The “other” small town

I’m reading Richard Hugo’s The Triggering Town: Lectures and Essays on Poetry and Writing. Partly because someone recommended the book to me, but also because the author happens to have written my all-time favourite poem (“Places and Ways to Live”).

Anyhoo…

Richard Hugo has some interesting things to say about inhabiting a place that is your home and yet isn’t. He says you have to write in a town you’ve never seen before, but a town where you’ve lived all your life. In this mid-space: “it is easy to turn the gas station attendant into a drunk. Back home it would have been difficult because he had a drinking problem.”

I suppose this is a variation on the idea of ex-pat writers, on a smaller scale. It struck me because of it’s “town” focus. I am, after all, a small-town girl at heart.

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