A national treasure in Wales, is retired but still writes at Orem home
Leslie Norris still has impact. I thought I could only write legal briefs. I
thought photography was my only outlet. All the words flying like the birds in
Norris's little boy's head have found release.Thank you Deseret and
BYU for having Norris inspire so many even after his death.
I can still hear the melodic voice of Norris reading one of his short stoies,
and those of P. G. Wodehouse,to a small writing class at the University of
Washington. It's a wonderful memory.
For one of my birthdays some years ago my wife contacted Leslie Norris and
arranged for him to read one of his poems at my birthday party. Unfortunately,
on the day he was not well enough to leave his house, so we all stood around our
phone and listened as he read a poem. I have forgotten the poem that he read,
but I remember a warm and giving person, a great man. I return again and again
to his short stories and poems, many of which remind me of Wales where I was a
student and of England where I was born.
I was a student of Leslie Norris at the University of Washington in the 1970s.
He was a kind man and great teacher. His short story 'Shaving' is a brilliant
distillation of memory, Zen like in its diamond hard insight. One day Leslie
limped into our fiction writing workshop and explained that he had hurt himself
playing soccer over the weekend. I remember thinking that I hoped when I was in
my 60s I would be alive enough to write and play soccer.
Thank you for this inspiring article. I'm currently playing a role in a film
based on one of his stories and this article has been very helpful.
I hadn't kept in touch with Leslie for a number of years. When I read of his
passing~ immediately tears welled in my eyes. An extraordinary
person- one of those Professors or Wise Men you meet and each time is a golden,
glowing, carrying away new 'a ha' treasure type-experience. Edifying
is perhaps a better word. Leslie 'filled' your soul right up past your throat
(always with a nod and wink to humour). If there is a heaven with
association, I hope Leslie (and Kitty) are there and we have time. . .
Our eighth grader is reading "The Wind, the Cold Wind" for her literature class
here in Tennessee. Thank you for this informative and beautifully written
interview with Leslie Norris.