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The Poetry of Everyday LifeStorytelling and the Art of Awareness$
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Steve Zeitlin

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781501702358

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501702358.001.0001

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Breath on the Mirror

Breath on the Mirror

Finding Your Own Voice

Chapter:
(p.201) 19 Breath on the Mirror
Source:
The Poetry of Everyday Life
Author(s):

Steve Zeitlin

Publisher:
Cornell University Press
DOI:10.7591/cornell/9781501702358.003.0020

The author explains here bhow holding your breath on the mirror lets you express and discern your own distinctive voice and know who you really are. He talks about his creative writing class, in which students experiment with fiction and nonfiction, poetry and prose. The students learn that even if they are writing about something far outside themselves, it is still a reflection of who they are and how they interpret what they see. As his students endeavor to find their own voice, the author often shares the work of famous writers whose voice is embedded in their sentence structure and is immediately recognizable; for example, Joan Didion, Edith Wharton, and Jamaica Kincaid. He also encourages his students to look for moments when their own life stories intersect with a larger history.

Keywords:   holding your breath, mirror, voice, creative writing, students, Joan Didion, Edith Wharton, Jamaica Kincaid, life stories, history

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