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Poet and Story Writer Nance Van Winckel, author of the poetry collection No Starling, published by University of Washington Press.

This week’s Write The Book prompt was suggested by my guest, Nance Van Winckel, who keeps a folder of visual art pulled from art magazines and turns to these sheets for inspiration and to offer a writing exercise to her students. Choose a picture from a magazine. The page can be of a photograph or a painting, of a person, a group, a landscape. Look at the page that you've chosen, and consider one of the following questions:

  1. What happened just before this moment in the life of the person or the persons in your picture?
  2. What is going to happen next week?
  3. In the case of a landscape, what's happening behind that building, around that corner, over that hill?

Begin writing. See where your magazine page takes you. As Nance points out, visual imagery can be a wonderful way to access the imagination.

Good luck with this exercise and please listen next week for another.

Music credits: 1) “Dreaming 1″ - John Fink; 2) “Filter” - Dorset Greens (a Vermont band featuring several South Burlington High School students.

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