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Member Spotlights

Member Spotlight: Rachel King

author Rachel King and an image of her book Bratwurst Haven

Why is writing important to you and why do you think it’s an important medium for the world? When I started taking my writing seriously, I wanted to create something beautiful. Over the years, I began to want to write to communicate, to share poems and stories and novels with others. Lately I’ve realized that through writing, unconsciously or consciously, I’ve also be able to exorcise or alchemize pain. I think the non-utilitarian nature of art and creating writing is important for the world. As Williams Carlos Williams wrote, “It is difficult / to get the news from poems / yet men die miserably every day / for lack / of what is found there.”

What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer’s block? In Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way, she instructs artists to write three pages every morning—they don’t have to be good or coherent; she just wants artists to write them. If I write those pages, even when I don’t feel like writing anything else, I’ll eventually—days, weeks, or months later—return to my novel or story or poem.

What is your favorite time to write? I love to write in the mornings, if possible—and if I can find a working space that receives morning light, even better.

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received and would like to impart to other writers? Andrew Wyeth said that “one’s art goes as far and as deep as one’s love goes.” Not really advice, but it reminds me that art and life are inseparable, and that if I love deeply out in the world, I’ll be able to write deeply back at my desk.

What excites you most about being a writer in today’s age? I find some of the best contemporary creative writing in literary magazines—I wrote reviews of them for NewPages from 2007-2009, and more recently served as the managing editor/editor at one for a few years. I’m still always excited to subscribe to them and read them.

Rachel King’s Bratwurst Haven is out now with West Virginia University Press.