i am always interested in hearing from authors about their work, and since harrity is also a poet, i thought his perspective might be doubly interesting. he was kind enough to allow me to interview him, so….
DH: You’re mean to make me choose three 😉
Here are three books of recent-ish non-fiction that have been pretty profound for me…
DH: Because it resists the need to be relevant and engages every facet of literary consciousness and skill.
DH: I resist answering this question because I feel that only recently have I come into my own voice—and I’m proud that I wouldn’t trade it for that of another. But, since you’re not asking that exactly, I’d say I’d switch places with William Blake, without hesitation. To take a vacation in that guy’s imagination would be terrifying and gorgeous and spellbinding.
DH: Yes, I write every day. It keeps me human and sane, reflective and attentive. I almost always write in the morning when my mind and the day are fresh and the world outside my window is beginning to stir. It all seems so synchronous. Once I fill up a journal, I go back in and mine the usable material to begin compiling poems, stories, essays, etc.
DH: Keep a journal, write every day, and write about everything that crosses your mind without shame or fear. For your creative writing, remember that revision is the real writing—that’s where you can doll the thing up after it happens. Next after that, listen to the advice of editors who reject you. They’re a guardian of your work, not a gatekeeper of a world you cannot enter.
DH: Publish a lot. I think it’s terrible advice. It’s terrible for one’s creative development, craft awareness, and aesthetic sensibility. It will keep your writing toothless, and—in the digital age—will keep you focused on your metrics and popularity rather than loving, caring for, and cultivating the beauty of language in your own life.
DH: The margin. It’s where we’re supposed to be. It’s where all prophets belong. And we all know that saying about prophets and hometowns… I think it’s best that believers stop trying to make arts relevant to the church and get back to the focus of actually making the best art possible—not Christian art, just art. If my travels and workshops with churches have taught me one thing, it’s that art creates a unique form of community, and if that community is authentic and loving, people will want to add to it. They’ll bring their voices and talents and learn how to actually use them. And they’ll learn to use them for the gifts that they are and not with any other motivation other than bringing forward the God within to meet the God without.
DH: I wanted to make a craft book that I would have wanted to read as a creative of faith when I first started writing. The project began as I was teaching at a seminary and I realized that all my artistic disciplines were in fact deeply spiritual disciplines as well. And that those disciplines could be of great benefit to people who wanted to enrich their own spiritual nature. Lastly, I’m a firm believer that language (and lack there of in the form of silence) is for everyone—God’s gift to us—and that it’s the key to reaching toward divinity. I didn’t see a book out there that was trying to keep that hand open and accessible, so I wrote one. My hope is that it will be one of the first in a long line of books like it (written by other authors—see a book like ) and that it will not be the best one on the subject. I want the book to goad others into making better things.
10) Would you be willing to share one of your own poems (or a link to it)?
DH: Sure… Here’s one that was published by a while back…