Molly Gaudry

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Molly Gaudry

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October 2009

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Molly Gaudry is the author of We Take Me Apart, which was shortlisted for the PEN/Osterweil and a finalist for the Asian American Literary Award for Poetry. She teaches at the Yale Writers' Workshop and is the founder of Lit Pub. ...more

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Molly Gaudry I’m not an every-day writer. I do not sit down every day at some hour on the dot and begin to work. I rest, a lot. I let life fester, ferment, and som…moreI’m not an every-day writer. I do not sit down every day at some hour on the dot and begin to work. I rest, a lot. I let life fester, ferment, and sometimes I get lucky. Sometimes (more often than not, upon the arrival of the daffodils), I get a few words down—words not mine, not even the writers’ whose books I took them from. If lucky, I manage to string them together with other words.

I journal, obsessively, upon waking: Has the goal for today’s work changed since last night? If so, why? Who is the heart of that why? If not, what’s at the heart of that why? Then I put down new words for several hours. I break to journal. This is not going well. Why? Start over? What is the heart of these new words? Is it on the page? If not, how to get it there? How to make the heart sing? I return to the page. I put down new words for several more hours. I break to eat, to make more coffee or tea, to bathe or go to bed. Before I sleep, I journal: What went well today? What’s the goal for tomorrow? This is the hardest part, for me, of being a writer: allowing it to happen, interrogating it ruthlessly, daily, nightly, hour after hour. Getting it down. Letting it out. Sharing it.(less)
Molly Gaudry I need constraints. The most productive one for me is to collect the nouns from either a short story or poetry collection, retype them, cut them up, p…moreI need constraints. The most productive one for me is to collect the nouns from either a short story or poetry collection, retype them, cut them up, pour them into a jar, shake like hell, and start pulling them out, one by one, to make lists of words, usually ten words per list. Every day, when I’m working on a manuscript (usually in the spring), I try to finish a few more lists. By finish, I mean: one list = one poem. And the poem must use the words in the order they were pulled. If I finish three lists, I have three new poems (which, later, during revision, become chapters).(less)
Average rating: 4.34 · 401 ratings · 55 reviews · 21 distinct worksSimilar authors
We Take Me Apart

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Returning to Fit (Day 3/90)




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I haven’t thought about Fit for a little over a month now, but it seems way longer. It’s been a busy month, I guess. But that’s good(!), according to writer-me, who frequently tells students to have multiple projects in progress in order to get some space while letting drafts rest, and then to realize where the energy is (Project X or Y or Z, for instance) and consequently where it is

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Published on February 24, 2019 09:56
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Topics Mentioning This Author

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Red Lemonade: Submission Request: Hybrid Beasts 1 12 Apr 11, 2012 07:56PM  
Barbara Kingsolver
“In my own worst seasons I've come back from the colorless world of despair by forcing myself to look hard, for a long time, at a single glorious thing: a flame of red geranium outside my bedroom window. And then another: my daughter in a yellow dress. And another: the perfect outline of a full, dark sphere behind the crescent moon. Until I learned to be in love with my life again. Like a stroke victim retraining new parts of the brain to grasp lost skills, I have taught myself joy, over and over again(15).”
Barbara Kingsolver, High Tide in Tucson

Anne Carson
“It is easier to tell a story of how people wound one another than of what binds them together.”
Anne Carson, Plainwater: Essays and Poetry

Anne Carson
“You can get used to eating breakfast with a man in a fedora. You can get used to anything, my mother was in the habit of saying.”
Anne Carson, Plainwater: Essays and Poetry

Lewis Carroll
“I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says, "Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.”
Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland / Through the Looking-Glass

Marguerite Duras
“Suddenly, all at once, she knows, knows that he doesn't understand her, that he never will, that he lacks the power to understand such perverseness. And that he can never move fast enough to catch her.”
Marguerite Duras, The Lover




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