Author Archive

A Writer’s Life

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Awake.  This far north the sun is an early riser, though it stays groggy with fog till mid-morning.  The red-checked garter snake still sleeps beneath the front stoop; the window spider still clings to the center of last night’s web, spangled with wings.  The desultory cries of a crow. 

A Conversation with Kim Addonizio

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I got a chance to sit down with Kim Addonizio and talk about poetry, the blues, and her new rock and roll band Nonstop Beautiful Ladies.   PK: The relationship between poetry and music has long been a contentious one.  Ezra Pound in ABC of Reading argued that “poetry


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I am ready to launch my website. This is not something I’ve undertaken without long consideration.  After all, what does a website have to do with my writing?  Launching a website isn’t likely to lead me to write more poems – in fact, I spent hours trying to design

Joy Rides

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In passing with my mind on nothing in the world but the right of way I enjoy on the road by virtue of the law… ––William Carlos Williams, Spring and All, XI There are no more guilt-free Sunday drives, no cleanly joyful joy-rides.  And maybe there never were.  Maybe

Finding Readers

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How do we find good critical readers for our work?  Whose eyes will see it as ours can’t or won’t?  Who makes for a better critic – a sympathetic reader, or a skeptical one?  We ask much of these readers – they must devote time and emotion and thought. 


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I am a poet without a kind.  I write formal poems in an age of free verse (not to mention poetry in an age of prose!), but I don’t feel kinship with the most visible formalist movements.  The divide I feel goes beyond subject matter and worldview, though these


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This weekend, in the spirit of trying something new in the kitchen, I cooked up some kasha.  I will not be cooking up any more kasha. Kasha, for those of you who are like I was until very recently – that is, blissfully unaware of all manner of things

Word List

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For all of my adult life I’ve kept a list of words.  Each time that I come across an unfamiliar word in my reading, I try to dutifully look it up in the dictionary and copy down its definition.  There have been busy weeks when I’ve let it slide


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Lately I’ve been spending a lot of time reworking my manuscript, ordering and reordering, adding and removing poems, trying to shape it into something that’s more than just a coherent collection.  I want my book to feel like a particular kind of experience, one that develops unexpectedly as it

Culinary Art

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The shapely tesserae of a well-chopped onion.  Butter and flour foaming into roux.  The beauty of texture, the formal grace: the rough seed husk and the slippery seed.  Precision in small things.  The hours spent simmering and adjusting, simmering and stirring till the earth is in it.  Knifecraft; the