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Slowness can open doors to sustained creativity, claims poet and teacher Christian McEwen in her new book, World Enough & Time: On Creativity And Slowing Down. Over the course of ten years training teachers to write their own poems in order to pass the craft along to students, McEwen realized that nothing comes easily when life is conducted at a high rate of speed. She draws not only on personal experience, but on readings ranging from literary anecdote and poetry to Buddhism, anthropology, current news, and social history, all supplemented by interviews with contemporary writers and artists. This is a real reader’s book, one that stands up as both sustained narrative and occasional inspiration.
McEwen espouses the pleasure to be found in slowing down, both for the ease and comfort of the thing itself (taking time to go for a walk, to write down one’s dreams, to read, to talk, to pray), and for its impact on creativity. There are chapters on walking, talking, drawing, dreaming, on “making space,” on pausing/praying, on telling stories. World Enough & Time is aimed at the educated general reader, could be used as a creative primer, and will be of interest to creative writing students and artists in every genre.
co-author of Affluenza: The All-Consuming Epidemic and editor of Take Back Your Time
World Enough & Time is, above all, simply one of the most beautiful books I have ever read. . . Its message about time could not be more timely. This is not just a good book. This is a book that should become a classic.
Christian McEwen is a writer, educator, workshop facilitator, and cultural activist. Since leaving New York City twenty years ago, she has edited two anthologies and produced a video documentary, Tomboys!, and a play, Legal Tender: Women and the Secret Life of Money. Her book, World Enough and Time: On Creativity and Slowing Down (Bauhan 2011), is now in its sixth printing and is also available in an audio format. Her most recent collection is Sparks from the Anvil: the Smith College Poetry Interviews, (Bauhan 2015). Christian grew up in the borders of Scotland and now lives in western Massachusetts.