Reasons to Get Stranded: Poetry to Read on a Desert Island

Let’s say, just for the fun of it, that you were left alone on some tropical island with an unknown amount of time ahead of you. Luckily, having anticipated just this emergency, you had the foresight to pack twenty books that would consume the hours while you await rescue.  Were this to happen to me, Continue reading Reasons to Get Stranded: Poetry to Read on a Desert Island

Dive Into the Wordpool

I discovered wordpools in Susan Goldsmith Wooldridge’s Poemcrazy. “I collect…hats, coins, cougars, old Studebakers,” she writes. “That is, I collect the words. Pith helmet, fragment, Frigidaire, quarrel, love seat, lily. I call gathering words this way creating a wordpool. This process helps free us to follow the words and write poems.” When I read this, I’d been writing Continue reading Dive Into the Wordpool

Sticks & Stones: The Second Year

  Here’s to another year of celebrating poetry! Each one of the books I reviewed in 2019 moved me in unique and unforeseen ways, from Shaindel Beers’ harrowing escape from an abusive marriage to Cynthia Anderson’s evocative descriptions of the Mojave Desert. These books went with me on road trips, to waiting rooms and hotel Continue reading Sticks & Stones: The Second Year

Chop Wood, Carry Water: Publishing a First Poetry Book After Fifty

I asked writers who’d published their first books of poetry at or beyond the age of fifty to discuss their experiences. Was there any particular reason they’d waited to publish? Did they think there was an advantage to publishing later in life? How had publishing a first book changed their lives? The responses from over Continue reading Chop Wood, Carry Water: Publishing a First Poetry Book After Fifty

The Making of a Winning Poem: Writing “The State of Jefferson”

More than two years ago, I started tinkering with a poem about my long drives up and down Interstate Highway 5, drives that began when I was a child and continued, with regularity, until the present day.  My first note was an entry in my journal, dated December 15, 2017: “I cross the border going Continue reading The Making of a Winning Poem: Writing “The State of Jefferson”