Monday, October 28, 2013


me &  Sherman Alexie in Las Vegas (2012 NCTE)
Earlier this month I read an article in The Atlantic entitled "The Poem that Made Sherman Alexie Want to 'Drop Everything and Be a  Poet.'" It's part of as series in which authors share works of literature that meant a lot to them. 

It reminds me of Robert Pinsky's Favorite Poem Project, of which I have long been a fan, and after which we model our own My Favorite Poem event here in Birmingham every year.

Alexie reveals the poem and talks about his literary life, and he also says something that really resonates with me (and apparently with the editors of The Atlantic, because they use the quote as a pull-out):

"I think every writer stands in the doorway of their prison. Half in, half out. "  - Sherman Alexie

Alexie's prison is his culture, his upbringing. 

I know what mine is.

What's yours?


  1. Interesting to think about, Irene. Maybe the fear of being 'wrong', although in my teaching, I tried hard to empower students to try anything, to see what happened. Guess I should take my own advice! How wonderful you got to meet Alexie!

  2. My prison...time, lack of, allotted time for family, friends, job, other things I love and ... my lack of putting my butt in a chair.

  3. This is a great question, Irene. I don't know that I'd call it a prison, but balancing work and family is certainly my greatest challenge. That balance can feel like standing in a doorway, afraid to go out and leave others behind, but also not wanting to go inside and "forget" the world beyond the home.

  4. The editor in my head, and yes, time.


Your thoughts?