My Secret Country

There’s a new website in town for those of you interested in imaginary worlds and worldplay. Especially for those of you who would like to share your imaginary world with others like you–no matter what age. Check out, the brainchild of Marlo McKenzie, a filmmaker right now working on a documentary about paracosm play. […]

Talk about worldplay!

Last month I had the great good fun of talking with cognitive psychologist, blogger and podcaster Scott Barry Kaufmann about my book, Inventing Imaginary Worlds: From Childhood Play to Adult Creativity Across the Arts and Sciences. Scott is currently Scientific Director of The Imagination Institute in the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania, […]

Tomas Tranströmer’s Childhood Worldplay

My book, Inventing Imaginary Worlds, includes a “Childhood Worldplay List” of sixty or so individuals, ranging from Charlotte Brontë to MacArthur Fellow Laura Otis. As I indicate there, “I fully expect additional examples to come to light.” Here I suggest that Tomas Tranströmer, Nobel laureate in Literature (2011), also engaged in complex imaginative play that […]

“The imagination is…”

“The imagination is a deep-sea diver that rakes the bottom of the poet’s mind and dredges up sleeping images…If we go deep enough, we may discover the secret place where our key images have been stored since childhood.” Stanley Kunitz, poet (Cited in Robert Campbell, (October 1, 2000) God, Man and Whale (review of The […]

Childhood Worldplay List: Addendum #1–Donald Coxeter

As some of you may know, I’m keeping a “Childhood Worldplay List.” Sixty-six individuals or so, ranging from Mozart to Gregory Benford, may already be found on the list included in my book, Inventing Imaginary Worlds. As I indicate there, however, “I fully expect additional examples to come to light.” Well, here’s my first one—a […]

Galway Kinnell at Breakfast: Secret Country Interview, Redux

Some things are planned; some fall into your lap. Getting ready to cross-post my secret country interview with Galway Kinnell to my Psychology Today blog, I came across a link of Kinnell reading a poem called Oatmeal. I was intrigued. I bit. And the taste was inspired coincidence. Here’s what I wrote in response: Many […]

Secret Country Interviews: Remembering Galway Kinnell

The poet Galway Kinnell died this month. Among other honors and recognitions, Kinnell received a MacArthur Prize Fellowship in 1984. As a MacArthur Fellow he responded to my query concerning the invention of imaginary worlds. He also granted me a phone interview, during which we talked at length about his childhood worldplay: “I had three […]

What’s Up with Worldplay? How-To #1

A review of Keri Smith. The Imaginary World of _____ (Your Name Here). A Perigee Book/Penguin Group, New York: 2014. I never thought I would pull a Lady Catherine de Bourgh. In Pride and Prejudice Mr. Darcy’s imperious aunt declares her love of music with the words: “If I had ever learnt, I should have […]