World Enough & Time: On Creativity and Slowing Down
A Reading and Author Talk with Christian McEwen
Over the course of ten years training teachers to write their own poems in order to pass the craft along to students, McEwen realized that nothing comes easily when life is conducted at a high rate of speed. She draws not only on personal experience, but on readings ranging from literary anecdote and poetry to Buddhism, anthropology, current news, and social history, all supplemented by interviews with contemporary writers and artists. This is a real reader’s book, one that stands up as both sustained narrative and occasional inspiration.
McEwen espouses the pleasure to be found in slowing down, both for the ease and comfort of the thing itself (taking time to go for a walk, to write down one’s dreams, to read, to talk, to pray), and for its impact on creativity. There are chapters on walking, talking, drawing, dreaming, on making space, on pausing/praying, on telling stories.
Christian McEwen is a writer, educator, and cultural activist. Since leaving New York City twenty years ago, she has edited two anthologies, and produced a video documentary Tomboys!, and a play, Legal Tender: Women & the Secret Life of Money. Her book, World Enough & Time: On Creativity and Slowing Down (2011) is now in its sixth printing, and is also available in an audio format. Her most recent collection, Sparks from the Anvil: The Smith College Poetry Interviews, appeared in spring 2015. Christian grew up in the Borders of Scotland, and now lives in western Massachusetts.
“World Enough & Time is a wise book—a quiet feast, a daydreamer’s manual, a work of mindfulness, which teaches us to slow down and see the world anew. Read it slowly and come to your senses.” — Edward Hirsch, author of How to Read a Poem and Fall in Love with Poetry
“World Enough & Time is, above all, simply one of the most beautiful books I have ever read. Christian McEwen’s prose is pure poetry. …This is not just a good book. This is a book that should become a classic.” — John de Graaf, editor of Take Back Your Time