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It always begins with listening.

There are some days I wake, listen, and hear only suffering. The world seems wounded, colossal, and entirely out of reach. Time has shown me that in order to heal a wound, you must first look at it-then plant the seed that begins the work towards recovery. A recognition....

Illustration by Tom Moore

I’ve never cared for essays that compare the act of writing to some other activity. For example: “Writing is like swimming.” Or “Writing is like mushroom hunting.” Or “Writing is like wrestling.” I’ve seen all sorts of attempts over the years to box writing up into a convenient metaphor. But to what end? It might be useful in a freshman poetry workshop, but a seasoned writer can only take solace in such similes when they are incapable of or unwilling to write anything they’re happy...

Sweet Alaska image

Thanksgiving Day – November 24, 2016 – #Givethanks

Today’s Poem Was Selected To Remind Us All Of How Truly Special Thanksgiving Is. Cherish Those Around You And Again, Happy Holiday!


“As if the world were not what we make it, pulled by dogs down streets so dark, the sound of a river is almost a kind of light.” Let me be clear, I lifted this line from George Looney’s Animals Housed in the Pleasures of the Flesh nearly two decades ago, and I’ve been carrying it around with me ever since. The sentiments in this verse form currents, of course, in much of my writing. Primarily, my...

When I give a poetry reading, I usually try to wear something bright. I will wear my sweater featuring kissing penguins or a sundress with hot air balloons on it. I do this not because I want to look like the poet version of Zooey Deschanel, but because people usually approach me afterwards looking like they want to tuck a Zoloft prescription into my hands, and they all ask the same question: “Are you okay?” And I get it. I do. I write about heartbreak and death and proselytize the Gospel of...

It’s a problem most writers face. But the danger seems particularly acute for nonfiction writers who are accountable to real people, even when names are changed. How do you tell the story you set out to tell? Or, put slightly differently, how do you tell the story that is yours to tell? In my case, I had to write the wrong story to find the right story.

My essay “On Reading,” which appears in the NAR fall 2015...

I was born in Brooklyn but am currently living on the island of Oahu, part of a group of nine Hawaiian islands located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, farthest away from any landmass on Earth.  Some days I wake up and wonder how I got transported from one of the fastest-moving cities on the planet to find myself in Lotusland.  Truth to tell, I never did adjust to the slow pace, never developed the uniquely Hawaiian skill of "hangin' loose." As they say, you can take the girl out of New...

This essay is dedicated to Mohamedou Slahi, author of Guantánamo Diary. Slahi has been imprisoned at the detention camp at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba since 2002. In all these years, the United States has never charged him with a crime. A federal judge ordered his release in March 2010, but the U.S...

Sometimes when I write it feels as if twenty minutes have gone by when in actuality it is 2pm and I’m still in a robe.

When I first started writing this unnerved me.  After all, I could spend all those hours writing, alone, and in the end have nothing, or very little, to show for my time.

“But the writer in the midst of a story needs to find a way to keep her head there. She can’t just pop out of the cave, have some fun, go dancing, and then pop back in. The work demands our...

Notes from the author: Here is an extension to my NAR published piece, "Village of Adams" in issue 296.4, Fall 2011. A high school dance company experience.

I joined South Jefferson’s dance company in 11th...


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