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Publishing Addendums

I don't recall which celebrity had supposedly died, but a wire service had scooped the competition with an obituary and the news spread from there. Soon thereafter the celebrity issued a press release, not as witty as "the report of my death was an exaggeration", but in the same vein. Red-faced, the news service retracted the obituary. I suspect they eventually republished the obituary more-or-less verbatim when the personality passed away, much like an accountant getting a customer's credit...

“Writers are a funny breed,” the Jane Siberry song goes.  Indeed.

I’ve always admired writers willing—or forced to—abstain from writing for extended periods of time, who go through spurts and then return to the world of the living.  I think of Jean Rhys (who didn’t write for years).  I think of Toni Morrison—who has talked...

This morning, I did a thousand sit-ups.
Okay. A hundred sit-ups.
This morning, I did ten very good sit-ups.
Because I’m not getting any younger, I realized this morning, and my window for washboard abs is rapidly closing.

They say writing, like anything else, is a muscle that must be exercised. I’m assuming they say this. I didn’t Google the phrase. What I did Google, however—when I should’ve been outlining my novel (oh yeah, I’m outlining my novel)—was “muscle,” or...

Martha blog

In the early 1990s, when I was enrolled in the MFA program at the University of Washington, I sometimes found myself sitting in traffic, chilling out to NPR, when the announcer would butt in to warn us all about...

FLIP (Festa Literária Internacional de Paraty), a literary festival founded by Liz Calder of Bloomsbury Publishing, recently celebrated its 12th year in Paraty, Brazil, a picturesque colonial town on the coast about halfway between Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. The festival pays homage to a different Brazilian writer every year and this year they honored Brazilian writer Millôr Fernandes.


Poetry was my first genre.  The pleasures of metaphor, compression of expression, and the controlled line appealed to me in ways that prose did not, and when I first began writing—and then publishing—I never thought I would write anything but poetry.  Of course, critical essays and book reviews were part of my work, but those always felt as though they came from a different quadrant of my brain.  Poetry was my genre.


I am a believer in community, and I am a believer in magic.  Both of these beliefs have come true through The Mezzo Cammin Women Poets Timeline Project.


I’m writing this post—and a few other things—on my first summer day of liberation from teaching and administration, and it feels wonderful! Of course, by the time this post appears (in a month), the summer will feel half over—it will indeed be half over, as classes start mid-August. But for the moment, I’m reminded that writing is fun, especially when it’s not squeezed into the hour here or there available during the school year. And that I’m lucky to be able to write poems and prose,...

A dozen years ago, I lived in a high-rise that overlooked the gaping hole where the World Trade Center had, only the year before, stood. It sometimes occurred to me that if the towers were still there, I wouldn’t have so much light, but I loved the light anyway.

It was a company apartment, which is to say: my husband’s boss and his wife and their toddler watched as people held hands and jumped from the burning buildings, and kept watching, until finally they realized they...


Recently, I had occasion to attend a poetry reading at a local charter school.  The children were exuberant, eager to read their new poems to the audience—so new, in fact, that some of the...


North American Review
1200 West 23rd Street
Cedar Falls, IA 50613

Phone: 319-273-6455


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