Philip Schultz’s most prominent success is a book of poems called “Failure.” For that effort, he won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry. He has since written a memoir called “My Dyslexia” from which he will read October 20 at the Poetry Center.
Full disclosure: Schultz is technically my boss, one of them, anyway. He is the founder of The Writers Studio, a creative writing school for which I teach fiction and poetry workshops. But I haven’t yet met him yet, and I’m very excited to.
Among the reasons I’m so thrilled:
• He has devised a method for teaching creative writing that I deeply respect. It addresses not only the technical elements of good writing, but the emotional process — how to connect to emotion and how to tamp down anxiety. Interestingly, the writing method came out of the method he used to teach himself to read.
• Schultz studies things carefully and learns lessons some of us might pass over. For instance, in this video of a recent interview he did at the Churchill School, he makes the link between dyslexia, the necessary compassion for oneself and the corollary compassion for others.
• He writes about 100 drafts of every poem. He expects to. I admire and am inspired by his desire and persistence.
If you want to hear Schultz in his own words — I think it’s really worth it — you can listen to Schultz read his poem “Failure” here. You can also read an excerpt of “My Dyslexia” and listen to an interview with him on NPR here.