has supported and inspired writers for 40 years. Her many books include Mules of Love,The Human Line (poetry), and The Courage to Heal, which has sold more than a million copies. She teaches at Pacific University's low-residency MFA program.
What another would have done as well, do not do it. What another would have said as well or written as well, do not say or write it. Be faithful to that which exists nowhere but in yourself. — André Gide
There is a world inside each of us that we know better than anything else, and a world outside of us that calls for our attention. Our subject matter is always right with us. The trick is to find out what we know, challenge what we know, own what we know, and then give it away in language.
"The philosophy behind this workshop experience," writes Ellen Bass, "is best expressed by Martha Graham, who said, 'There is a vitality, a life-force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action. And because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium, and be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is, nor how valuable, nor how it compares with other expressions.