some of you will become teachers, but most of you will become readers.” At the time, I didn’t give much thought to her statement; however, after ten years of teaching full time, I believe she was giving her students, aspiring writers, a reality check.
It is difficult to find the balance required to write seriously and have what we call a “life,” let alone teach. They are awesome callings one should not answer without much thought and careful attention to craft. One’s writing, like one’s teaching, can always be improved, and this is often overwhelming. At the same time, when I go long periods without doing either, the place I find myself is its own reality check.
So because of the challenge and my reality, I choose to be a writer, a teacher, and a reader. And I read. I read and reread my own writing, my students’ writing, and other people’s writing–for the sheer joy of it.
Right now I am reading The Mystery of the Hidden Driveway by Jennifer L. Knox and Always Running by Luis J. Rodriguez. As always, my nightstand is full.
Are you happy, Sandra? I have become a reader
SO HOT OFF THE PRESS: Brian Turner to Headline 19th Annual Literary Arts Festival in Spring 2015
“the wilder shores of love.” The Fat City Review. Spring 2013.
“The Dinner Table.” Muck and Muse. Spring 2011.
“Truth of the Blue Vein” and “The Boy with Two Moms.” Mamas and Papas. Fall 2010.
“My Tulips’ Interment.” A Year in Ink, Vol. II. San Diego Writers, Ink. Spring 2009.
“The Difference Between a Horror Film and a Scary Movie.” Hunger and Thirst. City Works Press, 2008.
“The Grapevine.” Red: A Journal of the Arts. Vol. 2, 2007.
“Makeshift Memorials.” Inside English: English Council of Two-Year Colleges. Winter 2005.
“The Role of the Immigrant in the Local Economy.” Sunshine/Noir: Writing from San Diego and Tijuana. City Works Press, 2005.
“The Place Where People Wait.” Two Girls Review. Vol. 3, No. 1, 2001.
“Eggflower, Land.” HOW2: Contemporary Innovative Writing Practices by Women. Rutgers University Online Journal. Vol. 1, No. 4, 2000.