Ploughshares

 Oh, yes—like most poets and writers, I receive rejection letters:

  • Some are merely form notes, pre-printed.
  • Some are form notes asking the poet/writer to send work again.
  • A few are form notes with personal, hand-written notes added, complimenting the work and asking to see more of it. Or personalized emails.
  • A very few are personal letters or emails that mention specifics about work and ask to see more.

In this era of...

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It’s the last day of my introductory poetry writing class, and my students are giving their recitations and presentations for a final project I call “Live with a Poem.” One...

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I wrote “Eloise” one night some time ago. A lot of people in my family have died over the last several years, and even though Eloise wasn’t a blood relative, I took her death the hardest. She did a great deal in...

She was murdered. Kidnapped for ransom. Mutilated. Tortured.

It was 1927. She was twelve years old.

I was taking a persona poem workshop with Reginald Shepherd when I read about Marion Parker, and something about her situation triggered a response in me. The girl, daughter of a wealthy banker, was dismembered, disemboweled, and probably still alive when the maiming had begun. She had her throat slit in a bathtub. Then, in order to collect the ransom, her killer attempted to...

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