Writer's Circle

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by elisawitt
Last updated 5 years ago

Discipline:
Language Arts
Subject:
Writers Biographies
Grade:
10

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Writer's Circle

Jack Kerouac

Allen Ginsberg

If you’re up to speed on your literary movements, I’m sure you’ve heard of the Beat Generation: Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg, fearless leaders of a writing group hellbent on stirring up the pot. Radicals, progressives, leftists; whatever your word for them, it’s apparent they’re here to stay and stay loudly. But what we should be quickly realizing is that they’re not the only ones jumping in to make a name for themselves. Meet the New York School, a budding crusade to drastically change the way we look at poetry. These writers’ methods are drastically different to the Beat Generation in their more willful and purposeful approach to diction and syntax. Their lines are clean and sharp, they have a certain direction only they themselves understand, and their voice is a strange combination of childlike sincerity and the playfulness of deep sarcasm. There is a lilt to their style that defies anything we’ve seen thus far in the literary realm. And yet, the movement is deeply rooted in the world around them—the same world that is around us, hard as it is to believe. Influenced by classical European modernism, enraptured by the music and art of the times, traveling to fill an instinctive internal hunger, these poets came and saw and observed. The written word was moving too slowly for them, too stagnantly, and heatedly, they took up their pens and oiled up their typewriters to fix it. They argued that modern writing should never be stale, should never be “about dull subjects with dull forms”, but at no point did they use their tongues to spit this out with cusses staining their lips and sharpening their teeth to points. They instead turned to play. Color bursts forth with every line they write and with every nonexistent sound that only words can utter. Lights and images flash like strobe light cinematography, or maybe like snippets of film scores, and suddenly there is an art all around you: disquietly incomprehensible and constantly engaging. The subjects, the adjectives, the orientations are silly, feather-light, and yet are in no way ridiculous or meaningless to both the reader and the writer. They simply serve as interludes and transitions, stepping stones to the next resting place. These poets and their cause are young but not to be brushed off, they are isolatedbut not to be ignored—they are enlightened and their names deserve to beremembered.

The Writer's Circle

Out With the Old...

Kenneth Koch

Why You Might Want to Move to New York:The New York School of Poets

In With The New!

Barbara Guest

John Ashbery

Frank O'Hara

James Schuyler

Madeleine L’Engle was born into the writing world suddenly and early, creating a ripple of almosts and maybes and quite a few nevers whenever she dove into the treacherous waters of publication houses. Despite this, she never lost her affinity for running to things head-first and this, ladies and gentlemen, this sheer will to survive and fight and win, is what the greats are made of.Still, an introduction isn’t really necessary. Ms. L’Engle is neither a heteroclite nor a neoteric to the writing scene. She’s written several works so far, including: The Small Rain, Ilsa, And Both Were Young, Camilla Dickinson, A Winter’s Love, and Meet the Austins. Her seventh and latest addition to such a vibrant bibliography of adult and children’s fiction, A Wrinkle In Time, is the one we’re really talking about. It begins with a high-school-aged girl named Meg who stands out a bit too much for her liking. She doesn’t quite fit in with others, she seems to understand there’s something inside her that makes her special, makes her different, but she can’t see the merit in it. She longs for the ability to conform and the ability to know all the answers at once and through the course of her travels, her viewpoints drastically change. Set against a background of time-travel and alien planets, this story of the stark contrast between good and evil is able to successfully incorporate family dynamics, the lessons of growing up, and the importance of self-confidence. Overall, it tells a story of a girl learning to realize who she is and who she can become all while accepting that not everything around her can be explained or quantified, that what makes someone unique is often the very best thing about them, and that the influence of love should never be underestimated. It’s no doubt that the impact of this new novel is incredible, and that the controversy surrounding it is great. L’Engle often uses themes of good vs. evil and on-the-surface Christian theologies to explain and describe the complexities of life in her writing, and this heavy fantasy book has seemed to challenge that in some unappreciative minds. But despite this negativity and frequent requests to ban this book in schools, L’Engle has written a book about the universalities of life and everyone who has it, clearly writing what can only become a classic novel, and being awarded the Newbery Award for her efforts.

Honored for Time Traveling: ‘Wrinkle In Time’ Hits the Big Leagues

Madeleine L'Engle


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