The best ideas and strangest rhymes come to her when she is half asleep said poet Mary Jo Salter on November 11 during her Writers’ Workshop Series lecture at the Williston Northampton School.
Madeleine Blais, co-founder of the Writers’ Workshop Series, likened Ms. Salter’s poetry to “the gift of water from ice,” in her introduction of the John Hopkins professor. Ms. Salter was the fourth and final speaker in the 16th annual series.
“She takes the moment that is utterly forgettable and turns it into something utterly memorable, which is to say her words are shapeshifting and miraculous,” said Ms. Blais.
Patricia McCormick doesn’t pick the lightest fare to write about. Topics of her award-winning novels have included self-harm, teenage substance abuse, sexual slavery, and Cambodian genocide.
In an introduction to her fellow author on October 7, Madeleine Blais P’00, ’04 recounted how Ms. McCormick’s son once asked, “Where do you come up with your ideas for books, Mom? What do you do, Google the word sad?”
Yet, Ms. Blais said that of the people she knows, Ms. McCormick is one of the upbeat and optimistic—sharing a quality of all good writers: a deep and abiding belief that stories matter.
“She gave you a very good summary of the books,” agreed Ms. McCormick. “They are sad, but they all have a redemptive quality.”