Wednesday, April 28, 2010


I remember the day of the birth so well. Early AM, I called the doctor.

Yes, close. Pretty close. I'm thinking of coming in soon. Now? Right now?

Do I want to have him at home? Well, it would be better than the car, I guess.

A few hours later I was the happiest lady on earth, holding one tomato-red, cone-headed boy.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Spring Titles: The Academy of American Poets

One cool thing, Southern Comfort was listed as a new spring title with The Academy of American Poets. So was Underlife by January and Losing Season by Jack Ridl. Thank you, CavanKerry Press!

It's Cultural

A friend of mine once explained everything she did (or everything that she did that was peculiar) as--It's cultural. She was just from the south.

I was thinking about cultural differences the other day, how one word or habit doesn't translate exactly into another.

How, for example, in this country, if a person bows his head and fiddles with his lap, you might assume he is texting. In France, I am told, it's very rude to look down and do something with your hands like that. One makes a very different assumption.

Once I asked a French guest what he found most peculiar about Americans. We were driving on the freeway at the time. He said, Americans pass on the right. And then he grinned. And they are SO extra-extra large. You guys need to stay on the ground. I don't want to fly in an airplane with too many Americans.

A Spanish friend once commented on the Americans love of violence, esp. on TV. Our comfort with violence, she said, is really weird. She said that in Spain folks don't relax by watching Arnold. At the same time, they aren't alarmed by nudity. A woman's bare breasts, for example, are seen in an ad that everyone watches on TV.

So Americans, she concluded, are more comfy letting their kids see folks bloodied and blown to bits than letting them see bare breasts. Is that so?

Then she asked . . .

Why is it okay for one president in the U.S. to invade Iraq and cause so much death and destruction, and why is it not okay for another to have an affair with a girl called Monica.
Why is the first considered a good Christian, no matter how many lives he wastes. The other is considered morally corrupt?

I attended a lecture once where a Tibetan monk laughed about how Americans don't think they will ever die. They think reincarnation means they can live forever. That Buddhism is like a Disney movie. My lovely young Americans, he said, please understand. We are all mortals here. Yes, even the Dalai Lama. If you learn nothing else from me, please learn this one lesson. You will die.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Wooster College

I am tired! I had my last reading away from home for a while at Wooster College this week. Amazing. Wooster College. It was my second visit there. What a sweet place. Driving there, I kept worrying that I'd missed it. I mean, the drive takes you through Amish country and farmland and one tiny town . . . and somehow seems forever. But then suddenly, out of nowhere, this little college appears. What a college! All immaculate and impressive with its new and old buildings, its green lawns and sports facilities and . . . But what is most impressive are the students. So young, so beautiful (okay, so I'm getting old), so smart, and so engaged. One telling me about Aristotle and Locke, another referring to his paper on Beowulf, another talking about her love of the German language, another about his acceptance to Columbia for graduate work.

And to think, I didn't even know this college existed before I moved to Ohio.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Sunday, April 11, 2010


AWP was the great this year! The panels, the city, the organization, the book fair, the hotel . . . From the shuttle ride in to the shuttle ride out, I was totally entertained. The company of writers can be the best medicine, esp. in times like this.

Monday, April 5, 2010



Serious Business: The Use and Abuse of Humor in Poetry
Friday, April 9
4:30 PM to 5:45 PM
103, 105 - CCC

If you are going to AWP, please come!!!