where voice resides: the allergy diaries

By Kate / June 22, 2007 /

There are a few essays so well-written that I could use them to teach each element of craft. Jill Christman’s “The Allergy Diaries” is one of these essays. “The Allergy Diaries” describes Christman’s infant daughter’s anaphylactic reaction to cow’s milk and the aftermath of this discovery. That is the situation in the essay. The real…

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a choice, a responsibility

By Kate / June 12, 2007 /

Last night I was watching the evening news—something I try never to do—and there was a story about the sextuplets just born in Minneapolis, at the same hospital where Stella was born. They are now on warming tables in the same children’s hospital where I sat for weeks, staring at my daughter. The coverage of…

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my new best friend

By Kate / June 1, 2007 /

We went up to my mom’s cabin in Northern Minnesota last weekend, and I took fifteen books with me because my summer Motherhood & Words class starts next week, and I was trying to finalize my reading list. Of course, it’s not humanly possible (if you read as slowly as I do) to get through…

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awake and thinking

By Kate / May 2, 2007 /

This morning, I woke up at 1:45 a.m. when my darling girl yelled from her room: “Mama, I had a nightmare. Lie with me. Lie with me, mama.” Now that Stella is no longer allowed to sleep in our bed, this is a frequently heard phrase in our house (and it is never ignored, which…

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have you hugged your hygienist today?

By Kate / April 25, 2007 / Comments Off on have you hugged your hygienist today?

Yesterday afternoon Stella and I went to the dentist. Earlier in the morning, as Stella was getting dressed she said, “Mom, I don’t need to sit on your lap today.” “Oh?” I said, not really knowing what she meant. “At the dentist,” she said, exasperated. (How a 3 1/2 year-old can be so exasperated with…

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escaping into O'Brien

By Kate / April 20, 2007 /

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…

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By Kate / April 4, 2007 /

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…

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the reasons we love

By Kate / March 28, 2007 /

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…

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four decades of feminist mamas

By Kate / March 21, 2007 /

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…

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brooks and my failure with form

By Kate / March 11, 2007 /

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…

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