From Publishers WeeklyCelebrating its 35th anniversary this year, The Loft is the largest independent literary center in the country, offering writing classes at all levels, readings and competitions, providing mentorship, and working to "support the artistic development of writers, to foster a writing community, and to build an audience for literature." Despite the book's subtitle, this is not a pocket-sized workshop, but rather a compendium of pieces by writers-some famous, some less so-loosely arranged under a series of headings: Teaching, Writing, Critique, Publication, and "Writing for Life." Like many compilations, it's a mixed bag. The interviews in particular cover familiar ground, and beginning writers hoping for practical tips should look elsewhere. Slightly more seasoned scribes will find some help and heart, notably from Katrina Vandenberg's "Some Notes on Negative Capability," which reminds writers to imagine the internal life of objects, and applies to far more than its stated topic. With essays or interviews from over 60 contributors, serious readers will enjoy getting an inside look at the processes and practices that help fill the empty page. Copyright Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. what is the best book ever Views from the Loft: A Portable Writer's Workshop
0 of 0 people found the following review helpful. Good stuffBy Adam JordanBook was fine. Used it for a class and it got the job done. Some interesting pieces were included. Definitely something you can refer back to again and again for future reading.1 of 1 people found the following review helpful. A Best-Of from the Loft Literary CenterBy BLehnerThere have been plenty of authors who have contributed to the Loft Literary Center over the years and Daniel Slager presents the collected wisdom of it in Views From The Loft.This anthology for writers is a pretty wild mix of interviews, articles, and essays (or shall I say musings) by a wide array of authors. While the subtitle of the book, A Portable Writer's Workshop, suggests that the book provides actual tips on writing, publishing, critique, etc. it only does so to a certain extent. I felt that it gives more insight into individual writer's minds than being a how-to manual. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but those who are just taking their first baby steps as writers will probably not be able to gain that much from reading the book.Personally I enjoyed most of the book, though the diversity of the content is also a drawback. I realize that the Loft's mission has always been to reach readers and writers who care about the written word in all its possibilities, thus featuring a very broad spectrum of pieces. I would have preferred smaller volumes focusing, for example, solely on poetry, compared to the vast collection at hand.All in all I found essays that were outstanding as well as interviews that bordered on boring, but this is something you always have to live with in anthologies, as personal tastes naturally differ.In short: A worthwhile dip into the creative minds of authors!Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the NetGalley.com book review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."0 of 0 people found the following review helpful. Entertaining and InspiringBy D. S. BornusThis book advertises itself as a "portable writer's workshop," and it delivers on that promise, sans crowds, coffee, and merchandise table. It is a collection of essays and interviews with various writers whose work has been published in the "View from the Loft" magazine over the past several decades, covering a wide range of areas such as inspiration, publication, and the mechanics of the craft.Although about 80% of the essays pertain to poetry, nevertheless writers in other genres will find nuggets of inspirational value and even occasional side-splitting hilarity. I particularly enjoyed "The Sad Epiphany Poem" as well as vicarious vignettes from daily life of successful authors and their experiences with book tours, first publication, morning coffee, etc.If your schedule or finances preclude attendance at writer's conferences, this is a good substitute that will give you the flavor (just pretend you are reading it while sitting in a row of hard plastic chairs). And perhaps the highest recommendation I can give is that I read it while spending some hours in an urgent care waiting room, and in the midst of chaotic suffering I felt inspired enough to pause and write an essay or two. Recommended!