Walt Hunter is the author of Forms of a World: Contemporary Poetry and the Making of Globalization (forthcoming, Fordham University Press, 2018) and the co-translator of Frédéric Neyrat’s Atopias: Manifesto for a Radical Existentialism (Fordham University Press, 2017). He writes about twentieth- and twenty-first-century poetry, globalization, the politics and history of poetic form, and translation studies. He teaches at Clemson University.
It’s rare to read an account of the process of learning about a new artform or medium from the beginning. Maybe because, at least for me, it’s hard to remember the first time I read a poem or a novel or saw a painting or heard a piece of music. Or maybe because that experience merges uncomfortably with a non-critical stance of “appreciation,” a word that doesn’t deserve some of the pejorative associations attached to it.
I’m taking over the Process blog from Lesley Wheeler at the moment when I’m nearly finished the process of writing my first book and am waiting for page proofs from the press.
The assignment for this column is “process” or, the writing life. How does interesting and inspiring work come to be?
This summer, the modernist scholar Johanna Winant and I found ourselves working on a number of converging projects, from book chapters to essays on Stanley Cavell’s philosophy and Donald Hall’s poetry. Below we reflect on the process of writing together, sharing work, and discovering the kinds of friendship that collaboration makes possible