Category Archives: Writing

Lines That Didn’t Make The Cut: Ruth’s Story

Trigger warning: These lines describe the sexual exploitation of a young woman. Ruth’s Story It wasn’t like I showed him anything he hadn’t seen before. Besides, he took the ones with clothes, the good ones, only if I did a … Continue reading

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Repost: Domestic Violence Has Always Been a Current Running Through My Life

Going through some old emails, I recently came across the name of the woman I talk about in the beginning of this post, in whose escape from her abusive husband I played a small role. I remembered this post, which I wrote … Continue reading

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Craft Talk 1: Quincy Troupe’s Rhythm

I’ve been reading The Architecture of Language, by Quincy Troupe, and I have been fascinated by how rhythm and syntax interact in the way he builds his lines. Structurally, the poems remind me of nothing so much as jazz improvisation, … Continue reading

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Lines That Didn’t Make The Cut: Remembering Claudia

The revision process leaves every writer with bits and pieces of work that no longer belong to the poem or story or whatever where they first appeared. Sometimes these scraps and fragments grow to become full fledged works on their … Continue reading

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A Poem of Mine About Jackson Heights was Broadcast on WNYC!

In honor of National Poetry Month, WNYC challenged listeners to write tweet-length, original poems about the five boroughs. It makes me happy that my poem was among those chosen to appear on the air: Jackson Heights, where/⁰no one thinks it odd/⁰for Southern Baptists⁰/to … Continue reading

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The Ethics of Bearing Witness in Poetry to Violence and Trauma

The issues raised when one chooses to make literary art out of trauma are complex and, as have issues surrounding trauma in general, they have been getting more and more attention. Over at the Ploughshares blog, for example, Tracy Strauss has … Continue reading

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The Pleasure and Pain of Starting Over

One of the things I decided to do when I signed with Guernica Editions to publish my second full-length book of poetry was totally revamp my website, not just its look, but its organization and content as well. I’ve been … Continue reading

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What I Tell My Introduction-to-Creative-Writing Students on The First Day of Class

“The first duty of the writer is the rectification of names—to name things properly, for, as Kung-fu Tze [Confucius] said, ‘All wisdom is rooted in learning to call things by the right name.’” —Sam Hamill, “The Necessity to Speak” To … Continue reading

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Articulating Why You Think Your Work Matters

I wish I could remember who gave me the advice that you should never submit poems with a cover letter explaining what you thought the poems were about and/or what you wanted them to accomplish. To explain, this person said, was … Continue reading

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Contract Signed! Words for What Those Men Have Done Will Be Out Later This Year

Please forgive the back-to-back self-promotional postings, but I am excited! My second book of poems, Words for What Those Men Have Done, has (finally!) found a home with Guernica Editions. The book should be out later this year. Here are the lines from which the book’s title … Continue reading

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