Tag: Virginia

  • Imagining poetry after the election

    Inside Out September, 2016     Shouldn’t talk with a mouthful of half-chewed flags, but he smirks and suggests her Secret Service guys disarm and see what happens. The crowd turns wild and you can spot a star wedged in his molar. Scraps of stripe dangle from a lip. Maybe, he cracks, the Second Amendment […]

  • Virtual Poetry Salon #5 with Caroline Cabrera

    And even in blindness our chemistries communicate. Our instinct, a lace mycelium. When my cheeks go hot and I distrust a man I may be sensing the hair as it rises from another woman’s neck. I may smell her experience. We know more than we trust ourselves to know. -Caroline Cabrera, from “The body gives […]

  • Unmade boundaries of acts and poems

    I had a long bout of wakefulness last night, but W&L cancels classes on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, so I slept until the cold January sun had actually risen, hallelujah. Over my first pot of tea, I picked up a section of Sunday’s paper, and found this article about the amazing playwright, memoirist, and […]

  • “The wonder is that you are here”: poetry, community, and Anne Spencer

    One of my favorite visiting-writer stories involves a New York-based author who, while guzzling artisanal cocktails in a local restaurant, said something like, “I don’t know why anyone would bother to write if they don’t live in Brooklyn.” That was a hilariously awful remark to make to his Virginia-writer-dinner-companions, but I get it. The literary […]

  • In favor of impurity, or, I’m sick at heart and I want to lie down

    My daughter told me about the mass killing in Orlando in the car Sunday, as we drove up Route 81 on an errand. We bought summer shorts and solar lights for the back walkway, ate pho and spring rolls, stopped at a bookstore, drove home, and she kept updating me all evening. Mostly Latino and […]

  • All my words small but costly: Emerson, illness, and work

    Sometimes there’s a poetry-sized gap in your life. Today I filled it with a vintage stored against future need–Claudia Emerson’s final collection, Impossible Bottle. This was supposed to be one of those golden weeks, too rare even on sabbatical, when I had no big obligations and could just write and revise, but it’s not happening. […]

  • Doctored

    The latest Wheeler-Gavaler time-travel expedition: a Virginia bed and breakfast presided over by a former patient of Dr. William Carlos Williams. Ten or twelve years ago, my mom came to stay with the kids as Chris and I, feeling desperate from too much work and too much toddler-chasing, retreated to Warm Springs for a weekend. […]

  • Teaching and writing in the Confederacy

    My cushy job is supported by bequests from wealthy people. I knew some of that wealth must have been amassed in ethically fishy ways. However, I only learned for sure a couple of weeks ago that my home institution prospered directly and substantially from slavery. This unsurprising fact is still so shocking I can barely […]