"Discipline, humility, kindness. These qualities cohere in the best mentors, bundled into an overarching approach to the art of writing. It is not, I think, coincidence that the writers in this collection remember these qualities best when speaking of their mentors as people, as fellow pilgrims who helped them on the way. In some sense, whether consciously or not, we seek out mentors who learn how to live—as an artist, and as a human being."—from the Introduction by Jeffrey Skinner
Lee Martin is the author of a collection of stories, The Least You Need to Know (Sarabande, 1996), a memoir From Our House (Dutton 2000), and a novel Just Enough Haughty, also forthcoming from Dutton. He teaches in the creative writing program at the University of North Texas where he also edits the American Literary Review.
Jeffrey Skinner is currently Director of Creative Writing at the University of Louisville. His published collections of poetry include The Company of Heaven (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1992), Late Stars (Wesleyan University Press, 1985), and A Guide to Forgetting (Graywolf Press, 1988), which was a National Poetry Series selection.
Contributors include: Michael Collier on William Meredith Jay McInerney on Raymond Carver Tess Gallagher on Theodore Roethke and Stanley Kunitz Reginald Shepherd on Alvin Feinman Dana Gioia on Elizabeth Bishop Maura Stanton on Vert Rutsala and John Berryman Elizabeth Graver on Annie Dillard, Angela Carter, Stanley Elkin, and others Sylvia Watanabe on Dorothy Vella David Huddle on Peter Taylor David Wojahn on James L. White Erin McGraw on John L’Heureux
PREFACE by Lee Martin, vii
INTRODUCTION: The Scrupulous Philanthropy of Expertise by Jeffrey Skinner, xi
MICHAEL COLLIER An Exact Ratio, 3 The Farrier, 12
JAY MCINERNEY Raymond Carver: A Still, Small Voice, 15 Getting in Touch with Your Child, 24
TESS GALLAGHER Two Mentors: From Orphanhood to Spirit-Companion, 39 Behave, 45
DAVID HUDDLE What about Those Good People?, 51 Backstory, 57