Richard Hugo Lines

This weekend I am teaching a writing workshop based on Richard Hugo’s book about writing called The Triggering Town. Below are a few of his lines from the book that arrested my attention and I thought them worth sharing. They do make a person (writer) think.

If you can answer a question in a poem, to ask it is a waste of time.

All serious poems are born in obsession.

Your writing should generate things to say.

Writing is a way of saying you and the world have a chance.

You owe reality nothing (in your writing) and the truth about your feelings everything.

It is narcissistic, vain, egotistical, unrealistic, selfish and hateful to assume emotional ownership of a town or a word. It is also essential.

Assumptions lie behind the work of all writers. The writer is unaware of most of them, and many of them are weird. Often the weirder the better. Words love the ridiculous areas of our mind.