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    Fax: 202-885-2938
    Battelle Tompkins, Room 237

    Rangel-Mullin, Rebecca
    Sr. Administrative Assistant

Mailing Address

Rachel Louise Snyder Q & A

In Capital Letters: Are there any authors, poets, books, poems, stories, that you discovered or re-discovered over the last year that you would recommend to students or colleagues, and why?

Well, the most obvious example of this is my wonderful colleague, Danielle Evans. I had discovered her as a friend last year. This year, I discovered her as a writer, after her book came out. She has sentences that knock me out. I also discovered Kay Ryan’s poetry. I knew of her, of course, but I don’t read much poetry. One of my friends, though, challenged me to read a poem of hers a day and I’ve done that since October last year. The last thing I’ll say here (because I discover and re-discover writers all the time) is that I spend every single day of my life reading children’s literature to my two-year-old daughter and I am constantly blown away by the creativity and craft that goes into these books. Jon Muth is an incredible children’s book author (and artist) who rewrote Tolstoy’s Three Questions for children and anyone who thinks a children’s book can’t put a chink in our adult armor has to read that book.

Rachel Louise Snyder

ICL: Can you please tell us a little about any writing and/or creative projects that you have been working on over the past year?

I don’t like this question because it commits art to the wider world and sometimes that art doesn’t make it into the wider world for one reason or another. But I’ll say this: I’ve been finishing up a novel. I have a nonfiction book to begin working on (probably over the summer) and I write weekly radio scripts that are like miniature nonfiction short stories and present some of the biggest challenges of my professional life.

ICL: What was your most exciting writing-related development this year?

  I figured out how my novel was going to end.

ICL: Have certain techniques and themes endured as central to your writing?

Yes. I generally still hand write, rather than compose on the computer. And when I can, I try to allow myself time to mull. Writing is like making soup—and I am pretty fucking good at making soup. You have to let it sit and sit and the more it sits, the better it tastes.*

ICL: If you weren't focused on writing, what would you be doing?

Probably changing a diaper. The truth is, that this is an impossible question to answer. I would be an interior designer and an artist (I minored in art in college). I would be a salsa dancer. I would study economics and international development. I would attend cooking school in Vietnam. I would ride horses with my daughter. I would be hiking in the desert. Writing though, I have to stress to you, does not stop me from doing any of these things. Nor should it stop you.

ICL: If you had to Tweet (in 140 characters or less) about one thing you learned about yourself through your art, what would you write?

Technology is usually an impediment to art with depth.

*This is not true of pasta-based soups or romance novels.