Category Archives: Poetry

Grief is the Thing with Feathers

A man and his two sons are grieving the loss of his wife (and their mother) when a crow turns up, promising to stay until he wasn’t needed anymore. The crow observes the family, and the family tries to come … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Poetry | 11 Comments

The Tijuana Book of the Dead

My sister gave me this book. “I don’t read a lot of poetry,” she said. “I guess it doesn’t say much to me. But this poetry — this is my language.” Luis Alberto Urrea writes novels, poems, and short stories. … Continue reading

Posted in Poetry | 6 Comments

Nox

I had a birthday in July, and I received a copy of Anne Carson’s beautiful book-artifact Nox, in which she explores — in poetry, in Latin, in photography and letters and art, in what is said and not said — … Continue reading

Posted in Memoir, Poetry | 7 Comments

Brown Girl Dreaming

Poetry is a perfect medium for memoir, as Jacqueline Woodson’s childhood memoir in verse attests. In Brown Girl Dreaming, Woodson uses free verse to tell the story of her childhood, beginning before her birth in Ohio in 1963, moving through … Continue reading

Posted in Children's / YA Lit, Memoir, Poetry | 7 Comments

One Art: Letters

Years ago, I bought a copy of One Art: Letters for my husband. How many years? I’m not sure: it came out in 1994, but it was probably not quite so long ago as that. Ten years ago? Twelve? Anyway, he … Continue reading

Posted in Biography, Poetry | 17 Comments

Life at Grasmere and Reading Other People’s Diaries

Several years ago, I subscribed to RSS feeds for the diaries of Samuel Pepys and George Orwell. At the time, it seemed like a brilliant idea. The feeds updated on dates recorded in their diaries with the entry for that … Continue reading

Posted in Memoir, Nonfiction, Poetry | 27 Comments

Retreat Reading

I just returned from a weekend on retreat at the monastery of the Society of Saint John the Evangelist in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It was a remarkable weekend, filled with time for prayer and reflection—and all the quiet I could want. … Continue reading

Posted in Memoir, Nonfiction, Poetry, Religion | 4 Comments

Ariel: The Restored Edition

In high school, I loved reading poetry. I had lots of poetry anthologies and old textbooks, and I would read from them all the time, often aloud, loving the way the words felt as they spilled out of my mouth … Continue reading

Posted in Poetry | 10 Comments

Poetry and the Age

I was reading Poetry and the Age the other day while my students were taking a test here in France. The room was quiet, pens busily at work, and suddenly, into the silence I dropped a helpless, delighted laugh. My … Continue reading

Posted in Nonfiction, Poetry, Short Stories/Essays | 8 Comments

Locomotion

When Lonnie Collins Motion (Lo Co Motion) was 7 years old, his parents died in a house fire. Now, four years later, he is living with his foster mother Miss Edna and learning to write poetry with encouragement from his … Continue reading

Posted in Children's / YA Lit, Fiction, Poetry | 3 Comments