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Big Joy Oral Histories: N

Nowak, Lynn

Interviewee: Lynn Nowak
Interviewer: Stephen Silha and Eric Slade
Date of interview: May 2010
Extent: 25 minutes, 58 seconds

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Lynn Nowak is a writer and copy editor based in Port Townsend, Wash. She counts her years as James Broughton’s amanuensis as some of the best of her professional life. James certainly made an impact on her personally, inspiring her to consider “adventure, not predicament.”

Topics discussed: Met James in 1990 when his eyesight was failing; she was a journalist, met him through a friend, soap opera writer and actress, Gillian Spencer; Broughton called her "amanuensis," not secretary; she would type up his revisions, dictations; Amazed at how many drafts and revisions he did, polishing, finding precise words; Sometimes was shocked by the content of his work, but joy and humor prevailed; James's writing got tinier, especially after his stroke, shows some pages; Wordsmithing with James -- loved thesaurus, word play; Reads inscriptions on some of the 7 books they worked on together over 9 years; Reads some of poems they worked on together; How Broughton reworked his own compositions; How James broadened her own perspectives; What Broughton and Port Townsend gave to each other; How Broughton worked right up until his death; Reads from "Little Sermons of the Big Joy."