Monday, March 31, 2008

Confession Tuesday

I’d like to do a bit of a roll call, so leave a note here or with Carolee to let us know if you’re confessing this week.

NaPoWriMo, baby! 30 poems in 30 days. Can I tell you I’ve been stressing out about it? Coming up with something to write about has been the subtext of my day. If I spoke to you this afternoon, I was really thinking about writing a poem—sorry! And after I post this, so begins the scrounging for content for tomorrow’s poem. But it’s all good, right?


My poem, "Miseries of Spring," was sent to the producers of Weekend America (thanks Des!). If it had been selected, I would have read it last Friday to air on Saturday or Sunday. Oh well. It still felt great to have someone submit my poem to public radio. Here’s the poem that was selected: "Hands That Melt Like Snow."


This Wednesday, Cave Canem comes to Boston University for a panel discussion and reading. It’s a great opportunity for me to see old friends and mentors, while meeting Boston poets and other local writers. If you're in the greater Boston area, hope you'll stop by for this free event. It's gonna be fabulous!


At some point during the weekend, I remembered my friend and poet Phebus Etienne passed away around this time last year. I’m unsure exactly when because she died alone in her apartment in New Jersey and was found days later. Can’t think of anything more regrettable than her dying alone. She was so full of life and so talented. I miss her.

Yet again, Phebus is still looking out for me. The latest issue of Callaloo* arrived in my mailbox last Friday. I contributed an article about her for the issue. Then a few of her poems follow, with the last article contributed by Joseph Legaspi. So our pieces acted as bookends for her poems. Phebus, you better believe I will be invoking your name at the CC reading.

(Note, the Callaloo Web site has not been updated with the latest issue yet.*

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Girl Power

Love it!

New Poem

I’ve been working on the poem for a while, and decided not to blog this weekend until it was finished.

There’s a good story to go along with the legs, but for now, suffice it to say that I have a friend who owns a pair of mannequin legs.

Your feedback is greatly appreciated.

Legs: Decending, Asending

~ for EDS

Because you have always been attracted to ordinary mysteries,
because you understand the exquisite language of women,
it was no surprise to see a pair of mannequin legs leaning
against your bookcase—alabaster white, fiberglass,
perfectly shaped in their stillness. No static arms
and hard breasts to complicate things, just the legs,
with a metal rod jutting above the hips
like a sawed-off spine. She was the secret you carried
before your gained access into the elsewhere of girls.
In polite conversation, she became the unmade coffee table
or floor lamp you’d one day make when no other explanation
would do. But how can anyone not be enraptured with this
articulation of woman? How can you not lay a hand on them,
your fingers touching those thighs, the curve of her hip,
the peak of her knees, her cool legs equidistant,
her open stance ski slopes of desire? Imagine her
once a model for hosiery or some other finery,
something black laced and unmentionable
covering her mesmerizing loveliness—
the imagination and its strange discretions.
This nude figure, truncated, always descending
and ascending the stuff of dreams,
as your narrative in the fetish of men.

Sunday Scribblings: Out of This World

As a child, I was always fascinated by astronomy, as well as a a huge fan of the Star Wars and Star Trek movies. That’s as far as my attraction to outer space went. But recently I heard a feature story on public radio's This American Life about astronauts, which made me think about the people who choose to travel into space. Here are a few reflections from the interview.


In the U.S., there are roughly 100 astronauts but only half have been in space. And after the last shuttle flight in 2009, the Space Shuttle will not return to space until around 2020. Imagine training to go into space but not having the opportunity.


There are very few few space missions scheduled annualy, so astronauts end up doing a lot of paperwork in the office.


Astronauts actually have “astronaut” on their business cards. How cool is that?


If you’re an astronaut sitting around with other astronauts, you can make jokes like, “Hey, it’s not rocket science!”, and everyone will laugh because it really is rocket science.


Ever notice how in TV shows and movies, everyone walks around their spaceships without any difficulty while news actual footage on astronauts shows them floating in front of the camera? Well actors may have no trouble with gravity, but in reality gravity is a real challenge inside the hull walls.


And while space ships have noses and wings, there’s really no need for that once in space. No atmosphere. No wind.


For more space talk, visit Sunday Scribblings.

Friday, March 28, 2008

An Offer From Fence

This came across in a listserv from Fence. I think it's an interesting idea, especially for lit mags struggling for readers and funding.

Dear Reader,

We at Fence love Radiohead, and so jumped at the chance to buy their newest album (I'm so old I call it an "album") at the price of our choosing. One of us paid $1 for it; another of us paid $17 for it; these seemed like fair prices. We have heard some paid two months' salary.

And now we're offering a similar opportunity for you to choose your own price for subscribing to Fence (or re-upping your current subscription). It's very important to us that Fence have readers--that the work inside Fence have readers, really--and so we want you to pay us whatever you want for your year's subscription.

All you have to do is go here and click on "donate," then choose your level. Payments are processed by PayPal (it's free and easy to set up an account if you don't already have one). Anyone who chooses to pay $300 or more, god bless you, will, as always, become a lifetime subscriber, and receive a receipt for your tax-deductible donation.

This offer will be good from now through April 30. If you take us up on it you will receive your brand new Spring/Summer 2008 issue of Fence sometime in May.


Thursday, March 27, 2008

Dr. Nick, Fever, and Monet's Garden

What a day! Took the kids to see Dr. Nick, the dentist, this morning.


Alex (photo #1) is running this strange fever that gives him the chills. He's sleepy, lethargic, and has no appetite. Just not himself. Hope it passes soon.


Felt both guilty and unprepared for my reading tonight at Monet's Garden. What a treat is was to hear such great local talent. As for my performance, to paraphrase another of tonight's readers, it doesn't matter that I wrote the poem--it doesn't make it any easier to read. Fortunately, the crowd was a forgiving one and really seemed to enjoy my work.

Tonight I read poems I hadn't read in a while--early childhood/family poems. This grouping I picked out before I arrived at the venue but I should have mixed it up a bit. I read three somber poems in a row and managed to depress myself! OK, next time I'll do a better job of reading my audience.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Fancy one of these snazzy buttons for your blog or site? Go to Read Write Poem today and in the days leading up to NaPoWriMo. Let us know if you're participating. And, get a this button, of course.

And, check out my post on NaPoWriMo.

“The Last Word” at Monet’s Garden

Come hear me read at Monet’s Garden this Thursday!

The Last Word

Monets Garden Art Cafe
95 Rantoul Street
Beverly, MA 01915
March 27 @7:30 Tickets $5

The Monet’s Garden Writer’s Forum, The Last Word, takes place monthly at Monet’s Garden on Rantoul Street in Beverly. The Forum begins at 8 pm; dinner is served beforehand for interested patrons with a nice spread of homemade soups, entrees, desserts, and coffees. The cost for the audience is $5.00 per person; tickets can be purchased at the cafĂ© before the event.

This week’s readers:

Priscilla Anne Tennant Herrington is a member of Ipswich Poetry Group and co-founder, Connecticut women’s poetry workshop Artemis Rising.

Dawn Paul’s work has appeared in Seal Press anthologies The Sun Magazine, 14 Hills and The Redwood Coast Review, Blithe House Quarterly, Hiss Quarterly and Storyglossia.

Kevin Carey’s recent publications include Anthology of New England Crime Writers, Paterson Literary Review, Comstock Review, Lips, The Literary Review, and The White Pelican Review where his poem, "Shredding me," was nominated for a pushcart prize.

January Gill O’Neil’s first collection of poems, titled Underlife, will be published by CavanKerry Press in October 2009.

Laurette Viteritti has published chapters from her novel in progress, Letters from Utah in the literary magazine Upstreet, and was awarded a semifinalist nomination from the Boston Fiction Festival in 2006.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Confession Tuesday

Got a secret? Let Carolee or me know that you’re confessing and tell all!

OK, this is a confession about not being able to confess about my book. What can I tell you? We’ve narrowed covers down to two and with any luck we’ll get approval for one of them very soon.

The other thing I’ve been working on is getting the blurbs for my back cover. Those pithy little quotes on the backs of books—oh my goodness! It’s hard to get an established poet to blurb a book. The poets I thought were a lock did not come through, while the people who are blurbing have been so generous and kind. You just never know.


Once I get the blurbs and cover nailed down, I still have more than a year until the book comes out. Ugh. The waiting is a slow torture. But I’ve waited this long, right? What’s another 1 ½ years?


I’m gearing up for National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo) by working on writing exercises. Starting tomorrow, I’m flexing my poetic muscles to get ready for the daily grind of coming up with a poem a day. I consider these poems free write with potential. I may post or I may keep these poems on the side for those days when I’m just stuck.


Marriage is hard. Parenting is hard. And whenever I’m having a rough day, I watch an episode of Jon and Kate + 8 and I instantly feel better about my life! God bless them for having the strength to raise eight kids. I couldn't do it. I have a hard enough time with my little family.


Tomorrow morning the Red Sox are playing their season opener in Japan against the Oakland A’s. Thank goodness baseball is back! The game's at 6 a.m. so I'll be able to cheer for the home team on my way into work. Go Sox!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!

Horton, Downward Dog, and Miracle-Gro Lollypops

It’s after 3 a.m. on Easter morning and I can’t sleep. My son had a dream that someone was trying to chop him into little pieces. Hmmmm …

Anyway, Happy Easter. Here are a few ramblings from my corner of the world.

Haven’t blogged over the past few days because the kids and I are fighting colds. It’s the first one all season so I can’t really complain.


On Saturday, I took the kids to see Horton Hears a Who. What a great movie! I highly recommend it to parents and kids alike. The animation was awesome. And just at the point when I thought the kids would get bored, the filmmakers kicked it into high gear with animae. It was cool!


Of course, Ella was most fascinated by the popcorn.


Later, I snuck off to my first yoga class in a long time. Couldn't resist a class called “Yoga for Writers,” which is a great concept. Hope the class runs again. It was Vinyasa yoga, and this particular class worked on wrist, shoulder, low-back issues. Alden, the teacher-in-training and NYU alum (woo hoo!), discussed the commonalities between yoga and writing, and how yoga can enhance the creative process. Glad it was open to all levels because I can’t maintain Downward Dog to save my life. However, I’m champ at Crow--sort of.


After I finish this post, I will fill Easter baskets full of candy for the kids. And my husband, still a kid at heard, gets an Eater basket left on our front porch every year (from his mom … eh … the Easter bunny). But before the kids went to bed, my husband took the kids out in the yard to plant jelly beans. In the morning—well, in a few hours—those magic jelly beans will sprout lollypops!


There’s a full moon out tonight!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

New Poem

The God of Small Children

Sometimes they must be conjoined
or burned or raped to get our attention,
their little warranties expired,
their fob of a heart forever detached.
They must be living in squalor,
singing their trashcan lullabies
to the dogs and cats,
or shaken like a milkshake
at the hands of a careless adult
who can’t take the crying,
the melody of the body’s

The god of small children listens
to every terrible song ever sung
yet still remains silent
while tumors grow like tulips
and babies sink like teddy bears
in the bottoms of tubs.

It means that closer to home,
the quiet kid down the street
is buying ammo online
to take to school tomorrow.
The god of small children doesn’t mourn
their luck, which is nothing but bad.
All those voices bathed in fear
bathed in anger, seemingly soundless,
with just the raw air scolding us all.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


New & Emerging Writers Series (NEWS)

POETRY EXTRAVAGANZA: Featured Readers and Open Mike
Sunday, April 6 at 4 p.m.

Where: The Regent Theatre screening room
7 Medford Street, Arlington

Shindig immediately following:
The Book Rack
13 Medford Street, Arlington

John Burt, author of three books of poetry, including Victory
Jean Monahan, author of three books of poetry, including Mauled Illusionist
Colleen Michaels, poet, essayist, and adjunct instructor, Montserrat College of Art
January Gill O’Neil, author of the forthcoming Underlife

After the featured readers, we invite you to read your best poem at our first open mike.

Hope to see you there!

(Medford St is off Mass Ave in Arlington • Parking is available on-street or in lots off Medford • for directions)

* * * *

NEWS is coordinated by Erin Dionne & January G. O'Neil, and sponsored by The Book Rack and the Regent Theatre in Arlington, MA.

Contact for more information or visit our Web site at

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

It’s NaPoWriMo Time (Almost)!

We’re under the two-week window for National Poetry Month, which means National Poetry Writing Month, or NaPoWriMo, is coming up fast. Are you planning to write a poem a day? Are you ready to flex your poetry muscles? Whether you’re keeping pace in a writing group or going solo, let us know your April plans.

Personally, I will be writing a poem a day. Yikes!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Confession Tuesday

Got something you need to get off your chest? The truth shall set you free! Just let me or Carolee know that you’re confessing this week.


I started these confessions on Saturday. I was so happy to be at Starbucks drinking my venti hot chocolate I couldn’t help it. Me time—such a gift!


Before Starbucks, I spent most of my morning contacting local media outlets about the Cave Canem event on April 2. I think I helped raise awareness about the Boston event because today (Monday), I received a few e-mails saying he or she would send out the flyer to members or listservs.


It was a good exercise for me because I was able to finally start a media list. This list, which consists of news outlets friendly to writers, community groups, and college e-mail lists, will be the basis for the list I use when Underlife comes out next year. Plus, it’s just good to know the poetry groups in the region.


I enjoyed writing my Sunday Scribblings post this past week. Made me realize that I have stopped blogging just to blog. I’ve got to get better about that—I miss it.


Also, I miss writing my every thought in a journal. My handwriting has gotten progressively worse, probably because I’m so plugged into my computer. But still use a journal, and will start a new one at the beginning of April. The new one is fancier—a different trim size. So I’m interested to see if a different style affects the way I write.


Thought I could go two hours without checking e-mail on my iPhone but I can’t.


And now a fun confession:

In an effort to have couple time, Tim and I took a shower together on Saturday afternoon. Just a shower. Just couple time. … Anyway … Tim stepped out of the shower first just as my 4-year old son Alex was coming into the bathroom.

Alex: “Did you and mommy take a shower together? Why?”

Tim (without missing a beat): “Mommy and I are trying to save water.”


Sunday, March 16, 2008

An Expert Opinion

So I saw this listing yesterday around noon on

Brave poets have a chance to read their works in front of a former Poet Laureate tonight. Robert Pinsky is the special guest at tonight's Poetribe event, which means he'll watch an hour of open-mike poetry readings before he takes the stage himself. Perhaps if Pinsky likes your poem, he'll tell you. If he doesn't, he'll probably smile at you anyway. We hear he's polite like that. Sign-up is at 7:45 p.m. Free, but donations accepted. East Bridgewater Public Library ...

I was intrigued. I’ve seen Pinsky read many times but to read with him sitting in the audience? My husband said it sounded like a good opportunity and I agreed. So I call a friend and we hauled down to East Bridgewater for the event.

Now for those who know where I live north of Boston, East Bridgewater is the other side of the world—about an hour away. I was psyched because a) I was semi-spontaneous (can’t remember the last time I was semi-spontaneous) and b) I had this dream scenario that Pinsky would hear me read and … I know don’t … sign me up for Slate magazine or something. Silly, I know.

Anyway, the reading was held in a library basement with more than 60 people attending. By the time we arrived around 7:30, the open-mike sign-up had already started—15 minutes earlier than advertised. I was put on the waitlist as #28! Ugh. Those who read seemed to be regulars. Most read one poem quickly, but as 9 p.m. rolled around, it was time to get Pinsky on stage. I can't be sure, but I think the open-mike portion stopped right before my name. Drat!

So I was extremely disappointed that I drove all that way for a disorganized event, but it was nice to see so many different poets—young and old, traditional and performance—do their thing. And, of course, it’s always nice to read Robert Pinsky read.

He said something that stuck me as odd, but given his Favorite Poem Project I guess it makes sense. Pinsky started the night by reading six poems by other poets, saying that he encourages poets and teachers to type up the poems of others and create personal anthologies. Now, my first thought was, “copyright issues?” but there’s nothing wrong with reading a few favorite poems before an audience, which he did very eloquently, poets from Ben Johnson to William Carlos Williams. Then he read five of his own and the event was over.


The evening had one saving grace: I got a few moments with speak with Pinsky. Told him about my book with CavanKerry Press, which he congratulated me on and told me he thought they were doing great things. And I asked if he would be at the upcoming Cave Canem reading at Boston Univerity (where he teaches). He said there was a scheduling conflict and he would be out of town. But Pinsky made of point of saying he’s sad to miss the reading because some of “his buddies” are reading that night.

Oh well, the best laid plans of mice and men (and poets) ...

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Sunday Scribblings: Smorgasbord

Thanks to Laini and Megg for digging into the archives for their fabulous Sunday Scribblings list. I may end up writing on a few topics. But the one I chose tonight is …

The Books I Would Write

Most people think anyone can write a book, but we all know it’s not that simple. Writers spend endless days and many nights fretting over the right line or line break, forcing the words onto paper. We walk around pleasantly tortured by the great stories in our heads, the ones that take us away from our kids and our lovers, our friends and coworkers. I think the whole process makes writers some of the luckiest and unluckiest people around.

So the best way to describe the book I would write is by describing the reader.

I write for the woman (or man) who comes into the neighborhood bookstore on a rainy afternoon. Maybe she’s had a bad day at work or an argument with a friend—the reason doesn’t matter. She’s rain-soaked and needs something new. So she meanders to the poetry section and finds the spine of my book standing out from all the others. She notices the title and is intrigued. That’s when the fun begins.

She slides the book out from the others with her damp fingers, taking a long look at the title—like nothing she’s ever heard of before. Then she considers the cover, thinks of its creation and how it might play into the book’s theme. At that point, she can’t help but thumb through its pages, and happens to select the poem that makes her feel as if someone understands. The poem has captured her emotion. And in this moment, I understand how she feels. All she wants to do is slip away between the folds of my pages and get lost.

That’s the type of book I would write.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Cave Canem Comes to Boston!

This is the first major event Cave Canem has held in Boston. Hope you can make it!



PANEL 4:00 P.M. - READING 6:30 P.M.

Two events showcasing the range of distinctive voices in contemporary African-American poetry, with Elizabeth Alexander, Toi Derrecotte, Cornelius Eady, Nikki Giovanni, Major Jackson, Yusef Komunyakaa, Dawn Lundy Martin, Carl Phillips, Quincy Troupe, Sonia Sanchez and Afaa Michael Weaver.

The panel will be moderated by Dante Micheaux. The reading will be introduced by Boston’s inaugural Poet Laureate, Sam Cornish.

Admission is free.
Metcalf Ballroom
George Sherman Student Union
775 Commonwealth Avenue

FRIDAY, APRIL 4th - 5:30 P.M.
A panel discussion, on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s assassination, exploring the Civil Rights leader’s lasting cultural infl uence on the arts. With performances by the artists.

Featuring Sam Cornish, Chuck D, Simon Estes, Nikki Giovanni, Talib Kweli, Sonia Sanchez and Anna Deavere Smith.

Admission is free.
Morse Auditorium
602 Commonwealth Avenue
co-sponsored by Boston Review and Cave Canem

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Poetry To-Do's

It’s time for one of my silly to-do lists. The truth is nothing makes me happier than crossing off what I have done and looking at what still needs attention.

I did have a chance to send out poems to two publications, and I scheduled two readings in the next few weeks. I also did a lot of this related to my forthcoming book, so I managed to get a few poetry-related things done this past week.

So here are my new to-do’s:

  1. Memorize a poem—At Sunday’s NEWS reading, J.D. Scrimgeour recited a poem to the audience and it was terrific. It gives the reader the opportunity to connect with the audience. So this may be my new task into the month of April. I’ll memorize one or two of mine, and a poem from a well-known poet.
  2. Read a book—haven’t read anything other than poetry books this year. I’ve had Steve Martin’s Pure Drivel on my shelf for a while. Maybe I need something short and funny to get me started.
  3. Write two poems and revise an old piece.
  4. Write next article for Read Write Poem.
  5. Start planning the next NEWS reading event on April 9—it’s a poetry extravaganza!
  6. Working with Cave Canem to promote their first major Boston event.
  7. Send poems to two publications.

So, what’s on your to-do list?

Monday, March 10, 2008

Confession Tuesday

My, how the week gets away from me—I must be getting older. If you interested in “confessing,” let me or Carolee know and fess up!


First, I’m sending good vibes this week to Carolee’s mom who is ill. It’s tough having a sick parent so I hope the situation improves.


Speaking of good vibes, thanks for all the kind words for my family. My husband, Tim, just had knee surgery, and my daughter Ella currently has an earache. Thank goodness my parents are here for a few more days; otherwise, I’d be a complete and utter mess.


That being said, I need some “me time’ in a big and major way. I’m tired of taking care of everyone else and need a break. May escape this weekend for a much needed, much deserved (if I do say so myself) mani/pedi.


I did get an e-mail about a yoga class in Boston that peaked my interest. It's called Yoga for Writers. Here's the description, what do you think:

Yoga for Writers is a vigorous yoga class designed to address practical concerns to writers (wrist, shoulder, low-back issues), combined with discussion of the mental benefits of yoga and how it enhances the creative process. The class is open to all levels. I especially encourage those new to yoga to come.


Life feels a little out of sorts right now. I tend to get like this when I’m out of my routine and sleep deprived. With that said, there’s a lot of cool stuff going on right now …


I’m being asked to read my work locally. I may have read a handful of times last year, but I’ll double that number in April. Woo hoo!


Also, I’ve sent two book covers to my publisher and both were well received. When I get the all-clear, I’ll talk about the whole process in detail and post a few examples of the cover art.


And I’m working on new two poems and revising and old one for this week. Now if I can just eke out a little time to finish them.


Last song played on iPod: “Over My Head” by Fleetwood Mac. Seriously.

Photos from NEWS Reading

No matter how chaotic life gets, it’s a pleasure to co-host a NEWS reading event. The quality of writing happening in and around the Boston area never ceases to amaze us.

If you’ve been on the fence about attending or participating in this series, or a reading series in your hometown, don’t just sit there—sign up! National Poetry Month is just around the corner, and there’s no better month to lend your voice to the conversation.

We were treated to conversation and more with last night’s “mixed bag” (fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction) reading:

Brendyn Schneider

Joan Paquette

J.D. Scrimgeour

(L-R, Joan Paquette--young adult novelist, J.D. Scrimgeour--poet and AWP Creative Nonfiction award winner, Brendyn Schneider--fiction writer and essayist)

Saturday, March 08, 2008


(The iPhone. So simple a child can use it.)

This past week has been crazy. With Tim’s knee surgery, and my parents in town, I haven’t had a chance to sleep much less blog. On top of that, my pretty little Ella Rose has this mysterious fever that kicks in when she lays down. Earache? Teething? Not sure, but she may need to see a doctor in the morning.

So I’ll be a bit slow to post and respond the next few days but I do read your comments. On a positive note, I'm looking forward to Sunday's NEWS reading--photos to come. Also, I should have two new poems to share. And, with any luck, I may have book cover options to show.

Friday, March 07, 2008

New Poem

Tim is at home resting comfortably--well as much as you can after ACL surgery. Did I mention they took a tendon from a cadaver and put it in his knee? Amazing.

So I wrote this little poem in the recover room waiting to see Tim. It's not very good, but I'm posting it because I wrote it entirely on my phone. In Japan, I've heard that whole novels are being written on cell phones. Who knows, maybe my next poetry collection will be written solely on my iPhone.

Notes from the Waiting Room

Write as if his life depended on it,
as if to pry the sliding doors
open with your pen.
The spine-chilling sound of never
whooshes the air around you
and off he glides, prone,
to the white-walled room of operation.

Oh the terrible stories that rise up
From the floor. The blood, the viscera—
yours, mine, ours. You in there and me
out here. Write, "If you can hear me
reach for the walls."

Thursday, March 06, 2008

NEWS Reading This Sunday

Mark your calendar...


Join us as we present the New & Emerging Writers Series

Sunday, March 9 at 4:00pm

• Brendyn Schneider--fiction writer and essayist
• J.D. Scrimgeour--poet and AWP Creative Nonfiction award winner
• Joan Paquette--young adult novelist

Where: The Regent Theatre
Basement screening room
7 Medford Street, Arlington

Shindig immediately following:
The Book Rack
13 Medford Street, Arlington

Hope to see you there!

(Medford St is off Mass Ave in Arlington • Parking is available on-street or in lots off Medford Street • for directions)

Contact for more information or visit our Web site at

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Blogging from My iPhone

The iPhone has hit a new level of coolness as I type from a hospital waiting room. My husband's in recovery after knee surgery. All indications look like it was a success and that he may come home today.

Thanks for all the well wishes. Hope to post a poem later today.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Confession Tuesday

If you’ve got something to share, or confess, please leave a note for me or Carolee.

And now, onto the confessions…

Thanks to everyone who has stopped by Kristi’s blog, Goodnight Mom. Kristi’s daughter Eva is resting comfortably after surgery. Feel free to go by her blog and show support. And, wish happy birthday to Jack, who turns 4 on Tuesday.

For those who don’t know, Kristi, also known as Special K, is my best friend. I’ve known her from back in the day, circa 1987. Gosh, it’s been 20 years. Love to you, Kristi.

Eva’s experience brought me back to Ella’s heart surgery when she was two weeks old. And I live in fear that one day we’ll have to deal with some form of illness, but at this moment she is completely healthy and a genuine handful as the baby of the family.

Nothing makes you let go of your old self image more than watching your child face a life-threatening crisis. It stays with you forever. Kristi, just one more thing in common.


Speaking of surgery, my husband is having his ACL replaced on Wednesday. They’re taking a tendon from a cadaver and attaching it to his knee. I know this is done routinely and successfully, but the whole idea continues to freak me out. He damaged his knee playing basketball a few months ago; this after blowing out his Achilles tendon last year.
He’s in denial but after two injuries in two years, it’s time to give up hoops for something less strenuous, like darts.


On to something cheerier. Today, I looked at book cover options for my first collection!!! I narrowed down 20 options to around six. Soon I’ll send them to the publisher and maybe they can make the decision for me because I’m really having a hard time choosing a cover. They’re THAT good! Thanks EDS.

Tomorrow, I’ll send in final manuscript revisions to the publisher. Woo hoo!

Lastly, I registered here. How cool is that—I’m a registered poet! A photo and bio should be up soon.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Do Me a Favor

If it's true that what doesn't kill us makes us stonger, then Kristi is the strongest person I know.

Go by and leave a kind word for Kristi at Goodnight Mom. Her daughter is very sick.


John Edgar Wideman

Last week I attended a lunch and later a reading with writer John Edgar Wideman. For those who don’t know his impressive bio, he is the second African American to win a Rhodes Scholarship, and has twice won the PEN/Faulkner Prize, among other honors. He has 13 books of fiction and nonfiction, including The Homewood Trilogy, God’s Gym, and Brothers and Keepers, which is burning a hole on my nightstand waiting to be read.

On this particular day, Babson celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. with a day of activities (our students are on break when the country typically celebrates MLK). He spoke with us informally at a luncheon, and later, more formally, to our campus community as our keynote speaker. Here are a few thoughts from the day.


Wideman said that he felt language has been corrupted. “Sloganized.” It has been used to exploit weakness and create “spin.” “As a writer, he and others who believe in the power of the word “have the opportunity to do something other than sell something or lie.” Writing is a form of defense against the determination of the language.


Martin Luther King Jr. used his words to point out racism and inequality. He was in the unique position of being a beacon of hope. Wideman felt that King saw the answer to these problems as activism, but he also saw the future in the hands of young people.


Wideman was enthused that so many of today’s youth are paying attention to politics, and he felt that maybe there is a way out from the past. He said, “Every single life is a chance for glory, for peace, and for hope.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

About Last Night

Lucky me! I had the great privilege to read with three very accomplished writers: Bill Coyle (poetry), Deborah Warren (poetry), and Laurette Viteritti (fiction). I was blown away by their work.

The audience was generous with their attention and applause, and Monet's Cafe was the perfect venue for our Leap Year day event.

Bill Coyle

People tell me I tend to look down too much when I read. That's because I'm afraid of losing my place and flubbing my lines.

Laurette Viteritti

Deborah Warren

Host Jennifer Jean

For those who came out on a chilly Friday night, thanks for supporting poetry in the community. And special thanks to Monet's Cafe for continuing to support local artists and musicians.

And for those who read your work in public, do you like reading in public? Do you have any rituals when you read?


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