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Amy Glynn gives us an excerpt from her in-progress essay collection "Knotweed, Bindweed, Crabgrass, Thorn: Field Notes on Making Your Bed and Lying in It, Bolting, Reaping What You Sow, and Other Useful Domestic Metaphors."

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I see humanity now as one vast plant, needing for its highest
fulfillment only love, the natural blessings of the great
outdoors, and intelligent crossing and selection.

–...

In this over-the-top literary Western, to honor his deceased mother's wishes, the protagonist Jim O'Brien writes the quixotic saga of his ancestors who grew up with a tribe of Comanches.  Not quite in line with his mother's wishes, he weaves into the tale modern day stalkers, drug dealers, secret agents, strippers, a mad linguist, an imaginary therapist, the ghost of...

In my universe of Belgian children, some were orphaned, but many were abandoned by families left destitute in a worldwide depression or by unmarried women ashamed of being “in the family way.” The nineteen-thirties in Europe, as elsewhere, was an unforgiving time. I was parceled out by my French mother to the L’Institut de Puericulture in...

Jeanne Emmons's poem "Polio Water in 1955" was the James Hearst Poetry Prize winner in issue 291.2, Spring 2006.

Notes from the author:

...

When you’re a writer, there are bad days and good days. Some days, you sit and write, and the words feel like they’re in someone else’s head; and some days, you write and the writing is fast and right, and you think that each word is a gift from some muse that really and completely loves and cares for you and what you have to say.

That’s the way it is for all of us, I think, but one of the things that I've come to feel about...

My wife has a fellow teacher friend who has a friend who writes an occasional column for a Swedish newspaper.  Evastina Bender was born in Sweden but has lived in the U.S. for many years now.  She thought it might be interesting to run a piece on me, emphasizing the connection between my writing poems and having driven public-transit buses in the Seattle area for thirty years.  We had a nice, long talk. ...

Iceberg in North Star Bay Greenland

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My first novel, Secrets of the Tsil Café, was culinary fiction, with 26 recipes of my own invention. I like recipes. They provide a structure, also an...

A Room of One’s Own?

The truth is, I haven’t had a room of my own in almost twenty years.

The truth is, since 1996 I’ve been writing in a low-ceilinged attic that also serves as our ‘master’ bedroom.

I’ve written in parks and zoos and museums, in a writer friend’s poetry barn (she was with me, writing too), in my ki...

jsmelcer blog image

 

I recently told an artist friend how I had finally finished the book I had been writing for years, but that I couldn’t stop tinkering with it out of obsession because it was all I had...

Landscape

A_Spanish_Woman_G34A few years ago after the conclusion of another wonderful San Miguel Poetry Week in central Mexico, I traveled south to the city of San Cristobal de las Casas in the state of Chiapas. I had long wanted to go there because of its natural setting and the presence of age-old indigenous cultures in the...

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