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Reading Writers April 26, 2012: In which I sing of praise and pardons, plasticity, and possession I have been rapt this month by the 21 Love Poems for Adrienne Rich posted daily by VIDA: Women in Literary Arts. What is striking me in these posts is the manner in which so many of us had relationships with Rich that Rich may never have known about. I'm thinking a lot about [...] by

The Poet as Hoarder, the Hoarding as a Way to Let Go April 25, 2012: [Editor's Note: Please see Camille Dungy's "Reading Writers" for a correction to this post.] I remember seven thousand years ago meeting Daisy Fried in the Hilton lobby at the AWP conference in New Orleans. Someone introduced her by name and I told her I loved her poems. We'd never met before and I was, essentially, nobody. I was at AWP to [...] by

Why I Write to Strangers, Part the Second, in which I Discuss the Happy Accident April 23, 2012: My last post promised a list of my top 10 reasons why I bother to respond when strangers write me letters. The problem is, I only posted 7. Mostly what happened was the result of a failure to fully proof read. But what also happened was a break down in technology. I'm on the road, and the wi-fi I'd hijacked kicked me off in such a manner [...] by

Why I Talk to Strangers April 19, 2012: In my first post on Harriet this year, I suggested that I would eventually write a post about why I bother to respond to emails I receive from strangers. Tonight, after answering a number of questions from strangers during a campus visit to Sterling College in Vermont, seems as good a time as any to address the matter. With that mind, here is a [...] by

The Writing on the Wall April 17, 2012: "Over a hundred poems are on the walls. Looking at them, they are all pining at the delayed progress. What can one sad person say to another? Unfortunate travelers everywhere wish to commiserate..." (Island: Poetry and History of Chinese Immigrants on Angel Island, 1910-1940, Eds Him Mark Lai, Genny Lim, and Judy Yung) [caption [...] by

FAQs: How Do You Get Started With a Poem? Do You Start With an Idea or Just Start Writing? April 13, 2012: I'm thinking of nostalgia and it's role in my life as a poet. It used to be really important to me, nostalgia. Say I was reading Amber Tamblyn's blog post on Iowa and got to the section where she mentioned The Mill in Iowa City. I would start thinking about The Mill and those ever-filling bowls of pasta where you could choose your own sauce, [...] by

FAQs: Is It Hard to Get Published? April 11, 2012: I want to answer a question I've been asked quite frequently by young writers. They tell me they've been writing for a little while and they love writing and they want to know if it will be hard for them to publish their work. Yes, publishing is difficult. Or at least, publishing well can be difficult. And by publishing well, I mean [...] by

Thank you. I’m trying to pay you back. April 4, 2012: I'm thinking of Martin Luther King, Jr. today, on the 44th anniversary of his assassination. I am thinking of the hard work and ultimate sacrifice he made. I am thinking of the hard work and sacrifice so many good people have made for people they would never know. Thank you. I honor you. Today and every day I work to honor you with poetry. I [...] by

Poetry Everywhere April 2, 2012: Last week I went shopping in the little Crown Heights design studio of the innovative fashion designer, Sue Rock. Rock, who is a wizard at crocheting, and her husband, who can sew a stunning tunic dress, work with the fabric remnants abundant in their native New York. They have so much fabric they can't use it all for just themselves, and so they [...] by

“the beautiful, needful thing”: in memory of Dr. Dorothy Height April 29, 2010: This morning in the nation's capitol, mourners said farewell to Dr. Dorothy Height, a life-long Civil Rights activist to whom this nation owes a debt of thanks.  Rather than end my blogging stint on Harriet describing some of the revolutionary things that National Poetry Month has allowed this nation and its poets to accomplish, as I had [...] by