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June 9, 2020

This is not a “how to” manual but an uncomplicated, oft-overlooked observation. I recall teaching students who were frustrated that they didn’t “get” the poem before deciding poetry was not for them.

As I sat on a dock listening to twins splashing and laughing a couple...

May 28, 2020

Writing every day is probably one of the best practices you can develop as a writer.

Even if everything you wrote on one specific day ends up being journal fodder, it is about habitude. If you are lucky, one line you have written will end up in a poem or story.

Keep your...

February 21, 2020

In praise of small books with big hearts and minds, I have begun collecting novellas that alter the shape of the world by inches, degrees, and so subtly readers barely realize they are standing on shifting earth.

Max Porter’s Grief is a Think with Feathers is one of tho...

September 21, 2019

In the United States of America, we’re fortunate American powers—those pale, corporate men who believe in the almighty accumulation of wealth and acquiring monstrous power and not much else—treat children and poets as inconsequential, some innocuous foolishness by thos...

September 14, 2019

How many times have you heard a reader remark, “If the book doesn’t grab me in the first few pages, I’m done?” Or the reader might state, “I don’t read anything over 250 pages,” as if there is a limit on how many words the brain is able to handle. The answer: a lot. No...

May 22, 2019

Tall, about 6 foot 3 inches, he towered over display tables where he flipped books over casually to check out back covers and author bios. Handsome with dark, curly hair that looped over his large ears, the young man asked, “Are you the publisher or one of the editors?...

April 10, 2019

Quite often, people considering the eventuality or imminence of their deaths begin ridding themselves of possessions. They shed their familiar—even treasured—objects, their clothing, their furniture, their souvenirs from trips, kitchen utensils, even their books.


March 4, 2019

Almost every writer starts out thinking that publishing her (his) book will define a successful career arc. Envy of published writers seems to be part of the territory of being young and in love with writing. If a writer is serendipitously fortunate, or happens to pers...

February 6, 2019

Your book or books are up online. Good for you. People are actually reading your work, and you get some lovely reviews. It is heady stuff to read what others have written about your work. You know you shouldn’t read reviews of your books, but you do and find a multitud...

November 29, 2018

Want a living, breathing work of fiction? Writing is a recursive process. Two steps forward and one step back. Sometimes, it becomes one step forward and two steps back. When you have “finished” a chapter in a novel, it is tempting to press forward without returning to...

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