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Showing posts from November, 2013

Goodbye, Stuart. And, Thank You.

Stuart Downs, one of my undergraduate instructors at James Madison University, died on Saturday. It was unexpected (at the age of 63) but he died of natural causes. I'm sure this doesn't comfort his family much. I'm not sure it comforts me.
I miss Stuart. I did miss Stuart, while he was alive and we were in different parts of the country, but I kind of thought I'd see him again on one of my trips back south. Our communication over the years since I left JMU was brief and sporadic but it meant a lot to me. He was an incredibly generous and gracious instructor, mentor and friend. He treated his students with respect, while he challenged us, and he was unfailingly supportive of our endeavors. Above all, he was kind. I adored his Open Studio class. It changed the way I looked at art and writing and collaboration. He treated me as a peer. He treated us all as peers. From Stuart, I learned what it means to be an artist – it means you have to acknowledge the art of ot…

Gabrielle Calvocoressi on the Best American Poetry Blog

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I have an ungodly (I just typed undogly, har har har) amount of work to do and so I really shouldn't be trolling around the internet, but I just read this and I love that last paragraph and crap I wish I could spend this whole lovely, cool rainy morning just reading and writing and thinking. Instead, I'm going to spend the morning grading really godawful drafts of things and completing obligatory committee work. I feel like my soul is shrinking.

Recommended Reading & Good News

As you may have guessed from the stunning lack of posts on this blog over the past few months, I haven't had a lot of time for outside reading. I did, however, have a few minutes in the middle of the night (while feeding Vampire Baby) to catch up on some of my blog reading, and I stumbled on this lovely and sad piece of flash fiction by Jen Knox.
Also, one of my former colleagues (now happily retired and writing full time), interviewed me about Fabulous Beast: The Sow over at The Best American Poetry Blog, and the post went live this week. I babbled on for way too long and L.E. probably should have edited my answers, but it was fun to talk about the poems and be forced to think about the process of writing them, and why I made certain aesthetic choices. (I should note, too, that it took me over a month to answer six simple, direct, good questions from L.E., who has endless patience with me. He's a good friend.)
Anyway, onward and upward  . . . or sideways and backwards. I'…

Pics from Last Weekend's Readings

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(These are from the reading at Great Falls Public Library in Great Falls, Virginia.)