Open Mind, Open Heart

Every day we’re overwhelmed by too much stimuli and by the knowledge of terrible things — from daily gun violence, to climate change, to the most…

What We Bring to Bear

Winters in Seattle aren’t my best time any year, and lately this one has felt grim. Rain, of course, short flat cold days, and we’ve had…

Trying to Listen, Learning to Speak

If someone listens, deeply, you’ve been heard, which helps you absorb it, and you can lay it at the feet of the right god. — Anne…

A Rumination on Images, Loss, and the Strange Comfort of Silence

A few weeks ago, a cousin sent me a photograph from the memorial dinner we had held after my father died, celebrating his life. It’s a…

Lucie Brock-Broido’s Giraffe

Not long after I learned that one of my most fiercely-adored poets, Lucie Brock-Broido, had died at the age of only 61, I read one of her recent poems in The New Yorker. During the course of reading it, my sense of time shifted from the comfortably temporal to something with no consoling limits. This is not an unusual reaction for me when I read Lucie’s poems, an instinctive recognition of something’s absolute rightness even as I feel immersed in the new and strange, the previously impossible.


A Light Exists in Spring

A Light exists in Spring
Not present on the Year
At any other period –
When March is scarcely here
— Emily Dickinson

Mind of Winter

During these slow, cold winter months, the raw quickenings of Spring that I look so forward to each year can begin to seem more like a fever dream than an inevitability. Recently, a lonely inner chill slowed me to a still point of sorrow and depression, from which I’m now emerging.

Diane di Prima

Diane di Prima, Founding Mother of the Beat Movement

Diane di Prima is one of the founding mothers of the Beat Movement, but while the seminal (!) men of the era are extremely well known, too many people either don’t know or have forgotten about the women like Diane…

A Solemn Pleasure to Imagine, Witness and Write by Melissa Pritchard

Walking the Pilgrim’s Path

In her beautiful book entitled, A Solemn Pleasure: To Imagine, Witness, and Write, writer Melissa Pritchard says, “Many of the tenets of sainthood are also to be cultivated in the committed writer:

Painting by Dean Nimmer

A Convening of Poets

Again this morning I’ve opened the blinds barely awake
so the thief light will backhand my brain,

invited the oxblood jasper on the sill
to ravish my eye. Fists…