Words for Readers and Writers

Words for Readers and Writers: Spirit-Pooled Dialogues

By Larry Woiwode

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About Words for Readers and Writers

Words—so small, so powerful—engender and enable our very existence. How are we to receive them, use them, hear them, and unite them?

Critically acclaimed author Larry Woiwode explores the mysterious potential of words in this collection of 21 essays on the process and the significance of reading and writing.

Reflect on Woiwode’s masterful meditations and you will find yourself inspired not only to write and to read, but also to believe in the transforming power of words.


Larry Woiwode is a Guggenheim and Lannan Fellow, recipient of the William Faulkner Foundation Award and John DosPassos Prize, a finalist for both the National Book Award and the Book Critics Circle Award, and has received the Medal of Merit from the American Academy of Arts and Letters “for distinction in the art of the short story.” His work has been featured in publications such as The New Yorker, The Washington Post, Books & Culture, and The Atlantic. He is Poet Laureate of North Dakota, Writer-in-Residence at Jamestown College, and author of Words Made Fresh and Words for Readers and Writers


“Few writers can match Larry Woiwode for craft and care. Sentence by beautiful sentence he traces the lineaments of thought, feeling, and experience. He inhabits the roles that life has given him, as writer and critic, father and husband, and Christian, with a constant difficult grace. I admire his writing deeply; it is always gratifying to be in its presence.”
Alan Jacobs, Distinguished Professor of the Humanities, Honors College, Baylor University

“A book on craft, yes, but more a book on living, Larry Woiwode’s Words for Readers and Writers in my library sits between Flannery O’Connor’s Mystery & Manners and John Gardner’s On Becoming a Novelist. Not since O’Connor has a writer put the reader in such comfortable and uncomfortable places at the same time.”
G. W. Hawkes, Professor of English, co-director of Creative Writing, Lycoming College; author, Spies in the Blue Smoke and Playing out of the Deep Woods

“The word ‘words’ and the name ‘Woiwode’ are only similar sounding but are practically synonymous. Who better to parse the subject of words than Larry Woiwode, one of our country’s ultimate wordsmiths?”
John L. Moore, author, The Breaking of Ezra Riley, Take the Reins, and Bitter Roots

“I knew that I was in for a treat the moment I looked at the table of contents, which reads like a tempting menu of topics. When I started to read the essays I was captivated by the energy of Woiwode’s mind and even more by how widely read and broadly informed he is. To read this book is to receive a liberal education. I believe that this is one of Woiwode’s best books.”
Leland Ryken, Emeritus Professor of English, Wheaton College

“I loved it. I'd like to read it again this weekend. The way Woiwode phrased things humbled me completely… Lots of food for thought...”
Victoria , college student

“‘Metaphor is the meditative center of a writer’s inner universe.’ That's just too cool. This essay got me reading sections aloud to my parents because I needed to gush about it with somebody. Woiwode's essays have been a great encouragement—artistically and spiritually.”
Phoebe , college student

Table of Contents

Part 1: Uses of Words
1.  ABCs That Tend to Family Unity
2.  Readers’ Literary Guide to Litigation
3.  The Worded Flood, Rural to Academy
4.  Autobiography, Biography, Fiction, and Fact
5.  Using Words, a Continual Spiritual Exercise
6.  Examining the Writer’s Image with IMAGE
7.  Pooling Metaphors: On Words Overflowing
Part 2: Users of Words
8.  A Fifty-Year Walk with Right Words
9.  Getting Words Plain Right to Publish
10. Tolstoy’s Words March Right to Truth
11. Nabokov’s Words Not Fading to Nothing
12. Exchanging Words: Aural Northern Lights
13. With Inside’s Words inside SUNY Academy
14. Words at the Last from a Martyr Who Lives
Part 3: Realms of Users
15. A State Laureate’s Graduation Address
16. A Concern for the State of Indian Affairs
17. A View of the Ethics Related to Writing
18. A Turn in Aesthetics as a Century Turns
19. A Final Meeting at the Algonquin Hotel
20. A View on Writing from Another Country
21. A Writer’s Feel of Internal Bleeding, A to Z
About the Essays


Category: Arts & Literature
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 240
ISBN-10: 1-4335-3522-X
ISBN-13: 978-1-4335-3522-2
Size: 5.5 in x 8.5 in
Weight: 10.2 ounces
Published: April 30, 2013

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Words Made Fresh