Name, Rank, Serial Number: Poet

Name, Rank, Serial Number: Poet

Casey worked as a journalist in the Marines until, in the late l970’s, she attended a writing conference in California where one of the faculty told her she should, be writing poetry instead.  Casey took this person and their work and when she returned to base, declared herself resident poet, meaning she would no longer report to duty.

I gave my name

rank an serial number,

said I was a poet.  Beyond

       that I refused to speak. 

Rather than send her to the brig for going AWOL, Casey’s superior officers sent her to the psych ward.  Part of her time in the psych ward is a subject of this book. 

The Word World

The Word World

I didn’t know how obsessed I was with the world – with the actual word “world” – until I went through my second book of poems and saw that I used the word at least 30 times. Actually, another poet told me I used it 30 times but of course I went back and counted the words myself (because they were my words) to see if this was true. I’d never done anything like that – count how many times a word got used. I wonder if other poets do this?

Writing the Other Side of the Story:  Researching the Pacific War in Japan

Writing the Other Side of the Story:  Researching the Pacific War in Japan

I have an irrational fear of falling into a Japanese toilet—not an everyday worry, but one that poses itself as I pack for a weeklong research trip to a small town in Japan. I had knee surgery a few years ago and my squat technique is not what it used to be. My friend Reiko tells me it’s highly unlikely. I don’t tell her that I am the Queen of Unlikely. I tell her she’s right, and prepare for the worst.

Writing and Running

Writing and Running

MFAW faculty Keenan Norris: …my father, was less a reader than a storage chest of historical anecdote and information, come upon by means academic and experiential. He was also a runner, my father, a collegiate national record holder for twenty four hours at one point in time, so while my writings are much less the result of natural talent than dedicated labor, the running is in my blood.

Imaginative Literature

Imaginative Literature

Goddard College MFAW faculty Micheline Aharonian-Marcom: Like you, I’m a devotee of letters and the Imagination, of Imaginative Literature, and what I have to offer you, writers, poets, dreamers, storytellers, keepers and people of the Word, in addition to my steadfast belief in the human capacity for love, are some thoughts on books and writing and art, for in my loss of what say to you, and in my great worries about the times we live in, no doubt many years in the making but now firmly upon us as we face the consequences of our creations and of our politics, I returned over the last months to the library to seek in solitude and quiet the wisdom, the beauty, the truth and company in books—my great home since I was a child in Los Angeles adrift in a world of TV and spectacle and vapidity and a deep unarticulated loneliness and out-of-placeness, where I learned and loved to read and found in literature the wild connections, understanding, and a chorus of voices which spoke to me then across time, space, culture and language, and encouraged and emboldened me, and continue to do so until today.

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