The Smallness of Winter

I wonder what to call it. Winter’s smallness? The paucity of winter? The poverty of winter? I think smallness works. Winter brings with it a kind of smallness, a shrunken quality that, next to the lushness of summer and spring, appears diminished. If summer is rich, winter is poor. If summer feels robust, winter feelsContinue reading “The Smallness of Winter”

Poems of Memory & Sorrow- CROSSING THE RIFT: North Carolina Poets on 9/11 and its Aftermath

I once thought Lucille Clifton was the only American poet who wrote anything worth reading about 9/11/2001. For awhile, she was. Her simple, searing poems moved me in a world that had gone mad with patriotism, anger, and revenge. Years later, I was at St. Mary’s College of Maryland for a reading, where Clifton taughtContinue reading “Poems of Memory & Sorrow- CROSSING THE RIFT: North Carolina Poets on 9/11 and its Aftermath”

If You Love the Living, Get Saida Agostini’s “let the dead in”

Poetry books work in different ways. Some teach, some inspire, some surprise, some provoke. Saida Agostina’s collection, let the dead in, reminds me. It reminds me to remember the richness of living, the beauty of love in places we don’t expect. This beautiful collection of poems is a tap on the shoulder, followed by thisContinue reading “If You Love the Living, Get Saida Agostini’s “let the dead in””

Trayvon Martin’s Murder Changed Everything

When Trayvon Martin, a 17 year-old Black child, was murdered in Sanford, Florida, I was teaching at Carroll High School in Washington, D.C. I taught in the English Department and directed the school’s Writing Center. That year, I was teaching nearly all seniors. Carroll High School was more than 90% Black and those students taughtContinue reading “Trayvon Martin’s Murder Changed Everything”


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