17 Nov 2016

Should we teach compassion in creative writing?

*Originally published in MQR, April 15, 2016

I’m drafting a new course description for my undergraduate writing class, and on a piece of paper, I jot down everything I value and wish to impart to my students: clarity of language, a sense of movement, style, voice, vision, complexity, compassion—


It’s true that—especially lately—this has become a key criterion for determining whether or not I continue reading a piece of literature. Do I detect in the writer not only wit and intelligence, but wit and intelligence rooted in kindness? Is there wisdom being shared about human beings—of our mutual frailty, of grace in the midst of despair? Continue reading