The Best Advice I Ever Got

Sandy McCord (’70) - Richmond, Kentucky

Thank you for finding room in the winter issue of Archways for a review of my chapbook, Dragon Well (“Prairie Wolves in Print”). Thanks, too, for assigning the review to the thoughtful and eloquent Assistant Professor of English Bradford Tic.

I wasn’t immediately aware of the Dragon Well review, because I was immersed in your review of William Kloefkorn’s new collection on the same pages. You make a good and necessary point about looking beyond personality into what is in the poem itself.

I took Kloefkorn’s short story classes in the late 1960s and actually remember him as being fiercely demanding. It was easy to get a C (“Anyone can do average writing,” he said), but hard to get an A. He handed one attempt back to me with the note, “You can do better. So, my advice to you is, ‘Do better.’”

The best advice I ever got.