Authors Shirley Hazzard and Richard Ford had a tête-à-tête about writing, poetry and much more at the 92nd Street Y for the PEN World Voice Festival. The chemistry between the two writers made for a lively discussion, and the pair elicted much laughter from the audience. In particular, Ford interviewed Hazzard about The Transit of Venus and The Great Fire.
Annabel Davis-Goff read from "Harold," Hazzard's first story, which written when she was 20 years old and published in The New Yorker.
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Highlights from the conversation. Download the full audio above.
On Publishing Her First Story: "I thought, 'Why not?' I had a story and I sent it, because the best place to send it, really, was The New Yorker, and I didn't see why I should send it anywhere else."
On Writing Well: "Ideally, one should have things that leap off the page. If they're just doggedly sitting on the page, waiting to be encouraged, I don't think this is a good way of writing."
On Poetry: "It can't be forced on people... [but] people realize within themselves that they have deeper feelings than language always allows them to express. And poetry, I think, can save very much, the souls of people who feel that way, who feel cut off from a deeper thing in themselves."