Conversations With Writers Presents Joe Wilkins
The Power Of Place – Its Place In Our Lives & Our Writing
Though we live in a world chock full of chain restaurants and department stores, on-
screen communications, and cross-country airplane travel, we ignore the power of place at our own psychological and, increasingly, physical peril. Truly, place and landscape are active forces in all our lives. They shape and re-shape us; they offer us foundation and refuge; they challenge us to be good citizens of our biotic and built communities. In life and in writing, we ought to be aware of this; we ought to try to understand and harness the power of place. This conversation will offer writers four ways they might begin to do just that.
Joe Wilkins is the author of a memoir, The Mountain and the Fathers, and three collections of poems, most recently When We Were Birds, winner of the 2017 Stafford/Hall Prize in Poetry from the Oregon Book Awards. A winner of the High Plains Book Award, the GLCA New Writers Award, and the Pushcart Prize, Wilkins’s essays, poems, and stories appear in The Georgia Review, The Southern Review, Ecotone, The Sun, Orion, and Slate. Of his work, the Indiana Review writes, “The most striking component of it is its awareness of ‘the whole world.’ What is ordinary becomes transcendent. In places derelict and seemingly unexceptional, Wilkins compels us to recognize what is worth salvage, worth praise.” Wilkins’s debut novel, Fall Back Down When I Die, will be published by Little, Brown in early 2019. Though born and raised on the Big Dry of eastern Montana, he lives now with his family in western Oregon, where he directs the creative writing program at Linfield College.