Art Works Blog

Notable Quotable

Video of Julia Alvarez - 2009 National Book Festival "Nothing human is alien to the pen of a novelist. And when we read, nothing human is alien to us either." —Julia Alvarez, speaking at the 2009 National Book Festival Love literature? See which authors will be speaking this weekend...
“I don’t think any poetry is written that isn’t primarily written to the self, in a way… I’m always talking to myself. But I seem to want somebody else to listen to it. I need, I do want an audience. So it’s a strange thing. It’s a very private...
“If you’re creating things, you’re doing things that have a high potential for failure, especially if you’re doing things that haven’t been done before. And you learn from those things. No matter how you cut it, you say, “Well, that didn’t work,” or...
“If you want to be an innovator in a style, you need to be a preservationist also, because until you can speak the stylistic language fluently, you can’t really understand how to innovate in the style.” — Andy Statman, 2012 NEA National Heritage Fellow Read our full...
“On the surface it's very hard to pinpoint how [mathematics and fiction] mesh with each other. But if you dig down a little deeper, we're all human beings and we have a limited amount of tools at our disposal. And I think our minds probably use the same kinds of techniques to solve...
“I am obsessed. This obsession drives me to gobble up books as though they were candy---drives me to spend eight hours a day at the keyboard, to turn down social engagements, give up on hobbies---and to constantly mine the world for material to bring to the page.” --- Benjamin Percy...
"How did I find my voice? I don’t think it’s something that you find and you say, "Ah-hah, I have a voice," done, move on. For me, finding my voice is an exercise in daily-ness. And I don’t care who we are or where we find ourselves, especially as women. I think it...
"Creative placemaking for us---a small town on a state highway that's the main street---is really about economic development and about triggering a response in those traveling through the city of, 'Hey, there's something going on here and we should stop to explore it.'...
“[T]he poet doesn’t define the poems. The poems define the poet.” --- Jill Alexander Essbaum Learn more about poet Jill Essbaum and other NEA Literature Fellows in the NEA Writers' Corner . Like poetry? Then you might like our Art Talks with poets Ken Chen , Srikanth Reddy and...
"The 'work' of art may be to simply clear a space for reflection and feeling amid the onslaught of modern life---and that in itself is a pretty serious act of excavaton. To that end, it may help for the artist to think of him or herself as a kind of laborer---while also keeping in mind...

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