Why I Write: Robert Pope

I became aware of a strong impulse to write stories in the first semester of my sophomore year in college, when I took a creative writing class at The University of Maryland. When I saw the class listed in the bulletin I did not have to think about whether or not I would sign up for it. I had wanted to write stories for a long time, and reading had been an exciting part of my life. I had been an English major for an entire year at this point, and I loved all of my literature classes. But once I started writing in earnest I never stopped.

Telling a story became the very reason for my existence, if not my survival. Over the years I have published over seventy stories and essays–it might be over eighty at this point. Once I finish a story or essay I ride the high until I have to find another. My mind starts working on the next one until it comes to fruition, and then I inch forward to discover what it is. I have been doing this for many years now. God willing, I won’t stop until I run up against the brick wall and must move on to the next phase of existence, whatever it is.

Storytelling is what I do. It is who I am. I have no idea why. It is certainly the chunk of wood I’m hanging on as I drift in the sea of this life. Gracias a Dios.

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About Robert Pope

Robert Pope has published a novel (Jack's Universe) and a collection of stories (Private Acts) as well as many stories and essays in journals, including Alaska Quarterly Review, The Kenyon Review, The Georgia Review, and The Conium Review. He lives in Akron, Ohio, where he has taught at The University of Akron for many years.