Tag: anger

  • Writing/ being a “strong female character”

    One of the students in my senior seminar is exploring representation of female characters in contemporary fiction. On the one hand, there’s pressure to write “likeable” women protagonists. Koa Beck wrote about this for The Atlantic in 2015, quoting an amazing retort from Claire Messud, in response to a journalist’s question about whether anyone would […]

  • Information and energy

    It’s pretty cold and dark out there. Confederate flaggers are stomping around my small town; the news from a larger world remains frightening. Perhaps insanely, I’m always looking for omens of something better ahead. As I walk home from work, I notice the sky is just a bit lighter, and wonder what hopes I can […]

  • The ending’s beginning

    One cheerful thing about bare trees is the omen of changed rhythms: the hard work of fall is coming to fruition, with dream-time ahead. Two more weeks of teaching, then I hope I’ll finish making decisions about the terrific poems lingering in Shenandoah‘s inbox. Editor-in-Chief Beth Staples is frantically gearing up to relaunch that magazine […]

  • That’s why they call it a practice (NaPoWriMo Day 29)

    Threads Meditation pisses me off. All that non-striving time on the floor, therapist-prescribed, noticing the rope of my breath swinging up and down, ringing me like a shivered bell, adds up to another chore I must perform and I have a lot of them— twisted muscles to lengthen, children who need the brushed-hand of a […]

  • Poetry and injustice

    I don’t have anything wise and insightful to say about our epidemic  losses of African-Americans to police violence. At the “Black Lives Matter” rally at Washington & Lee on Friday—yes, a rally here, and the crowd was big!—I didn’t speak. African-American undergrads, law students, and community members bore witness to fear and humiliation that are […]

  • Forgiveness, gratitude, and other things I suck at

    Thanksgiving is a complicated holiday—historically, emotionally, even logistically. (Reason #647 to be grateful: I don’t have to get on the highway this year.) And yet I love all the rituals leading up to the feast. Last weekend, I made stock and baked pumpkin bread to freeze. This Saturday I scribbled out long lists and laid […]