Welcome to the Great Washington Writers Series.
Celebrating men and women of American literature
America has a great literary tradition, but we often overlook that some of our best writing appears on the nation’s sports pages – and the subject of much of that writing is baseball.
True, cynics tell us baseball is a business, but if that’s the beginning and end of one’s understanding of America’s Game, it reveals an ignorance of our national experience, as we cannot be understood independent of it, as the literary critic Jacques Barzun famously reminded us, “Whoever wants to know the heart and mind of America had better learn baseball.”
But what we cherish about the game, its beauty, its symmetry, and nuances, what awakens our literary longings and quest for poetical integrity, is, in the end, what separates the business of baseball from the game of baseball. We may be indifferent to the first reality, but we hold to the second as surely as we cling to any fundamental essential in the American character; for it defines us and elevates us to a level higher than what is otherwise the commonplace of our existence.”
As noted, in the literary world sports writers are often viewed as second class citizens of the writing profession, outranked by poets, essayists, historians, and novelists — an arrogance divorced from fact.
The ability to write at game’s end, to write under the intense pressure of deadline, and to write well, is a special gift, as writing under deadline doesn’t give one 117 chances to revise a single sentence, as Ernest Hemingway did when he wrote the last sentence of the last paragraph of the last chapter of “For Whom the Bells Toll.”
The Washington Writers Series celebrates men and women of American literature, who write of politics and history, of poetry and sports – and the long literary and intellectual history that preceded them.
If you believe the celebration of such great individuals is important, then The Great Washington Writers Series is an organization you should join.
But don’t delay. Do it today.