All
  • All
  • author interviews
  • community
  • essay/memoir
  • life
  • motherhood
  • poetry
  • publication
  • reviews
  • teaching
  • warrior
  • writing

escaping into O'Brien

I’m late posting this week because my blog day was sacrificed for Pro-Choice Lobby Day at the Capitol. Stella was my proud lobbying assistant, wearing her “I ♥ Pro-Choice Girls” button. Let’s go, girl! My Motherhood & Words class at the Loft wrapped up on Tuesday, which makes me a little sad. But how wonderful…

a thought from anne and a dream

Last night I went to see Anne Lamott discuss her new book, Grace (Eventually). She was reading at Barnes and Noble in a fancy schmancy suburban mall, and the place was packed. Seriously—hundreds of people lined the aisles, trying to get a glimpse of Anne and her crazy dreadlocks. (The fifty or so people who…

moonrise

Penny Wolfson’s essay “Moonrise” (Best American Essays 2002) is the only motherhood essay that I could find when I searched through two decades of Best American Essays. (Someone, please, correct me if I’m wrong—I’d love to be wrong about this.) Is this evidence that most memoirs and essays about motherhood are not taken seriously enough…

the reasons we love

A couple of weeks ago, I used an excerpt of Beth Kephart’s A Slant of Sun in class to talk about emotional distance—writing the hard stuff without becoming sentimental. (I also used Lorrie Moore’s “People Like That Are the Only People Here,” but I’m not going to talk about that right now.) A Slant of…

four decades of feminist mamas

In my class this week we read Miriam Peskowitz’s “Cheerleader” and an excerpt of Adrienne Rich’s Of Woman Born. We’ve now read motherhood pieces published in the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, and today, and I’m very interested in how the concerns and struggles of women and mothers have changed over the last forty years and how…

brooks and my failure with form

I just read Gwendolyn Brooks’ Selected Poems for one of my book clubs. I’m actually embarrassed to admit that this is the first time I’ve read her work. Maybe I read the poem “We Real Cool” in high school, but I’m not even sure. It felt familiar-does that count for something? There were a couple…

prematurity, disability, and Past Due

I have been thinking about this for a couple of weeks. On February 20th, there was a story on NPR about the gestationally youngest (known) preemie to survive–ever, anywhere. Her name is Amillia and she was born at 21 weeks and 6 days gestation (a little more than half the gestation of a normal pregnancy).…

the truth of it

I said I would dedicate a whole post to Sharon Olds, and this is it (though this doesn’t mean that I won’t post about her writing in the future—I might just get wild). When Stella was discharged from the hospital (at 4 weeks old, weighing 4 pounds, 7 ounces), I withdrew from graduate school (it…

mother love and Snow Flower

I just finished a wonderful novel: Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See. It’s a story set in nineteenth century China about enduring friendship, footbinding, and nu shu, women’s secret writing. It’s also a story about motherhood and mother love. Aha! The dialogue between different pieces of writing continues. Just two weeks ago,…

when soccer and writing meet

Friday night, D. and I and a bunch of friends went to see the Zinedine Zidane movie at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. It’s a documentary in which 17 cameras follow Zidane for 92 minutes, a full soccer game. The audience was mostly soccer fans with colorful team scarves wrapped around their necks. (Even…

I love teaching

I love that moment in class when a light goes off for a student or when someone tells me that her writing is going in a completely different direction than she expected. I love being a part of that discovery. (And yes, I do realize that I sound like a sap.) Yesterday we read “Mother…