Sunday, January 27, 2013

Lynda Barry

Lynda, on the right, chatting with students during her writing workshop

Lynda Barry is a creative force to be reckoned with. Having her here at Lawrence University last Thursday, January 24th was an absolute treat. Her talk, "Crossing the Fox River: From Thought to Action," gave students and staff here an introduction to her quirky, wonderful presence, as well as her ideas about brain hemispheric differences, childhood memories, and the power of images.

I was lucky enough to be part of a small group of students who shared lunch with Lynda after her lecture. She was bright, inquisitive, and seemed genuinely interested in what each and every one of us had a passion for. (Most of us were art students, but one was a government major. Lynda spent just as much time asking about this student's interests as the rest of us. She seemed to overlook art, and jump right to human passion, in whatever field that may be)

My favorite part of the day was attending here writing workshop in the afternoon. She led one fast-paced writing exercise after the next, denying students the time to doubt their work. She advocated the importance of keeping motion in writing or not: if not writing, you draw spirals. If writing and you reach a block, write the alphabet instead.

Her work is truly extraordinary. Please take a moment to explore her blog:
Cover detail from Barry's "What It Is"

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