Learn to handle chaw and spit through your teeth

Robert Coover, distinguished author and Brown University professor, is is interviewed in McSweeney’s Internet Tendency:

[C]reative-writing workshops have absolutely nothing to do with our nation’s literature, though writers sometimes, more or less by chance, turn up in them, looking for an agent or romance or someone to start a new magazine with them. Creative-writing workshops mostly have to do with creating other creative-writing workshops. And this is all right, I suppose, because writing is good for people, or at least not seriously harmful. It teaches them to read, for one thing. We don’t need more writers, but we do need more readers. We need creative-reading workshops. Students would still have to write in them, but for nobler ends. And the self-proliferation of creative-reading workshops would be a less onerous thing. You asked me if teaching has enhanced my writing in any way, and I’d say mainly it has got in the way of it; might have made me a better reader, though.