Archive for the ‘FOR STUDENTS’ Category

“Yes,” he thinks. “I should never have let myself get out of the habit of prayer.” He turns from the window. One wall of the study is lined with books. He pauses before them, seeking, until he finds the one which he wants. It is Tennyson. It is dogeared. He has had it ever since […]


Dreaming in Umbria Creative Writing Workshop with Martha McPhee JUNE 9-16, 2012 Italianist, Christina Ball, is hosting a writing workshop at the luxury spa and wellness center, Roccafiori, in Todi, Italy in June 2012.  She’s invited me to lead the workshops and I would love you all to come. Find out more …


There are three necessary elements in a story—exposition, development, and drama. Exposition we may illustrate as “John Fortescue was a solicitor in the little town of X”; development as “One day Mrs. Fortescue told him she was about to leave him for another man”; and drama as “You will do nothing of the kind,” he […]


From Stephen Koch’s wonderful and very useful Writer’s Workshop.  He was a professor of mine at Columbia University.   “In Chapter 1, we pointed out that the Latin root of the word invent means “to discover.”  Writers do not make up stories. They find them.  They uncover them; they discover them.  Sometimes they find them […]


The other night my younger sister, Joan Sullivan, was honored by the Bronx Academy of Letters for being its founding principal.  She is now Deputy Mayor of Education for the City of Los Angeles.  This is the speech she delivered: I want to get one thing straight. This school was not founded by me. The […]


A Crossing From them the dust and from them the storm, and the smoke in the sky, and a rumble in the ground; and from them the very sky seeming, from afar, parabolic; from the curve or girth beyond the eye’s reach;                                                             from/across/& through— a beautiful level and fertile plain— with soggy bottoms of […]


          Mona Simpson is coming to Hofstra University on Wednesday, March 10 at 7PM to read in the library’s Cultural Center Theater.  You are welcome to join us. In 1988 my father introduced my sisters and me to Mona. We were all living in New York City then and so was […]