Month: June 2019

  • Dear poetry professor: self-doubt

    Q: I question the worth of my writing on a near-daily basis. Is there a way to just get over it? A: Okay, okay, I admit it, that question comes from Dr. Ms. Poetry Professor herself, but it’s a genuine one. If you have better answers, please post in the comments. In the meantime, here’s […]

  • Dear poetry professor on submissions (plus dropped balls, tombstones, & “Hap”)

    The New York Times ran a “Working Woman’s Handbook” section in the print edition this Sunday, and I read it from cover to cover, even though it defeated the REASON I get the print edition on Sunday mornings, the whole indulgence-with-a-pot-of-tea-on-the-sofa vibe. The handbook made my adrenaline surge and muscles tighten: “Negotiating While Female,” “Ditch […]

  • We are all steam engines

    In The Laws of Thermodynamics: A Very Short Introduction, Peter Atkins conveys an impressive degree of excitement about entropy. “No other scientific law has contributed more to the liberation of the human spirit than the second law of thermodynamics…because it provides a foundation for understanding why any change occurs,” he writes (37). Later in the […]

  • Commencements

    “I, too, am not unhopeful,” Saidiya Hartman said to Wesleyan University’s Class of 2019 during a long, hot ceremony on a bowl-shaped lawn. Soon-to-be-alumni/ae in the audience, including my daughter, wore robes of Handmaid’s Tale scarlet. I was turning scarlet in the sun, wondering what we were all on the threshold of. I loved Hartman’s […]