Panic at Trancisco

Panic at Trancisco

The best part of beginning again after so much ending again is that my own rate of revelations happen much faster. I have a map. I made it myself with Goddard experts who enthusiastically shared their compasses. I think back to my first semester and the time I spent muzzling Majesty Wells inside a bloodstained trunk while I looked for my keys. This is better. There are clean restrooms ahead and Orson is just another passenger dozing under pulsing streetlamps.

Craftsman Tools, Auschwitz, Siddhartha

Craftsman Tools, Auschwitz, Siddhartha

I love this word, woke. Technically, I guess you could say it’s a verb in the past tense, as in “I woke up and saw the light,” but recently it’s been used as an adjective to inform the present, as in “I am woke to the reasons my people came to this country and I am not proud of it anymore!” But when I think about craft, and what it means to me, which is pretty much everything—it’s a doctrine and a commitment, it’s a mantra and a fail-safe, it’s better than a cocktail or a joint or a church service—I must start with this old word newly used, this word “woke.” Because most of all, I think that craft is about being awake.

7 Reasons to go to Literary Conferences

7 Reasons to go to Literary Conferences

When I decided to “become” a “real writer,” the best advice I received was from prolific children’s author Bruce Coville. He said, “You should join the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.” So I did. I went to their conference that summer—they hold a big one in Los Angeles every year for all levels, and a more professionally-oriented one in New York in the winter. I was a newcomer and the LA event was walking distance from my house, so how could I refuse?

YOGA ON THE SHORE

YOGA ON THE SHORE

The above is a side note — a digression — because what I really want to discuss is how artists can use their art to invent a place that has long existed. Last night Netflix aired Springsteen on Broadway. This is what Springsteen had to say about the Jersey Shore. Before I quote The Boss let me warn you that there are expletives so please move on if you are uncomfortable…

Jean Valentine and Adrienne Rich: Crossing Generations

Jean Valentine and Adrienne Rich: Crossing Generations

Poland Springs, Maine’s infamous water, sold worldwide, brings nothing to the town of Poland Springs, except the threat of poison. The springs ran dry fifty years ago, and the remaining Maine sources are close to human waste dumps, landfill, fish hatchery or toxic petroleum dump sites. It all matters, and back at my house, a little after 6pm, I meet with young poet filmmaker Matt to talk poetry.

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