What are you reading/watching/listening to/cooking today, March 22nd?
Currently, having just gotten over Covid 2.0, I am neck-deep in the writing of my next book, On Permission: A Manifesto for Writers, Artists, and Dreamers, which will be coming from Godine in 2024. Born from the question that every creative faces — Who do you think you are to tell your story? Compose your music? Paint your painting? What is story ownership? What gives us permission to create when the world tells us we can’t or we shouldn’t? — On Permission has been years in the making. Every one of us has a creative impulse; we are the art-making species. And every one of us also hears, at one point or another (or always), that voice screaming in our ear that shouts No. Don’t tell that story. It’s shameful. It’s not yours to tell. Your truth doesn’t belong to you. How to overcome this? How to circumvent what Rick Rubin calls the vulnerability, the self-doubt, and what I call The Dark Chatter meant to strategically silence you?
And so: I’m currently hard at work. At the beginning of April, I will be in Texas, where I have been blessed with a month-long residency at The Corsicana Artist & Writer Residency to complete the manuscript and get it into the hands of my wonderful publisher.
This week, as I shake off the dregs of Covid (much milder this time; just annoying), this is what I am enjoying:
1- I have long been a fan of the poetry of Maggie Smith, whose Good Bones shook me and everyone who read it (including Barack Obama) to our cores. (I didn’t know that Susan, back in the days before Covid 1.0, had it tacked to the wall of her workspace at Random House; we were reading it at the same time and didn’t tell each other.) Maggie’s poetry is magnificent (and those of you who aren’t reading her Substack, please start now), and when it was announced that her memoir, You Could Make This Place Beautiful, would be coming out in early April, I couldn’t wait to read it. I have, and it is breathtaking. Maggie and I will be in conversation at Barrett Bookstore on April 26th (virtually, so you can be located anywhere!), celebrating the publication of the book. To reserve your place, visit EventBrite.
2- We’ve been drawn into the vortex that is Daisy Jones & The Six on Prime. Yes, it’s a bit predictable, and yes, it is very definitely based on the earliest days of Fleetwood Mac (the gorgeous English keyboardist? the heavy bass line/drum that sounds remarkably like Tusk? every band member doing the horizontal mambo with every other band member?), and yes, there are some time-stamp hiccups that drive me crazy (background songs described as new in 1974 that had come out in 1967; white micro-miniskirts and white go-go boots that were no longer worn in 1975) but still, it’s completely addictive to this person who came of age in the Seventies and lived to tell about it. (Disclosure: Susan designed the interior of the book for Random House.)
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial
Subscribe to Poor Man's Feast to keep reading this post and get 7 days of free access to the full post archives.