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D. Foy Craft Talk – Perception: Attention, Intuition, Digression, Style
October 26, 2017 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Art is an inside job. It starts with us, and with our minds. Perception is the requisite state for writing. What we perceive and how we perceive it dictates what we write and how. Our aim as writers is to reflect in our work how we see the world. Another way to say this is that as writers we aim for maximum inclusivity.
When Blake said that the road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom, I believe he meant to suggest that it’s not until we open ourselves to the whole of existence—this and that, always—that we can begin to see things with greater clarity. Attachment to this or that obstructs this aim. The more acutely we’re attuned to our perceptual faculties, the wider our creative horizons and the deeper our connection to the world.
Style isn’t something we develop but rather access, and is a function of attention, intuition, and digression, none of which are remotely mutually exclusive. They are, in fact, sister concerns linked hip to hip, especially in art and this thing we call writing.
My talk will address these matters, individually and conceptually, as well as tap into their basic principles—what they are and how they work, and how we can train ourselves to expand and enhance them both in our moment-by-moment lives and in the process of composition.
D. Foy is the author of the novels Made to Break, Patricide, and Absolutely Golden. His stories, poems, and essays have appeared in Guernica,Literary Hub, Salon, Hazlitt, Post Road, Electric Literature, BOMB, The Literary Review, and The Georgia Review, among many others, and have been included in the books Laundromat, A Moment’s Notice, and Forty Stories: New Writing from Harper Perennial.