I didn’t know how obsessed I was with the world – with the actual word world – until I went through my last book of poems and saw that I used the word at least 30 times. Actually, another poet told me I used it 30 times but of course I went back and counted the words myself (because they were my words) to see if this was true. I’d never done anything like that – count how many times a word got used. I wonder if other poets do this?
“Shadow Child has lots of monsters, hauntings, ghosts. But that is not where the real peril comes from. My monsters are the guilt and sorrow kind. They rise out of despair, helplessness. They are a manifestation of “dis-ease”; and they are invisible. Hidden.”
I’ve never kept a diary. At least not since I was eight, when my father bought two blank journals and suggested that he and I spend time together every evening writing in our diaries. For several weeks we did just that, sitting side by side on the living room couch and recording the events of the day. One day I came home from school and found my diary in the wrong place on the bookshelf. When I inquired about this, my dad said, “I have to admit something to you. I was so curious about what you’ve been writing that I couldn’t help myself, so I went in your room and read it.”
…disability is too often excluded in discussions of diversity, a good deal of which, for good reason, focuses on race. This silence is especially noteworthy because disability crosses racial, gender, sexuality, class, and national boundaries.
The Writer gave our very own all-faculty compilation, Alchemy of the Word, a nice shout-out. Congrats to all, especially the editors: Aimee, Kenny, and Nicky
“I get it: I keep trying to build cathedrals when I should be building yurts.”
On Writers, Writer’s Block, Generosity, Creativity and Community
I just started rehearsals for a ten-day workshop a relatively new play of mine: BORN IN EAST BERLIN. The workshop is at TheatreWorks in Palo Alto. I decided to blog the first day.
Whenever you bump up against a writing situation that feels impossible, remember the Sugar Balloon, and all the experimentation, tenacity, innovation, determination, and risk that it took to arrive at this floating answer to a once-thought-impossible question.
The paragraph or so of writing in preparation for this post I began on an empty page of an old, located notebook, one that flips vertically like a police ticket or meter maid book, but unlike law enforcement trappings
By chance or design, I held the words of the Salvadoran poet Claribel Alegría, later translated by poet Carolyn Forche and published by Pittsburgh in Flowers from the Volcano.
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about thrillers. About why recently I’ve been reading them compulsively at all hours of the day and night. Maybe the subject for a new book? I’m thinking about that. In the meantime I devour them at a great rate.
Because Yearning and Dread is the theme of our upcoming Goddard residency, I’ve been thinking lately about the role these emotions play in my own writing, and as I look back over my fiction, particularly my novels, it seems pretty clear that the yearning and dread that fuel my work revolve around my parents.
2018 marks two milestones in my life.
This past March, I turned 40, which everyone assures me is the new 30. (It’s also, unsurprisingly, the old 60, but no one wants to talk about that.) To celebrate my fortieth birthday, my husband attempted to coerce me into having a celebration worthy of the occasion, a lavish gathering of family and friends and colleagues, crammed into a modestly priced rental hall to eat finger foods we didn’t cook set to music we only vaguely remembered selecting. I refused. Does anybody really need to see me drunk and dancing awkwardly to another Macklemore song about inclusion? I don’t think so.
After almost twenty years of teaching in the MFA in Creative Writing program at Goddard, I am going to retire. When I first started working at Goddard, there was one campus only, in Vermont. I went to Plainfield, where I’d