Tag: Sylvia Plath

  • Virtual Poetry Salon with Tess Taylor

    I’ve always liked fierce poems and feminist poems, but it wasn’t that long ago that I noticed how many of the poetry collections I like best are deeply grounded in place. In Tess Taylor’s new collection, Rift Zone, that place is California in a century perched on a fault line. Taylor writes of suburbs that […]

  • October list, with bright spots

    Every U.S.-residing woman I’m in conversation with, of every generation, remains upset about Kavanaugh’s confirmation. For me it’s like trying to do my best work as some disembodied voice mutters in my ear, Even when we believe you, we consider the “assaults” you have suffered laughable. This is worth remembering about people as we walk through […]

  • The bees are flying. They taste the spring.

    How intense it was this week to be alternately following and averting my eyes from the Senate hearings as I taught Sylvia Plath to seventeen stingingly sharp students–trying to open up space to talk about anger, violence, gender, and race in powerful but often disturbing poems. Plath’s handling of metaphors related to the Holocaust, slavery, […]

  • Sylvia Plath Quiz

    My students’ responses to the real Plath quiz I just administered were too red, they hurt me, so I hereby offer an optional retest.* If your brain has not emptied of images like a cup or a room, please answer the following legibly without using the words hook, bald, black, moon, or blood. 1. What […]

  • Union of future literary titans

      Twenty-four years ago this June, Chris and I set up our first shared apartment. Possessions: a double bed my mother purchased (“don’t tell your father”); one brown vinyl couch with no rear legs picked up off the street, so if you sat down on a humid August night in shorts you wouldn’t be able […]

  • “Next Big Thing” weird self-interview blog meme thing

    Sally Rosen Kindred tapped me for this game of blog-tag in which I contemplate my ms-in-progress as a high-concept Hollywood thriller starring James Franco minus apes. Let the bidding war begin. What is your working title of your book (or story, or project)? Radioland or some variation involving additional nouns, verbs, and/or prepositions. For a […]

  • Dead Father Poems

    The best condolence note so far was an offer from a former student who grew up in New Orleans: “Let me know and I’ll put the voodoo on her.” It came with an anecdote about an effective curse on a scheming widow. Her jinxed swimming pool cracked as if buckling under an invisible burden of […]