By Adrian Ernesto Cepeda
I’m a poet and being in a MFA program, most of my readings center around poetry, but while working at WordTheatre I have garnered a taste for the well-crafted short story. No one, in my opinion, is better at writing a short story than Richard Bausch. Bausch is the past chancellor of The Fellowship of Southern Writers, who has penned eight short story collections and eleven novels. Richard’s work is widely anthologized and has won a Rea Award, two National Magazine Awards and The PEN/Malamud Award, among others. He is editor of The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction and a professor at Chapman University.
You can really tell a lot from a writer by his quotes and, as I am a collector of advice, anecdotes and overall declarations from writers, I can tell you Bausch never disappoints. Like when he shared with Chapter 16.org on his writing process that “the length and the gestures which will make up any given expression for me are always determined by the story itself, whatever it is. I never set out to write a short fiction or a novel. I set out, always, to follow a thread of narrative that has suggested itself, either through a character’s voice or circumstance, a line of authorial speech, the first line of spoken dialogue, or whatever tricks the thing into life and motion. But I almost never know where it will lead. I thought my novel Rebel Powers would probably be a small story of about ten pages when I had been working on it in those first days and weeks—then I thought maybe it would be a novella, and finally knew it had to be a novel because of what still remained to do in terms of telling the story.”
Whatever Bausch is doing, this poet and new connoisseur of the short story hopes he continues wowing readers everywhere with his gift of craft. Aficionados of Richard or those new to the Bausch universe, I urge you to come and hear a cast of amazing actors read brilliant short stories by Mr. Bausch and his twin brother Robert at WordTheatre’s Brunch with Twin Novelists and Short Story Writers Richard & Robert Bausch and Their Stories event on Sunday March 8th at the Microsoft Lounge in Venice. You will find yourself lost in his words as they come off the page like never before.