The Art of Recklessness

Posted by @ 8:26 am on August 12th, 2010

I’m reading Dean Young’s new nonfiction book, The Art of Recklessness, part of The Art Of Series from Graywolf Press. Only 30 pages in, and I feel like I’ve swan dived into the swirling, dangerous waters of Young’s unbelievably complex collector’s brain. I love it. Here’s a review.

On page 12, Young quotes Wallace Stevens:

It is necessary to any originality to have the courage to be an amateur.

This is the exact idea I want to relay to my students when school starts next week. Not being shackled to rules, allowing poems to fall out of you un-self-consciously, is what makes great art. Learning craft so that you don’t have to think about it should probably happen simultaneously, but without imagination, recklessness, fire you’re fucked.

This is a different kind of book, one that might be the most important kind. I’ll follow up when I’ve actually finished reading it.

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