Poetry News

Remembering Judith Kitchen, 1941-2014

By Harriet Staff


"Frequent" would be an understatement for Georgia Review contributor, Judith Kitchen, who penned some 50 essay-reviews beginning in the 1980s. The Georgia Review remembers Kitchen this month as it prints her last essay, "Da Capo Al Coda," a review of The Dead Eat Every Thing by Michael Mlekoday, Landscape with Plywood Silhouettes by Kerrin McCadden, Twine by David Koehn, Watershed by Laura Donnelly, and Keeper by Kasey Jueds. Here's the start, from the Georgia Review:

From the beginning, I knew there could be trouble: a box of cheeky new books on my doorstep, all dressed in their shiny covers, waiting to be read. All week I had been ranting about the contemporary world—its lack of tradition, its misuse of grammar, its insidious technologies. One television ad talked about the motel’s recent “refresh.” I was certain those brash new books would be full of such travesties, and my trusty old dictionary had been published in 1976. The newer dictionary is heavier, taller, three times the volume, and that means I can hardly lift it from the only shelf it fits on. So I stick with the flimsy pages that, for thirty-eight years, have given me most of the words I will ever need.

Oh, I’m aware that technology has outpaced my old red companion, and that I could just as easily consult online dictionaries. But that would feel strange. When it comes to technology, it’s nice to be able to revise with a simple “cut” and “paste” (I can remember retyping whole pages because of one mistake, usually making another in the process). It’s not so nice to read everyone’s private life spilled out on Facebook as though they were next-door neighbors and we were talking over now-nonexistent clotheslines. Well, then, don’t go on Facebook, you say, and I retort All well and good, but I’ve also encountered some interesting discussions and/or opportunities there. So change is . . . well, change: something we might be cautious of, but also something we need to open ourselves to. [...]

Continue reading courtesy of The Georgia Review.

Originally Published: March 3rd, 2015