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Not finished yet June 29, 2009: [caption id="attachment_3877" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Harvey Milk Plaza, San Francisco, 6/28/09 (photo: C. Dungy)"][/caption] The street sweepers have passed, and the crowd control fences have been carried away.  Pride, for some, is over and done.  But for many, the persistent resistance that Pride weekend celebrates still [...] by

The Fish June 24, 2009: Once or twice a year I shut off my cell phone and computer and spend a stretch of time in the great wide open.  Or in some approximation of the great wide open.  I always get plenty of juice out there, and I come back refreshed and full of ideas.  That’s where I’ve been the last couple weeks, Harriet, running out in the great wide [...] by

No Pause for Breath June 12, 2009: I was talking to a friend today about one-sentence poems I love. By one-sentence poems I don’t mean very short poems like the one-line poems Michael McFee discussed in his Feb. 2008 article in the AWP Writer’s Chronicle.  McFee has written a whole book made up of monostich (The Smallest Talk), and so he is likely much interested in the [...] by

Five Canadian Women Eco-Poets June 4, 2009: I’m in Canada right now at the biennial conference for Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment (ASLE).  In honor of my host nation, I thought I’d write about a few Canadian women poets whose work I enjoy. Since I’m at the ASLE conference, thinking about the intersection between poetry and discussions of human impact [...] by

Spelling bee! May 30, 2009: I watched the Scripps National Spelling Bee last night. It was on ABC, the spelling bee, shoving aside Grey’s Anatomy.  A prime time slot for a spelling bee! The prelims were on ESPN, for heaven's sake. Large swaths of America were, apparently, for awhile at least, deeply interested in words. The guy at my Sprint store watched it too, and [...] by

And the poet said… May 28, 2009: I want to  share a half dozen of my favorite quotes about the process and charges of poetry. I’d love to hear what you think of these (some of them are, purposefully, provocative). I’d also like for you to share some of your own favorites. 1. “I believe fervently that the poet’s first obligation is to his own voice—to find it and [...] by

Do Poets Dream of Lineated Sheep? May 26, 2009: Quick survey.  Do you think the way you dream relates to the way you write? Once I took a nap at the tremendous Casa Libre de la Solana in Tuscon, AZ.  I was there with Heriberto Yépez and Richard Siken to read at the University of Arizona Poetry Center.  It was hot in Tuscon, and the day had been busy, thus the nap. I like to nap [...] by

Speaking of batting averages… May 23, 2009: Boston (well, actually, Somerville) is the first city I lived in after receiving my poetic license.  Here again now, enjoying the sun off the Charles and the good food at Toro and the many offerings at the American Literature Association Annual Conference, I’m wondering what it means to be a publishing poet. I went on a walk of nostalgia [...] by

Box by Box May 20, 2009: My life is a life of boxes. It’s temporary, I trust. The hope, when one puts her whole life into boxes, is that, soon, her whole life will be out of boxes.  But my parents speak, sometimes, of the as yet unpacked boxes they packed when they moved into their current house (that move happened in 1986) and so I fear, each time I pack another [...] by

green, yellow, grey: go! May 13, 2009: I’m heading to Oregon tomorrow, and I can’t get Bob Kaufman out of my head. We like to claim Kaufman here in San Francisco, but every time I go to Oregon I think of his spectacularly green poem about the state that sells a heck of a lot of grass (as in turf, people, we’re all on the up and up here) to the rest of the [...] by