Sunday, April 17, 2011

Author Guest Post: Laura Kasischke

On Writing Poetry Vs. Novels

I find the writing of poetry and of novels to be quite different, but my first interest is always in language, and particularly in figurative language. I like discovering new ways to describe things. In both the poetry and the prose, I compose mostly via association. I begin with a sensory image—something like a river, or a snowstorm—and move through the details until I find an event or an emotion correlative to that imagery. But with poetry, there’s an accumulation of energy that I need to have already started on before I sit down to right. With a novel, that’s not possible. You can’t sustain that amount of energy for a project over many years. I can hack away, and come back and revise, and find the inspiration during the writing process itself, instead of before. I've never really started a novel from a poem, or vice versa, but I do find overlap of themes and images, particularly when I'm writing in the two genres simultaneously. I enjoy both a great deal, but if I were told I could write in only form for the rest of my life, I’d choose poetry. That’s where my love of writing started.

Laura Kasischke teaches in the University of Michigan MFA program and the Residential College. She has published seven collections of poetry and seven novels including In A Perfect World. She lives with her family in Chelsea, Michigan. Click here to read a review of her latest novel, The Raising, on In The Next Room. To learn more about Laura's books and upcoming events visit her Author Page here.  

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