My confession: I've been experimenting with form. Five memoirs into my career as a writer, I had despaired of digging deeper, I felt trapped by my own smallness, I felt ungraced by me. I wanted to write something new, something that I'd need new words for, need another kind of courage for, and so I began to write about a river, began to write the river as me. This was liberating. This was logic. I called this book FLOW, and I shared it with editors, and the word was: There is too much risk all about the edges of this book, and by the way: Who could care about a river as a she?
Temple University Press cared, thank goodness. And after that, Philadelphians cared—unexpected numbers of them daring to ride back of a river who sulked and prowled and boasted and fought and could not decide, after a century of flogging, whether or not to hope again.
After FLOW there was a novel for young adults—another risk—and after that a corporate fable, ZENOBIA, that is part Calvino, part Phantom Tollbooth, a little bit of Alice in Wonderland. There are more books now, made, and more coming. Each takes me somewhere new. Each feels dangerous. That's where I want to be right now. That is, I'm starting to conclude, what the act of writing is for.
I believe in the memoirs I wrote, and in all the essays in between things, and in the short stories, and in all that led to here—there is no shame there, no second guessing. But here is my now, and here is my confession: I am writing on the brink.
Causes Beth Kephart Supports
PumpAid St. Christopher's Foundation for Children National Book Foundation's BookUpNYC Dancing Classrooms