Views from the Loft

Views from the Loft

A Portable Writer's Workshop
“Packed with inspirational, useful, and thought-provoking essays.” —MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE
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Founded nearly four decades ago by a group of young writers, the Loft has become our nation’s largest independent literary center. The dream animating its inception—to build a community of writers and readers—has borne remarkable fruit, and today the Loft’s community extends from its home in Minneapolis to writers and readers around the world.

Gathering the collected wisdom of that community—from practical tips and suggestions to ruminations on the mystery of the writing process—this invaluable book provides writers everywhere with the tools and inspiration they need to thrive. Invigorating, insightful, and illuminating throughout, this portable workshop is essential for writers of all levels.

Views from the Loft collects more than sixty essays, including those from luminaries including: Grace Paley on the writer’s responsibility in the world. Rick Bass on keeping your schedule open for the muse. Marilyn Chin on grandfathers, cowlicks, and shoe glue in first drafts of poems. Lewis Hyde on embracing the mythology of wholeness in nonfiction. Ted Kooser on fostering a poetic life. And Susan Straight on writing through clogged toilets, broken windows, and the other charms of single-motherhood.

Publish Date
5.5 × 8.5 × 0.94 in
16.7 oz

Daniel Slager

Daniel Slager is the Publisher and CEO of Milkweed Editions.

Praise and Prizes

  • Views from the Loft is packed with inspirational, useful, and thought-provoking essays on the craft of writing by some of the best writers around.”

    Minneapolis Star Tribune
  • Views from the Loft is a local collection of essays that gets inside the minds and hearts of authors and poets alike. The all-star cast of writers, including Kate DiCamillo and Mark Doty, shares the trials and tribulations that paved the way to successful careers. Some passages are clinical, while others are inspirational, but each will motivate you to pick up a pen and write.”

    MSP Magazine
  • “The life of a writer, like the Loft, is always a work in progress, and Views from the Loft will aid you as you grow toward your next chapter… . Whether you write poetry, memoir, or fiction, you’ll appreciate the energy of the distinct voices present here.”

    Seattle Post-Intelligencer
  • “The volume’s organization—separated into the categories of teaching, writing, critique, publication and writing for life—is meant to emulate the Loft’s workshop model, to provide burgeoning writers with the ‘tools and inspiration they need to thrive.’ Thrive? That’s a tall order. But delight in rummaging around in the advice, the grumbling, the erudition offered in these pages? For sure.”

    The Oregonian
  • “Serious readers will enjoy getting an inside look at the processes and practices that help fill the empty page.”

    Publishers Weekly