What Are We Waiting For?

After careful consideration--wait for it!--I've decided that waiting is bad for me. Why am I always waiting? And why am I sometimes unaware of what exactly I'm waiting for? As a poet, my waiting habit has been fed and nurtured. I write a first draft, second, third, and on up the abacus of practice until …

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Sharon Olds’ “The Winter After Your Death”

Sometimes you're in a mood for moody poetry. Like in the last week of summer (not officially, but selfishly for a teacher about to return to the brick structure), reading about winter. I found this in Jane Hirschfield's lovely collection of essays, Nine Gates. The Winter After Your Death by Sharon Olds The long bands …

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Eating Poetic Fruit–and Words

Simplicity. In poetry, it's tough to embrace and get away with. You read something as simple as Galway Kinnell's "Blackberry Eating" and say, "How easy. I can do that!" And then you try. It's like those foolhardy fiction writers who make the terrible mistake of imitating Ernest Hemingway. Seems simple enough. Only the emulating stylists …

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Garrison Keillor Reads One of My Poems

In the "Things I Never Thought I'd Write" Department, we have this: Today Garrison Keillor read one of my poems on his nationally-syndicated program, The Writer's Almanac. Yep. The very same Writer's Almanac I've listened to on the radio and read on-line countless times. The poem, "Snapper," tells the simple story of a snapping turtle …

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