Why I Write by Mike Tetzlaff

Hello, Macc Writers returns today at 2pm in Macclesfield Library with a visit from author Michelle Green.

Below a member of our group tells us why he writes:

Why do I write?

Mike Tetzlaff

I write because I want to tell stories. So I suppose the next question is why do I want to do that? And the reason is simple; I love stories. So actually it’s not a reason at all, it is in fact an irrational desire.

I simply love stories. But love is more than a feeling; there’s got to be a decision to love even when the going gets tough. And of course commitment can be tough – and writing can take a lot of commitment. But the reward is worth it when stories reach as far as imagination allows and plumb the truths of humanity.

There is a kind of therapy in telling stories. A reshaping of past events, relationships, hopes and dreams perhaps unrealised. Embellished with the unknown, peril, conflict, monsters and then you have the perfect recipe, in my book, for an entertaining story. If it entertains, grips, then for me that is a story worth telling, and stories are meant to be told.

Macc Writers – Last Day of Barnaby

Macc Writers will be in the Market Place again today.  Look out for the poets in Quangle-Wangle hats and request a poem to suit your mood. Click the link below for more details.


Macc Writers will also be holding a stall on the Treacle Market today where our published authors will be selling their books.

Please support your local writers.


Dabble with a Drabble at Barnaby Festival

A drabble is a story, memoir or poem of exactly 100 words (excluding the title) and the race is on to pen 100 of them on the theme of space.

‘Dabble in a Drabble’ and help us hit our target. Macclesfield Creative Writing Group are on hand to help.

Pick up a Drabble Pack from the library now with instructions and tips on how to write a drabble.

Join a free workshop on Wednesday 22 June 12-4.45 pm or Thursday 23 June 12 – 5 pm at Macclesfield Library. No need to book – just drop in.

Post your entry into the Drabble Box at the library by Thursday 23 June.

The 100 Drabbles Challenge display runs at Macclesfield Library from Monday 20 June to Saturday 25 June.

Join the Barnaby Festival 100 Drabbles Challenge.

Click here for more details.

Macc Writers at Barnaby Festival

Macc Writers are taking part in the upcoming Barnaby Festival

There is  chance to hear a poem to suit your mood read by a local poet. Look  out for the poet in the Quangle-Wangle Hat. Click the link for more information.

You can read poems and stories written by local authors while enjoying a beverage in Macclesfield’s cafes and bars. Click here for more information.

Or try your hand at writing a drabble, that is a story of exactly 100 words, on the Space theme. Click here for more information.

Join in the fun.

A poem by Richard

A Mind To


What a day

To have a broken heart!

Wind, cold as the grave,

Full strong from Africa

Flings fickle clouds across a cobalt sky.


She is loyal — still loves him,

So she will not love me even if she had a mind to,

And of this I’m not so sure.

Is it a brittle love? I ask,

So far away?

Daring to hope,

Praying for disharmony.

Unusual, she says,

But there is trust

And I will not betray his trust,

Even, if I had a mind to.

She looks at me and smiles

And I know I am defeated.


Had I not said two days ago,

As we walked towards the Mirador

That I would never love again?

Love, is vulnerability.

I have only loved the once,

And I will love no more.

What kind of fool says that?

And in the desperation of the final hour

That hastens our departure

Say that I could love her?


Well, enough of that, moy bien!

I say and joke, but it is said and

Leaves me looking like a fucking fool.


Bar closed, the last to leave,

I walk her home

Two hearts that beat;

Two very different rhythms.



Hours pass, sleep goes AWOL for the most part.

I wake to find my

Head still full of her.

I am powerless to expel her.


If I had a mind to.

A review from Michael Murray

Michael Murray, from his collection PARAMETERS, articles, essays and reviews.


Gwendolyn Brooks’ first book ‘A Street in Bronzeville’ was published in 1945.

As soon as you mention dates weird time shifts happen. 1945:  end of WW11, Hiroshima and all the technology connected with the Manhattan Project. For Black America it moves differently: 1941 the Supreme Court ruled that black people could now travel first class on the railroad.

Gwendolyn Brooks published within the New Criticism orthodoxy of the time. New Criticism focussed on the multiple implications of diction and symbol. She did not publish as a black person, coming in from that other time scale. Acceptance was immediate. She was writing out of a middle class, suburban background. This, along with an intellectual background in Eliot, Pound, and Wallace Stevens, was what was recognised. Even so, her first contacts were with writers like Langston Hughes.

Her Bronzeville was a southern suburb of Chicago. It became more black with time, and her writing became more entangled in black issues.

Her second book ‘Annie Allen’, won the Pulitzer Prize.

Her first book ranged through many verse forms, and brought in real life things like Coca-Cola, but also:

     the mother


                  Abortion will not let you forget,

                  You remember the children you got that you did not get…

and ending

Believe me, I loved them all,

                   Believe me, I knew you, though faintly, and I loved you, loved you


-orchestrating the emotion to a precise degree. From third person to first: identifying, immediate.

She is always direct, engaged, writing from deep within her subject:


kitchenette building


                    We are things of dry hours and the involuntary plan,

                    Greyed in, and grey. “Dream” makes a giddy sound, not strong

                    Like “rent”, “feeding a wife”, “satisfying a woman”.


                     But could a dream send up through onion fumes

                     Its white and violet, fight with fried potatoes

                     And yesterdays’ garbage ripening in the hall…

One of the outstanding sequences of this collection is ‘Gay Chaps in a Bar’ (‘Gay’ in the pre-Stonewall sense). This sequence of twelve sonnets won the Midwestern Writer’s Group prize in 1943.
It’s theme the articulacy of the GI’s response to the War front and home front. It earns its New Crit credentials by juggling soldier’s letters home, home expectations, the horror and alienation of war experience, and the “tight-lipped obligation of masculine self-censorship” (Susan Schweik).

“Straining dialogue…structured around a clear ironic contrast between after and before, front and home” (ibid). The sequence tackles the “strategies of omission” in the image of potential war-injury as physical and communicable loss: the response and counter response of male to female, war front to home.

The racial tension is always present:

                                   the white troops had their orders but the…

                            …………….Negroes looked like men. Besides, it taxed

                             Time and temper to remember these

                             Congenital iniquities that cause

                             Disfavor of the darkness……….

Congenital iniquities. A Yemisi Jimot writes of Brook’s “middle-class notion of transcendent, unified, and fixed social narrative”, but also of a deepening “black group-consciousness”.
Fame and university teaching put her in touch with young black writers, like LeRoy James/Amiri Baraka. She published with African American publishers or her own imprints thereon.

After the Pulitzer Prize winning ‘Annie Allen’ she lost favour with her follow-up, ‘The Bean Eaters’. It was seen as too polemical. 1960 was a different world, with black issues and Civil Rights on top agenda.

Gender was always implicit: she was writing out of a black woman’s experience. Her audience was perceived as heterogeneous.

She would have been empathetic with Stuart Hall’s ‘hybridity’ stance, as well as the identifiable and ‘separate-discursive’ tradition stance of Alice Walker, (of the black person’s experience as separate from the white, and a tradition in its own right), and by extension, Sonia Sanchez. Her career allowed her to explore many of these positions.

Hall’s ‘hybridity’ (“nowhere to be found in its pure, pristine state” but “already… fused, syncretized, with other alloyed elements”) is there in the earlier books, whilst the later ones illustrate the enforced seperateness, enforced ethnicity.

To allow the writer last word:


                                from Bronzeville Woman in a Red Hat

hires out to Mrs Mills


They had never had one in the house before,

                 The strangeness of it all, like unleashing

A lion, really. Poised

To pounce. A puma. A panther. A black


There it stood at the door

Under a red hat that was rash, but refreshing……….


(Mrs Mills’ child:)

“………..kissed by the black maid! Square on the mouth!

World yelled, world writhed, world turned up light and rolled


(but the child)

Kissed back the colored maid


Love had been hard and rapid to respond.