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Gone Fishing January 28, 2013: I'm in London about once a year, mostly to see the in-laws, and sometimes with the goal of a bit of sight-seeing. The city and its surroundings are of course all about literature-- Shakespeare, Blake, Keats, Coleridge, Eliot, and everyone else the English Department pushed on me when I was twentyish. I like it, the Blake especially, but when I [...] by

Guests of Space January 22, 2013: Mid-January is the time of travel in our household. We’re packed up for our annual trip across the Atlantic to visit family, friends, and poets in London. The transition from here to there—that tiny chunk of time when we become guests of space—inevitably churns up wild and wooly emotions. In addition to taking a Valium, I have the habit [...] by

Do I Contradict Myself? January 14, 2013: In 2008, I wrote an essay called “Why I Hate MFA Programs, or an Argument to Prove That the Abolishing of the MFA Program in American Universities May, as Things Now Stand, Be Attended with Very Few Inconveniences.” The main point of this cheerful, theatrical, cranky, Swiftian manifesto was simple: I was leaving academia after a [...] by

Alternating Currents January 7, 2013: Robert Duncan: The Ambassador from Venus has been in print for almost six months now, and I’ve had time to think about what’s next. Biography writing feels a little bit like marathon running. You finish the race, say you’ll never do that again, and then start dreaming about another marathon. Another biography? Not now, no. Instead I’m [...] by

New Year, Old Resolutions January 3, 2013: Every year I make the same resolutions: read all of Finnegans Wake, and read all of Shakespeare. Sometimes I get through the first hundred pages of Finnegan. With Shakespeare I’m lucky if I have time to watch some movie adaptation. I reason that if I wasn’t a mom to a three-year-old I’d get more done, but I really can’t blame the [...] by