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 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...


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...


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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