To see the announcement for my poetry book, Sparrow, selected by poet Dorianne Laux for the Kenneth and Geraldine Gell Poetry Prize at Writers & Books, go to

You can find a review by Kathleen Kirk at EIL:

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Willa Cather, about families

"In all families the struggle to have anything of one's own, to be one's self at all, creates a strain that keeps everybody almost to the breaking point...even in harmonious families there is this double life: the group life, which is the one we can observe...and underneath, another, secret and passionate and intense--which is the real life that stamps faces and gives character to the voices of our friends. Always in his mind each member (of the family) is escaping, running away, trying to break the net which circumstances and his own affections have woven around him....One realizes that human relationships are the tragic necessity of human life...every ego is half the time greedily seeking them, and half the time pulling away from them."

-Willa Cather, writing about Katherine Mansfield (a quote I picked up at a workshop with novelist Jane Hamilton)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Moon, Singing

Late in the evening, mid-August, and I watch the moon
tangle itself in an Alaskan cedar, a tree
my Botany teacher taught me to recognize
by its extreme droopiness. That was thirty years ago.
I remember how long because my cousin
died that summer and I failed the Botany final.
My worst grade for a class ever, although at the time
it didn't matter, and it doesn't matter now
as I sit brooding on how my cousin will never see
the moon again. To what world do the dead go?
It's late. I've been reading Graham Greene
and thinking about my father, who loved to read.
The moon is full tonight. The moon is full
of sad songs tonight, singing like a tone-deaf preacher,
its voice tripping over the consonants,
stretching every vowel into a drunken dirge.

14 August 2011

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Writing and Spirituality

Beginning September 12, my friend and colleague, Margaret Riordan, and I will be offering a class called, very simply, "Writing and Spirituality." Six Monday evenings, 6:15-8:30, in Edmonds. Contact me if you'd like more information and I'll send you a flyer.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Oh my gosh...

If you want to write, if you want a boost to your creativity whatever that may be, go to and watch the two videos he has posted there.

And now I have to get back to writing.

Summer Days, Summer Days

When I was small enough
that any laurel hedge
was an arbor,
the world came along with me,
silent as road tar
on the sole of my sneaker.
All the names of flowers were one name,
and the colors of sky
were blue, and blue.
When my mother called,
I didn't answer.
The laurel leaves were large as postcards.
With a stick, I traced across a leaf
the letters of my name.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


"Enlightenment is not a matter of imagining figures of light, but of making the darkness conscious." -C. G. Jung

Thursday, August 4, 2011

If you're really listening...

If you're really listening, if you're awake to the
poignant beauty of the world, your heart breaks regularly.
In fact, your heart is made to break;
its purpose is to burst open again and again
so that it can hold ever-more wonders.

-Andrew Harvey (qtd. in Laraine Herring, THE WRITING WARRIOR)