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Craft Book Spotlight: Alchemy of the Word

This classic anthology of essays about the writing life got a fresh update for 2018.

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Alchemy of the Word


When National Book Award winner and acclaimed memoirist Maxine Hong Kingston praises a book, you sit up and pay attention.

“Whether you’re a young beginner or a veteran writer like me, you’ll get support from reading Alchemy of the Word,” says Kingston.”These authors’ thoughts are mystical and practical, political and inspiring and funny. I’ve found companions on this lonely journey.”

Alchemy of the Word is a compilation of keynote or commencement addresses delivered by faculty members in Goddard College’s creative writing MFA program. The anthology, originally published in 2011, is now in its second edition, with new essays from recent addresses added alongside the originals.

Alchemy of the Word is no ordinary book about writing, reading, and the writing life,” promise editors Nicola Morris and Aimee Liu in the introduction. “Here you will travel to the wellsprings of literary passion.”

Contributors include Paul Selig, Michael Klein, Deborah Brevoort, and Rahna Reiko Rizzuto.

Alchemy of the Word is a smart, exhilarating collection–a true literary conversation, filled with wit, heart, and insight. Every writer with the ambition to create meaningful work will treasure this book,” says Kim Addonizio, author of Tell Me, a finalist for the National Book Award.


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Originally Published