Posts made in April, 2012

Writing Horrible Things, Part III

Posted by on Apr 25, 2012 in Archive | 3 comments

Writing Horrible Things, Part III

Hang on. This is a long one, the final of three posts about my book, The Devil’s Child.  Or, it’s really about writing about horrible, terrible, evil things, things so awful that there’s no way to write about them, but if we turn away, split away from even part of what’s true, we’re lost. I’ve thought about this a lot. If you are the character Barbara in these poems, who’s split away into multiple personalities to save herself—and then when you actually do split away by having a child,  you have to inoculate the child. A terrifying moment for me is when Barbara’s...

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Writing Horrible Things, Part II

Posted by on Apr 18, 2012 in Archive | 1 comment

Writing Horrible Things, Part II

“Writing About Horrible Things,” Part II, in which I take another look at my collection of poems, The Devil’s Child (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 1999). I don’t want Barbara’s story, her suffering and her heroism, to be forgotten.  (Read Part I for the whole story). The poems evolved like this: because I wrote only Barbara’s lone, sad voice, the poems were more than I could stand and more than I figured a reader could stand. So I tried adding a second voice, that of a writer, Suzanna, who’s listening to her and trying to make sense of her pain. Barbara and the...

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Dinty Moore’s Book on Writing and Meditation

Posted by on Apr 13, 2012 in Archive | 3 comments

Dinty Moore’s Book on Writing and Meditation

As both a meditator and a writer, I wondered what Dinty Moore would have to say in his new book, The Mindful Writer,  about the relation of one to the other. He sent me his book and answered a few questions I asked him after I read it. Q:  Young writers for years have been told to “show, don’t tell,” and to “pay attention.” Is what you mean here in your book a different kind of attention, different in quantity or quality in some way? A:  Paying attention is always a good thing, but I think my book is arguing for a different type of paying attention. We can fool ourselves when...

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Writing Horrible Things, Part I

Posted by on Apr 11, 2012 in Archive | 4 comments

Writing Horrible Things, Part I

Carnegie Mellon University Press has just informed me that they’re shifting their distribution from Cornell University Press to The University Press of New England, and that their authors can either buy their stored books or the books will be destroyed. I have just bought what’s left of The Devil’s Child and The Women Who Loved Elvis All Their Lives. The Devil’s Child Carnegie-Mellon University Press 1998 “This dark, ambitious narrative full of voices, echoes and whispers of anguish is deftly plotted and carefully crafted. Here is a challenging poetry of action and remembrance and...

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