Category Archives: Literature

Of Books and Brownstones

  As a child, I knew nothing about the east coast; what I understood about the metropolis of New York City came from Sesame Street. The show debuted in 1969, so my family was probably living in Wisconsin when I … Continue reading

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Apocalypse

“Let’s start with the end of the world, why don’t we?” So begins N.K. Jemisin’s The Fifth Season, which appeared under our Christmas tree wrapped in cheerful, glittery paper. Arline gave me the boxed Broken Earth trilogy, knowing I’ve been … Continue reading

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Ursula K. Le Guin, 1929-2018

Our class took a break one sunny afternoon and hiked along the McKenzie River in the Willamette National Forest of Oregon. Our teacher, Ursula Le Guin, led the way, naming the trees, shrubs, ferns, and groundcovers. It was the summer … Continue reading

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Translation

At a recent conference on literary translation, Arline and I sat in a beige hotel ballroom, listening to a panelist make painful, even nonsensical, generalizations about Panamanian literature. When the panel started taking questions, we escaped to the lobby and … Continue reading

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New Anthology: Memories Flow in Our Veins

About twenty years ago I got a letter from Calyx, a literary journal with pages of amazing writing by women and covers like works of art. The editors liked my story but asked for revisions. I did my best; it … Continue reading

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Conjuring Zora

When loved ones die, we think of them, talk to them, ask their advice out loud and in our dreams. We conjure them, not only because we miss them, but because we need them. Alice Walker needed writer Zora Neale … Continue reading

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Bill Knott, 1940-2014

What was it about those bad-boy poets that I loved so much at 16? Brautigan, Ferlinghetti. And Bill Knott, whose recent death made me think about him and how our paths crossed, twice. The first time, I was a high … Continue reading

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