I hope that this August heat is finding you well. Patrick turned to me the other night when I was complaining about the heat and said, “You know, it’s only going to get hotter.” And it’s true. In that moment, I thought about our kids struggling to find water and felt so helpless.
In my moments of despair, I try to think about our connections and how happy I am to know folks working on campaigns, like this one, and knocking on doors. I am happy that we have union people, Mothers Out Front people and affordable housing people. I hope that our candidates win in September because it helps me feel better to imagine a DA who cares about criminal justice reform and a representative who believes in mitigating climate change and fighting for health care. Please vote.
In other moments, I am excited to announce that I am involved with a new poetry review called The Lily Poetry Review. Please submit and if you do submit, let me know so that I can flag your submission. It’s in its infancy but from what I have seen so far, I am really excited for what it will contribute to the poetry world. It’s helmed by the inimitable Eileen Cleary, so know that your work will be lovingly and thoughtfully considered.
I am so happy in my MFA program. I met such a wonderful group of talented people with such different perspectives but all the same passion. Amazing how I could spend 9 days with people and feel like I have known them forever. My world grew so much.
I am currently trying to generate new work and read and read and read. I got back in touch with Marie Howe. I met Dorianne Laux, Kim Addonizio and Mary Oliver’s Poetry Handbook. My goodness – Oliver’s words are so important and reminds me how much I love language. And listen to this: “Remember, language is a living material, full of shadow and sudden moments of up-leap and endless nuance.”
In attempts to leave the house, I am determined to start writer field trips. Our first was to Edward Gorey’s house in Yarmouth Port, MA. It was like coming home. He loved cats, magnolia blossoms, drawing, cooking, and being with friends. He collected empty bottles, stones and shells.
According to a museum docent, some of his cremated remains were brought back to the house and given to friends to place him where they wanted. This museum docent pointed to the iron sculpture of The Doubtful Guest and said, “I put him in the shoe. Now he’s a part of that sculpture.”
Given the rich literary history of Massachusetts, we could visit Emily Dickinson, Walden Pond & Thoreau, Louisa May Alcott, hop over the NH line to meet Robert Frost. Let me know if you have any recommendations!
Another podcast recommendation: Ologies. For the science and curious nerds out there. I especially enjoyed the epidemiology and fearology episodes.
Before I go, I wanted to say I am so glad that I was able to take stock in my life and make conscious decisions about what I want to do. This is a privilege and I cherish it. I hope that I will take this knowledge and help others, because that’s the best way to pay it forward.
Hold onto your hats, it’s almost September!