National Writing Project

NWP Radio — Reflections on the Writing Marathon

Date: May 27, 2010

Summary: Join us for a conversation with some of the teacher-consultants and directors who have helped shape, and now are studying, the writing marathon as an activity that helps us keep in touch with our writing selves.


Excerpt from Show

Why We Call This Festival of Curiosity and Affection the Writing Marathon," by Kim Stafford.

For the Greeks, marathon was a field of battle where invading hoards were turned away. What troubles us is silence, reticence, the urge for story that writhes untold. What calls to us is the readers' thirst for secrets, the writers' affection for a few amazing words.

No spear but a pen, no shield but a blank page, no runner dying with a single word. Our plan is to wander, to settle easy, and to write. To read what was written and to smile and say thanks, and to let the sparkle of the eye say all that true teaching needs to say.

Our plan is to listen, to watch, to wait at the corner where dawn turns red to gold. Or in the window, with a sill wide for elbows and stories, and Corona, Guinness, Dixie, and other libations that, like music, feed the writer's incandescent forge of memory.

Speaking here, strolling there, writing all the while. You suffered, you survived. Now tell how it will be, by telling how it is, because how it was. Will you walk this road of secret stories, in good company, revealed?

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