Take a Risk

There’s a wonderful essay in this month’s Poets & Writers Magazine, Dangerous Writing by Tom Spanbauer. Alas, it’s not available online, only in the Jan.—Feb. 2016 print issue.

This author defines ‘Dangerous Writing’ as “not serial killers or speed crazed race drivers” but something much more personal.

“To write dangerous is to go to parts of ourselves we know exist but try to ignore —parts that are sad, sore; parts that are silent, and heavy. Taboo. Things that won’t leave us alone.”

Spanbauer, who teaches a course called Dangerous Writing in Portland, OR, is describing something more intimate. He relates that most of his students arrive thinking that he wants an adventure or horror story from them, and he has to bring them around to confront their humanness in a new way.

“We are set down on this earth bewildered. Someone once asked me why I write and I explained ‘Because I cannot speak and cry at the same time.’ It has been the battle of my life to speak what is in my heart openly and with a clear voice.”

His favorite prompt to give new arrivals is to write about a moment after which you were different. That’s an intriguing assignment. Anyone willing to take it on?

Remember you can contribute to this blog! Consider writing for us – let me know if you need to set up a login.

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