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To write an honest, reflective poem can call a risky visitation upon the poet.

In healthier manifestations, our human fascination with self can be endearing. From carefully...

In my more formative years, as a young writer I was propelled by the usual forces of ambition and certainty. As I began increasingly to publish fiction, essays, and poetry, I found affirmation. And later when I received awards and grants, affirmation turned to elation. The heady days of sufficient success satisfied me and sustained me…

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When illustrating for text, I try not to analyze the piece on the first read through. This wasn’t hard with “Naples,” a painful, beautiful story by Allegra Hyde. It swept me up in a whirlwind of imagery, a vivid and multi-sensory experience. I felt myself in...

Rio_manzanares

This weekend the sun came out in Seville and suddenly, as if spring has been around for weeks but hidden behind rain and clouds, there’s green and budding everywhere. The kid upstairs has been stomping...

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I like to think of my poetry as non-fiction, and in large part it is. I often struggle with ideas or images which are not, strictly speaking, part of what actually happened. Of course, this is a foolish response: what...

 

Like my ink and pencil drawing above of the steampunk fish, it’s fun to meld different arts together. In my last blog here, for example, I mentioned that I’d participated in a month-long project combining short poems and postcards. In this blog, I’m going to give you more information on the process and how you can be part of this challenging project.

First of...

Philip martin - newspaper man

I am mostly—most conventionally—a newspaper columnist and film critic. I have done this sort of...

After explaining there should be just enough tension between our thumbs to hold a piece of paper, the monk paused to ask if we would like to repeat any steps before we practiced zazen posture. Nervous student that I am, I wanted to review everything. What if I stepped into the zendo with my right foot? Worse yet, what if while sitting zazen I had to sneeze or an itch surfaced? I’d traveled to Tassajara, a Zen Buddhist Center, to say a personal goodbye to our California life before we moved...

The most alluring Show & Tell blends the gesture of metaphor and the explicitness of saying it outright.

Many poems, in my view, do the same.

To read a poem is to engage beguiling Show & Tell. One comes to appreciate what the poet cares enough to write about – and learns the voice of her wondering, worrying, singing, or dissembling about those matters. One is enthralled or one is bored. One brews another cup of coffee or one picks up the TV clicker and poof...

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