SBP Blog

Defying the Western Narrative — Interview with Janet Pocorobba for DIY MFA

Michael Palmer - Thursday, April 11, 2019

Janet Pocorobba, author of the incredible new memoir The Fourth String speaks with DIY MFA on her new book as well as how to defy writing structures both in the classroom and on the page.


Janet is a former features writer and editor at Metropolis magazine in Tokyo, whose memoirs, essays and reviews have appeared in many notable publications such as The Rumpus, The Writer, and Kyoto Journal.

She is the author of the memoir, The Fourth String: A Memoir of Sensei and Me, which is now available. In the memoir Janet shows the relationship between her and her sensei in the initial years of her apprenticeship learning to play the shamisen, a three-stringed Japanese instrument.


In this episode:

  • Presenting the self in relation to others in a memoir.
  • How training in music gives you structure and form for your writing.
  • The role absence plays in a narrative.
  • Using the practice method to grow your craft.
  • The relationship between the word mind and the content mind.


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