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The Delicacy and Strength of Lace: Letters Between Leslie Marmon Silko and James Wright
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The Delicacy and Strength of Lace: Letters Between Leslie Marmon Silko and James Wright

4.52 of 5 stars 4.52  ·  rating details  ·  133 ratings  ·  25 reviews
This moving, eighteen-month exchange of correspondence chronicles the friendship-through-the-mail of two extraordinary writers.
Leslie Marmon Silko is a poet and novelist. James Wright won the Pulitzer Prize in 1972 for his "Collected Poems." They met only twice. First, briefly, in 1975, at a writers conference in Michigan. Their correspondence began three years later, aft
Paperback, 106 pages
Published April 1st 1986 by Graywolf Press (first published November 1st 1985)
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this book of letters is so exquisite! i've devoured it-- watching the intimacy grow between these two poets over the sharing of the small things that become profound is so, well, extraordinary really-- from the cautious formality of the first handful of letters to the movement toward the familiar and fond-- nicknames and "love" to close--and then the beginning to reveal personal crises and preoccupations--
to share hearts and the pain in them-- as silko writes: " i believe more than ever that it
James Wright had only recently happened upon a renewal in his patterns of work when he met Leslie Marmon Silko at an academic conference, then wrote her essentially a fan letter in response to reading her fine novel, Ceremony; returning his letter, Silko suggested that she might hear him out in his implicit offer to mentor her, and gently bring along a career that probably anyway did not require his mentorship. None of which turned out to be pertinent, for before the friendship had grown much be ...more
This book was great to stumble upon, really timely for me, and inspiring. Its the letter correspondence between Leslie Marmon Silko ("Ceremony", "Laguna Woman" and other great books) and James Wright ("The Branch Will Not Break" among other poetry collections) and they write about their lives, writing, story telling, the nature of solitude, and the vitality of spirit that informs both of their writings. The letters are longer from Leslie, and really let you into her thought process and character ...more
"I am overwhelmed sometimes and feel a great deal of wonder at words, just simple words and how deeply we can touch each other with them, though I know that most of the time language is the most abused of all human abilities or traits. But as you said, you can't or won't be indifferent. I realize many wonderful things about language--"realize" in the sense of feeling or understanding intuitively: I realize such things most often when I am greatly concerned with another person's feelings. I think ...more
Again, an oldie that I have to dig deep in the memory banks to conjure up details for -- but a book that I truly loved that left a deep imprint in my mind. In this book Leslie Marmon Silko (famed author of Yellow Woman, among others) corresponds by letter with author James Wright as he is dying of cancer. Their letters are beautiful and moving, because of their writing abilities and the deep connection they create. This is a very moving book.
A beautiful correspondence. The writing is quite engaging - and it's always fun to read someone else's letters (grin). It's made me want to read some of their published work - to continue the vein of the prose and bits of everydayness that they describe so eloquently. I wish we all wrote more letters - real, tear open the envelope, unfold the paper letters.
This is the first book in a long time that I have really loved. The letters between Silko and Wright are gorgeous and surprisingly touching, even when they are just writing about roosters or the difficulties of being both a teacher and a writer. It also made me appreciate them as writers even more than before. I want to buy copies for everyone.
If you like Leslie Marmon Silko or James Wright, these letters back and forth, before Wright passed away, are one of the most amazing sets around. It follows a friendship unfolding, and the lives of two writers. Not sure if they even deserve to be in book form, they are incredibly intimate and... sacred. Truly amazing and touching.
Dec 15, 2007 Mark rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: WRITERS

Rachel Wagner
I love this book. It is kind of a fantasy for any letter writer. These 2 fabulous poets manage to create a powerful non-sexual relationship through the written word alone. The message this book espouses is that friendship is important and that it deserves to be prized and treated with reverance and care.
This book is a gem displaying the friendship between two poets I admire, James Wright and Leslie Marmon Silko. The language in the letters is poetry itself and the friendship that develops between people who meet twice in their lives is beautiful to read.
This is a lovely and touching collection of letters between the old poet James Wright and the young writer Leslie Marmon Silko. Both down to earth and transcendent. Perfect title.
Beautiful and tender letters between Pulitzer Prize-winning poet James Wright during the final year and a half of his life and the then-young poet and novelist Leslie Marmon Silko.
Stunning. Letters from one of the most truthful writers ever to have written, with another writer who, by the strength of their words to each other, I hope to read soon.
I still like "84 Charing Cross Road" better but this is along the same lines. It has a couple of quotations that I like so I now know the source and context.
Nancy Nelson
I love the poetry of Silko expressed through her letters to Wright. I love their friendship blooming through letters. A beautiful book.
The growth and development from acquaintance to dear friends, the power of words and trust, heartbreak in another sort of way.
something magical about this book that earns it its title - and who doesn't love the voyeurism of reading a 2-way correspondence?
21 years later, this conversation between Leslie Marmon Silko and James Wright is still an inspiring and poignant read.
A moving collection of letters between two very talented and human writers. Beautiful and inspiring.
Unexpectedly beautiful and poignant, it stayed with me long after I had finished the slim volume.
letters between james wright and leslie marmon silko. there is a distilled feeling about these.
heartbreaking and beautiful.
Jamie Banks
Jamie Banks marked it as to-read
Jan 26, 2015
Raquel Somatra
Raquel Somatra marked it as to-read
Jan 23, 2015
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Leslie Marmon Silko (born Leslie Marmon; born March 5, 1948) is a Native American writer of the Laguna Pueblo tribe, and one of the key figures in the First Wave of what literary critic Kenneth Lincoln has called the Native American Renaissance.

Silko was a debut recipient of the MacArthur Foundation Grant, now known as the "Genius Grant", in 1981 and the Native Writers' Circle of the Americas Life
More about Leslie Marmon Silko...
Ceremony Almanac of the Dead Storyteller Gardens in the Dunes Yellow Woman and a Beauty of the Spirit

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