“To live in the world of creation–to get into it and stay in it–to frequent it and haunt it–to think intensely and fruitfully–to woo combinations and inspirations into being by a depth and continuity of attention and meditation–this is the only thing.” —Henry James
“…as a poet in the american theatre/i find most activity that takes place on our stage to be overwhelmingly shallow/stilted and imitative. that is probably one of the reasons I insist on calling myself a poet or writer/rather than a playwright/i am solely interested in the poetry of the moment/the emotional and aesthetic impact of a character on a line. for too long now afro-americans in theatre have been duped by the same artificial aesthetics that plague our white counterparts/ “the perfect play,” as we know it to be/ a truly european framework for european psychology/ cannot function efficiently for those of us from this hemisphere…theatre…is an all-encompassing moment/ a moment of poetry/the opportunity to make something happen.” —Ntozake Shange
“I come more to realize that it is not a question of new and old forms, but that what matters is that a man should write without thinking of forms at all, write because it springs freely from his soul.” —Anton Chekhov
“I could not bear to be here without leaving a stain upon the silence.” —Samuel Beckett
“The first thing is to comprehend the new subject-matter—the second is to shape the new relations—the reason? Art follows reality.” —Bertolt Brecht
“The archaic and primitive ritual dramas, which acknowledged all sides of human nature, including the destructive, demonic, and ambivalent, were liberating and harmonizing…” —Gary Snyder
“What we refer to when we speak sentimentally about the ‘power of the live event’ is merely the frisson, becoming rare in this age of electronic simulation, of being proximate to something that can end up soaring or falling flat on its ass.” —Tony Kushner
“Drama began as the act of a whole community. Ideally there should be no spectators. In practice every member of the audience should feel like an understudy.” —W.H. Auden
“Writing is a religious act. It is an ordering, a re-learning and re-loving of people and the world as they are and as they might be.” —Sylvia Plath
“A story isn’t really any good unless it successfully resists paraphrase, unless it hangs and expands in the mind….
I don’t have any pretensions to being an Aeschylus or Sophocles…but I do think, like the Greeks, that you should know what is going to happen in a story so that any element of surprise will be transferred from its surface to its interior….” —Flannery O’Connor
“I am interested in the shape of ideas even if I do not believe them. There is a wonderful sentence in Augustine. I wish I could remember the Latin—it is even finer in Latin than in English.
‘Do not despair: one of the thieves was saved. Do not presume: one of the thieves was damned.’
That sentence has a wonderful shape. It is the shape that matters.” —Samuel Beckett
“Art is the habit of the artist; and habits have to be rooted deep in the whole personality. They have to be cultivated like any other habit, over a long period of time, by experience; and teaching any kind of writing is largely a matter of helping students develop the habit of art…” —Flannery O’Connor
“My stories are based on investigations: when a character is KNOWN- the story is over” —Henry James