Skip to main content

What is Literary Citizenship?

I have been invited to speak at Otterbein College, where I earned my undergraduate degree in English, to speak on the subject of Literary Citizenship. Although speaking and participating in panel discussions (not to mention reading from my work) will be a great honor, I have to admit that I am most honored and engaged by the topic itself. In order for there to be literary citizenship, there must be literary community. Although I will put together a more complete argument, here's what I've teased out so far:

The literary citizen must adopt four different roles to be an active citizen:

Writer
|
Reader
|
Teacher
|
Muse

I recently read Julia Cameron's fantastic book, The Artist's Way. In it she suggests that people adopt shadow professions in place of the artistic professions they desire. One example was the teacher who secretly wants to be a novelist. I agree with much of what is in this book, but I think literary citizenship is about adopting all roles. The novelist is made stronger by engaging in the literary world as a teacher as well as a reader and audience. If I could make the above a circle, it would be more in-line with what I believe. I hope I can portray my thoughts on the matter in a coherent way when I go. I am very, very excited.

In place of a writing prompt today, also, I have an announcement:

I HAVE A NEW BOOK COMING OUT!!!!

I signed the contract yesterday. It is a full-length collection entitled After the Gazebo, after the story here. It will feature band new stories and much of my work over the last two years. More soon, but if you'd like to get one of the very first copies, email me: Jenknox395@gmail.com :)

*If you're in the Columbus area, here's the agenda.

Comments