This tender volume follows the blossoming friendship through letters between Pulitzer Prize-winning poet James Wright and the then-young poet and novelist Leslie Marmon Silko. The charming correspondences, which unfurled over the final year and a half of Wright's life (1978-1980), are all about the difficulties and sweet pleasures of life, work, writing, and encounters with mean roosters. Silko considers the ways in which her work is imbued with the spirit of her Laguna Pueblo Indian heritage. Wright discusses the need to let a poem sit for a while before showing it to the world, as a poem "goes through changes ... when you leave it alone patiently, just as surely as a plant does, or an animal, or any other creature." Together they explore the catharsis of storytelling, the overwhelming power of words ("how deeply we can touch each other with them," writes Silko), and the beauty of a gentle yet passionate friendship between like-minded souls.
From Publishers Weekly
Laguna Pueblo Indian writer Silko met Pulitzer Prizewinning poet Wright at a writers' conference and the two subsequently struck up an extraordinarily intimate 18-month correspondence that ended with Wright's death of cancer in 1980 at the age of 52. While the writers comment upon one another's work, and several of Silko's poems are included, neither author addresses literary concerns in other than the broadest terms. Early on, Silko writes: "I remember the poems you readnew ones . . . It was those that moved me." But the reader is never given enough specific comment to speculate upon the writing to which she refers, even if a clear assessment was offered. Wright is equally vague in his evaluations, and the result is a vapid reciprocity of discourse that delivers little insight into either writer's ouevre.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.