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It was fall 1982. Mr. Baldwin was a visiting artist at Hampshire College, Mass., where he taught a short-story-writing class. We would read aloud. I was very animated with all my gesturing and I used voices for the characters in my stories. Mr. Baldwin said, “Have you ever thought about writing for the theater?” I was devastated, because I thought he was telling me, “You suck.” But it made total sense, even though I really hadn’t studied the theater. I started writing a play that day. The most important thing Mr. Baldwin taught me was how to conduct myself in the presence of the spirit. I wouldn’t say he taught me any writing tricks. The writing comes from the spirit, and you must be attentive to its presence, as if you were in the presence of a powerful volcano, as if in the presence of a lover. Mr. Baldwin was very generous and loving to his students. When I go to the theater for rehearsals, I remember the way he was and I carry that with me.