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Slipping Out the Window May 14, 2008: “I teach my sighs to lengthen into songs.” —from The Renewal, Theodore Roethke This morning, I was reading Roethke on the train (I admit, part of me was trying to block out the news, having been chained to its great sorrow all morning). And the sun is out today in the city; spring is fully upon us and racing full-fledged into summer warmth. [...] by

Shout Out to Literacy Through Poetry May 13, 2008: In less than a week, one of my favorite teaching artist programs in New York City, The Community Word Project, will turn ten years old. And so will I. Well, sort of. I started teaching with them almost 9 years ago when I was in graduate school and it was my first foray into the world of both second graders, teaching, and the Bronx. It was also my [...] by

Feliz Cinco de Mayo & Louder ARTS May 5, 2008: Feliz Cinco de Mayo First let me start with a brief description of this day. Being of Mexican heritage, I’ve had to explain it on a regular basis. So, I thought I’d just give a quick rambling, if only to say: This day is not just about margaritas and tortilla chips (although I find nothing wrong with either of those things and hope to partake [...] by

A Little Levis on Derby Day May 3, 2008: I grew up going to the track. Well, that’s a slight exaggeration. My stepfather—a writer and a wonderful human—likes to bet on the horses. Every time I go back to Sonoma, my hometown, he and I take at least one day to drive up to OTB and lose a little money. I lose. He wins. So, it’s only fitting that I’m thinking about him today as the [...] by

Thursday Shout Out: Jimmy Santiago Baca (okay, it’s Friday) May 2, 2008: For many Latino (and non-Latino) poets, Jimmy Santiago Baca is a hero of sorts. With a long sordid history of pulling himself out and up from the mire, Baca has traversed the poetic world as both a rogue and a wayward leader. Still, I am often surprised that he is not as well known as he should be. With his first poems published in Mother Jones [...] by

Thursday Shout Out: Dawn Lundy Martin April 24, 2008: To speak the unspeakable, that is often the poet’s job. Finding a language for what otherwise goes shoved under the worldwide carpet. In Dawn Lundy Martin’s beautiful and uncompromising new book, “A Gathering of Matter/A Matter of Gathering,” we are given a language for the body. The body as object of obsession, the body as lover, the [...] by

A Little Writing on the Wall April 22, 2008: Lately, the graffiti in my neighborhood has been getting very positive. I find that each day on another block I’m getting bombarded more and more with messages of Magic and Think of the Future. On good days I find it practically overwhelming how lovely it is, on bad days I take offense. But either way it reminds me of how many of us feel like [...] by

Praise for Spring & NaPoWriMo April 17, 2008: In reading the insightful discourse on online intimacies, I found myself thinking deeply about the importance of the online community for poetry. Mainly I was thinking about the odd and blossoming event that has happened every April for the past five years: National Poetry Writing Month. Now, we all know it’s National Poetry Month, but to some [...] by

Thursday Shout Out (Okay, It’s Monday) April 7, 2008: The first time I heard Abraham Smith read I was shot back in time. I pictured me, a scraggly beat-girl, hearing Burroughs and thinking Whitman while rocking back and forth to a new sort of preacher’s sermon. Smith has a rolling rhythm come from deep in the backwoods of Ladysmith, Wisconsin that rocks a bit like a boat on the rough Mississippi [...] by

Thursday Shout Out March 27, 2008: I have had the great pleasure of introducing Jennifer L. Knox in a few different writing courses. The first thing that happens is a dilation of pupils, as if an art history teacher suddenly flipped the next slide to reveal the students’ own family photographs. There amongst the van Gogh’s and the Gauguin’s is a picture of their sister [...] by