Posts Tagged "Mary Clearman Blew"

The Case of the “Dead” Brother

Posted by on Aug 22, 2012 in Archive | 7 comments

The Case of the “Dead” Brother

Once I heard a poet read a poem about his brother who had died a tragic death. The audience was deeply moved. Afterward, some people came up and asked him more about his brother. “I don’t have a brother,” he said, somewhat airily. “Do you assume my poem is about some factual truth?” I was offended. Others were, too. WHY we were is the interesting question. When what we write appears to be truth, is it okay to lie? This is an issue that merits some looking into. And has been—most recently for me at a panel discussion by Rainier Writing Workshop faculty members Sherry Simpson, Mary...

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Getting Educated, or, Carrying the Gunny-sack

Posted by on Aug 14, 2012 in Archive | 0 comments

Getting Educated, or, Carrying the Gunny-sack

I’ve been thinking about my higher education in light of reading Mary Clearman Blew’s wonderful memoir, This is Not the Ivy League, (Univ. of Nebraska Press, 2011). Blew is of my generation. She grew up on a farm in Montana, graduated from a one-room schoolhouse, and “escaped,” as she says, and pushed her way through graduate school, against the pressures of the ‘50s—inherited from our parents—to be a conventional housewife. There I am, like Blew, with all that stuff in my head: “Get dinner on the table every night at six,” “Be the quiet domestic support behind your...

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