Welcome to the 14th annual Scissortail Creative Writing Festival.
On behalf of so many: sponsors, colleagues, administration, students and volunteers, it is my pleasure to welcome to you Ada, Oklahoma and East Central University. This year we welcome 19 new voices to the festival. I hope all of us, new and returning writers, guests and workers, greatly enjoy our time together.
A stanza from a Stanley Kunitz poem has been speaking to me:
The sands whispered, Be separate,
The stones taught me, Be hard.
I dance, for the joy of surviving,
On the edge of the road.
(Stanley Kunitz, “An Old Cracked Tune” Passing Through: The Later Poems)
And a couple of lines from my poem “In Kyoto” (in my latest collection, Not Quite Pilgrims):
“not unlike Basho, making something / that may outlive itself.”
As writers, as teachers, as citizens trying to make a positive difference, we sometimes find ourselves “on the edge of the road” – on the margins of a consumer society. I hope the gathering together at the festival inspires us all to continue the good work of making something / that may outlive itself.
See you soon!