The Not-Knowing is Crucial to Art

Plus: A postcard from Lynda J. Barry and upcoming events in Portland and Clatskanie Truth & Dare is a monthly post that offers one Truth (a writing prompt) and one Dare (an artistic gesture in the world). You might also find: thoughts on writing, art, books and paying attention. You

I Want to See That White Bear, I Want to Climb Inside the Mysteries

& Writing Letters in April Two or Three Things I Know for Sure1: Esther Davies Murdock, my grandmother’s great-grandmother, was born in the spring of 1838 in Pickering Town Canada, where apparently “about the country was a big white bear which she saw very often going to and from school.

Time to Write Letters

& Thoughts on the Odes of March For years I’ve taught some version of a letter-writing workshop, (“Experiments With the Letter,” or sometimes “Art of the Letter”) every spring through Lewis & Clark College. This year I’m going to offer it through the university of myself, make it sliding scale,

Time for the Odes of March

On broken things, the magpie’s blue and the cultivation of astonishment Welcome to the Odes of March, a global movement a weird literary experiment I hatched to invite people to write an ode a day for 15 days. For those of you just joining us (welcome to Truth & Dare!) you can

The Odes of March

On: my smashed hand, an epic basketball move & an invitation to write Greetings. If you’re new to Truth & Dare (thanks and welcome!), here’s how it works: Each month you’ll receive one Truth (a writing prompt) and one Dare (an artistic gesture in the world). I created Truth &

Let’s Take the Wings Off

& try writing on foot, shall we? In this post: Writing slow, a Great Horned Cat, and a chance to go postal Greetings to you in this new year, so fresh it’s like a baby just out of the bath. I hope you are well and feeling hopeful. If you need

She lived happily for seven years in this world

On letting go of tidy endings & the art of citizen politics by Ai Wei Wei Greetings, friends. It is dark and wet here in Portland as I write from inside an atmospheric river, something that feels like a new phenomenon or at least a new way of thinking about

Reading in Autumn

On banned books, & how maybe it’s okay (even a good sign?) for our kids to feel bad sometimes “It is a real chill out / the genuine thing..” — Gwendolyn Brooks Oh Autumn, how I love you. I can’t help but imagine writers of my favorite fall poems in a

A Diving Suit & a Stupid Tragedy

On shabby eccentric artists, and sudden life interruptions I am writing from inside week 5 of a 6-week sabbatical from my job at Street Books, where my only task while away is to avoid tasks altogether, to take it easy once and for all, to rest the brain and heart

The Life Cycle of a Book

AUG 5, 2023 Head east along I-84 out of Portland, as the Columbia River flows along your left, near milepost 40, and you’ll come to a tunnel. During the years that Ben “Hodge” Hodgson and I were working on our book, I’d take a deep breath going into that tunnel

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