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The Writers Forum at SUNY Brockport

Margaret Atwood -- Poet, Novelist, Critic, Editor

Host(s): Gregory Fitzgerald and Katherine Crabbe

Tape order number: C-657

Visit Date: September 13, 1979

Length: 45 minutes

Published as:

  • "Evading the Pigeonholers: A Conversation with Margaret Atwood." Ed. Earl G. Ingersoll. Midwest Quarterly 28 (1987): 525-39.

Brief Summary: Atwood focuses on the effects that her Canadian nationality has on her writing and the ways that this is reflected in her work. She discusses the differences between writing in the genres of poetry and prose as being multiple and definite. Atwood speaks of her belief that writing, in any form, is an oral experience, with sounds and rhythms constantly reverberating through all literature.

Work(s) Discussed:

  • Life Before Man

Writers mentioned:

  • Shakespeare
  • Tennyson
  • P.K. Paige
  • Gwendolyn McKeown
  • Michael Ondaatje
  • William Faulkner
  • Alice Walker
  • James Joyce
  • Ernest Hemingway
  • Edgar Allen Poe
  • Herman Melville
  • John Milton

A writer is one who is a focus for what is coming in from outside . . . can not ignore what is dark in life.

-- Margaret Atwood

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