Spring News!

I’m thrilled to have poem in the new issue of one of my favorite journals, Ecotone. This volume is themed around SOUND! The poem, titled “The Ecology of Falling Whales” is the longest I’ve ever written–a whopping 5 pages–and it’s all about visiting my sister, Maya, at  Friday Harbor Labs in Washington State, where I observed her and other biologists study aquatic life. You can buy the journal and read an excerpt here.

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I also wrote about sunlight for The Atlantic in honor of daylight savings. Read the whole thing here.

The frustration of lost sleep gives way to the luminous pleasure of a lengthening day. Sunlight extends past dinnertime. Dog walkers, soccer players, and children in playgrounds bask in a later twilight. Though humans organize our schedules around the clock, Daylight Savings reminds us that our lives, like our planet, revolve around the sun.

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The lovely Anna Currey interviewed me about sisters, the environment, and writing across genre.

I don’t want to teach anything I don’t believe in. It’s important to talk about making writing entertaining, which is obvious, but doesn’t gets much air time in academic settings. Any piece of writing is competing for a reader’s attention span. It has to be more interesting than someone’s cell phone or television. Entertainment is something I talk about with my students, and something I think about in my own writing. We have to work hard for our readers.

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Here’s an excerpt from an interview I did with Chris Schaberg about his newest book The End of Airports. Read the whole thing at Terrain.Org.

It’s a common response that “everything changed” after 9/11. But having worked at the airport during—and through—that time, my overwhelming feeling was that things hadn’t changed at all. It’s just that people suddenly had a scapegoat for all the things they wanted to do, say, and enact around air travel. Racism especially: this became so ridiculously easy after 9/11. But it was already there, in the airport, of course. If the airport is postmodern, it is for the ways it struggles with and against Ezra Pound’s modernist mandate, “Make it new!” On the one hand, airports want you (the traveler) to feel the verve of the new. On the other hand, airports want you to feel—and to perpetuate—all the old comforts of the same, on and on and on.

 

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Greetings From My Inner Werebat

Miracle Monacle, a journal run by the University of Louisville,  published two of the stranger poems I’ve ever written. Here’s the first one, titled, “Greetings From My Inner Werebat.” Click here to read “Dreams of Babies.”

GREETINGS FROM MY INNER WEREBAT 


Is there a word more terrifying 
than housewife? More shameful 

than panties? Is premeditation 
a good idea? I don’t regret 

my tramp stamp, though, 
I sometimes reflect on hairdos 

I have known and wonder 
what I shall title my memoir.

Literary Mothers

“Ole Miss has the prettiest women in the world,” a fellow MFA bragged. “They come for their M.R.S. degrees.”

I love the new lit journal Literary Mothers, which describes itself as “an ongoing project featuring short essays by writers (of all genders) on the female writers who have inspired and/or mentored them.”  I wrote about Beth Ann Fennelly and getting my MFA in Oxford, Mississippi, home of some of the best male writers around.