That magic that happens when something moves an artist, known as creativity, is a mystery.  On October 2nd on the campus of Emory University, writers Pearl Cleage and Alice Walker came together to speak on “creativity.” The two share a deep bond in their works and have known each other for years.

Walker noted that she had heard that Cleage did not like The Color Purple, but when they met, she felt that they we kindred spirits.

Both of these writers have donated papers to Emory University and both have diverse styles. Alice Walker, now celebrating thirty years of The Color Purple, delved first into the topic. She said she feels lucky to do what she loves. She often communicated to her past family members and knows that she is bringing the voice in her stories.  The language they used, the customs, the untold wisdom. Walker’s process is simple: she still uses legal pads, as her husband was a lawyer and she likes to write out her works. She comes up with an ideal and tells the truth. Her works can be hard to read at times, but her challenge to the reader is not to make it simple, but to have them really read the stories or learn to read better.

Pearl Cleage, whose father was an activist preacher, had a first marriage left her in a broken mess; she has always written to escape. Cleage takes on subjects of gender issues, inequality, and family.  She still writes poetry and noted that she posted one on Facebook about a man who walked across the front of her house.

Walker and Cleage agreed that their art was important part of the culture of a society.

The afternoon ended with a reading of The Color Purple; you left with a sense that these great women are being true to themselves.  Perhaps that is all it takes to be creative.

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