Archive | 7:05 am

Literary spiritualism

8 Nov


It’s YALSA Symposium weekend…two days to talk about Young adults, books and libraries. I don’t often give up a Saturday, but this was definitely worth it.

I sat in on 4 excellent sessions, heard a number of authors speak and picked up some new books.


I am excited to go back to school on Monday and tell the kids about meeting Jack Gantos, who talked about his internal and external writing process and even referenced his neighborhood map that we used as an idea generator.

Gantos' Neighborhood Map

Gantos had a lot to say about books and writing. he talked about the books that “move into you like a squatter”. He also talked a lot about balance: the balance he tries to find between the internal and external story. He explained how a lot f his work is about the unevenness and self loathing that kids go through during their adolescence, when their balance is off.

He also talked about the “literary spiritualism” of community reads programs. He was the first person yesterday to mention the significance of having people of multiple generations in a room talking about a book or an idea. It came up later in other sessions, too. It was a call to be involved with a community of readers, share books and put books in the right hands.

I was exhausted by the time I got home, but it was that good exhaustion that you feel after doing something worthwhile.

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