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Houstonian 1989
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Students of the University of Houston. Houstonian 1989 - People. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. April 17, 2014. http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/yearb/item/22668/show/22406.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Students of the University of Houston. Houstonian 1989 - People. Houstonian Yearbook Collection. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/yearb/item/22668/show/22406

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Students of the University of Houston, Houstonian 1989 - People, Houstonian Yearbook Collection, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed April 17, 2014, http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/yearb/item/22668/show/22406.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Compound Item Description
Title Houstonian 1989
Creator (LCNAF)
  • Students of the University of Houston
Caption The Houstonian is the official yearbook of the University of Houston.
Subject.Name (LCNAF)
  • University of Houston
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Use and Reproduction This image is in the public domain and may be used freely. If publishing in print, electronically, or on a website, please use the citation button above. To request higher resolution images, please use the Request High Res button above.
File name index.cpd
Item Description
Title People
Creator (LCNAF)
  • Students of the University of Houston
Caption The Houstonian is the official yearbook of the University of Houston.
Subject.Name (LCNAF)
  • University of Houston
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Use and Reproduction This image is in the public domain and may be used freely. If publishing in print, electronically, or on a website, please use the citation button above. To request higher resolution images, please use the Request High Res button above.
File name yearb_1989_082.jpg
Transcript VV riting As Craft Writers begin with the concrete: paper, pencil, ink, the thump of typewriter keys. Things with touch and heft and color. Their substance reassures us, particularly when we ponder how these inert black squiggles come to have meaning. When we think about writers and writing, what proves most difficult to explain is the ability to create a living, breathing entity — a work of art — from symbols. This remains a mystical element. We may wish to ascribe the literary art to a kind of intellectual magic. But we do so unfairly, since the creator is not a sorcerer, but a craftsman. "Art is not something that just comes to you. It is work," says Dr. Edward Hirsch, poet and associate professor in the prestigious UH Program in Creative Writing. Both Hirsch and Dr. Phillip Lopate, a fiction writer and also an associate professor in creative writing, want that made perfectly clear. Between them, Hirsch and Lopate have published eight books. Both recently produced critically acclaimed works, and in 1987 Hirsch received the National Book Critics Circle Award in poetry. Apprentices no longer, they pass on what they have learned about the craft of writing to students in writing classes and workshops at the Universtiy of Houston. Students and teachers alike are involved in what Hirsch calls "problem solving" — that is, the sticky matter of finding the proper form for an image or subject. And problem solving generally begins with research. "Research for me is ongoing," Hirsch says, "and includes everything I see or hear or read. Robert Frost said that the difference between a poet and a scholar is in what and how they read. Scholars, he said, work logically, while the poet reads what interests him. They have a cavalier approach and whatever 'sticks' to them is what they write about." What sticks to Hirsch are paintings, pieces of music, historical events, an insomniacs's thoughts, a scrap from a family album, remembrances of childhood, the musings of working people. When the creation of another artist sticks to Hirsch, his problem solving involves delving more deeply into the artist's life and work. By the time Hirsch had come to Houston from Detroit in 1985, he was already captivated by the paintings of Georgia O'Keeffe. "Moving here and seeing the Texas landscape made me think more about a series of paintings called 'Evening Star' that she had done as a young artist. They were painted when O'Keeffe lived in Canyon, Texas, before she was famous." Hirsch began reading about O'Keeffe and her work, including her own accounts of her paintings. From her diaries, Hirsch learned about her nightly walks alone in the desert, how the landscape moved her, and how each dusk she saw the evening star. "I began to understand that these early paintings were precursors of her later, more famous works and that here in Texas she discovered the wilderness that became a hallmark of her work." Hirsch was struck by what a "stunning moment in her life this was," and he decided to write not a description of the paintings but a portrait of "the consciousness and human experience that ended in those paintings." His solution was to take "poetic license," selecting historical details that he wanted to use and making up others. "I was striving to find a language equivalent to O'Keeffe's work, to show through a series of verbal images how the visual image of that evening star would be compelling enough to imply a direction that would last a lifetime." Hirsch's poems often arise from something in his own life. He writes from strong emotions, and like the athlete he is (he played football, basketball, and baseball in college, and was an academic all-American), the movement, or syntax, of his poetry is powerful and complicated. But the language is direct. This tension between language and movement gives each poem a 92 ■ People