Winter Park Institute Presents "Writers and Editors: Marriages Made in Limbo"

October 21, 2010

On Thursday, October 14, Winter Park Institute  brought three prominent literary figures, Billy Collins, Daniel Menaker and Roger Rosenblatt, together on the stage of Tiedtke Concert Hall for an intellectual discussion on “Writers and Editors: Marriages Made in Limbo” as a part of the Ideas in Residence: Writers and Editors series.

Like old friends gathered around a fireplace swapping fond memories, Collins, Menaker and Rosenblatt sat perched on the stage, discussing the role of editors, their personal literary influences and how they viewed the act of writing.

The audience, comprised of Rollins and Winter Park community members, remained engaged throughout the discourse, laughing in unison as the panelists shared stories of humorous copy editors and nodding in compassionate understanding as Rosenblatt shared his personal experience in writing “Making Toast.”

Discussing the impact of literary influence, the men agreed that they are highly impacted by the works of other literary figures that have preceded them.  “You are the product of your reading,” said Collins.

As the conversation progressed, the topic transitioned into the emotional correlation associated with the act of writing.  “About half an hour into writing, I go to a place called “the zone,” said Menaker. “It’s rapturous, but I am not happy. As I come down from it, I feel really unsettled and really anxious about where I just was at the time.”

“I want the act of writing to be an experience—of not knowing where I’m going, to keep my mind open to distractions, which aren’t distractions at all but messages about where it (the piece) is supposed to go,” said Collins.

By Brittany Fornof '11

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