When Your Doctor Says “Cancer”

About a month ago, I was diagnosed with low-grade prostate cancer. It was not discovered because of symptoms, but through a regular blood test during my annual physical exam. In fact, I feel great. Back in the summer, my annual physical showed a slightly elevated PSA, the common test for prostate cancer. My primary doctorContinue reading “When Your Doctor Says “Cancer””

Sarah Browning’s New Poetry Collection: KILLING SUMMER

Few poets can navigate the personal and the public. Sarah Browning is one of those rare poets. Her new collection, KILLING SUMMER, from Sibling Rivalry Press, makes its way beautifully through these rich and challenging waters. These poems think, they remember, they push, they lament. I will be reading and thinking over these poems for aContinue reading “Sarah Browning’s New Poetry Collection: KILLING SUMMER”

Teaching American Literature: Delight and Hard Work

I remember as a boy, the excitement and thrill of the first day of school. I could claim a new grade, I would meet a new teacher, I would sit in a new classroom, at a new desk. I didn’t always do well in school. But I did love it. I still do. At thisContinue reading “Teaching American Literature: Delight and Hard Work”

Poetry, Justice, and the Holy Cross Sisters

Sometimes a poetry reading turns into something you do not expect. One of my readings last month became more beautiful than I could have planned. This summer has held many readings in support of my new book, Ache. Two of those readings were in South Bend, Indiana, where I lived for many years. The first of theContinue reading “Poetry, Justice, and the Holy Cross Sisters”

This Is No Time to Celebrate America

We have too much work to do. We have too much cruelty to confront. We have too much that needs healing. This is no time to celebrate America. While that might sound harsh, it’s how I’m thinking about this July 4th, 2017. It is no time to celebrate America when police officers are killing unarmedContinue reading “This Is No Time to Celebrate America”

Remembering A Beloved Guide: Philip C. Kolin’s BENEDICT’S DAUGHTER

Few people matter more to us than those who have guided us in– and through– our lives. In part, this is why the loss of one’s parents, lovers, close friends– are such strong losses. In his most recent book of poems, Benedict’s Daughter, Philip C. Kolin remembers Margie, his spiritual director of over thirty years.Continue reading “Remembering A Beloved Guide: Philip C. Kolin’s BENEDICT’S DAUGHTER”

Trayvon Martin’s Murder Five Years Ago: Not Enough Laws or Hearts Have Changed

It has been five years since Trayvon Martin was killed by George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida. Trayvon Martin was 17 years old, visiting his father. At halftime of the NBA All-Star game, he walked to a local convenience store for an Arizona Iced Tea and a bag of Skittles. On his way back, George Zimmerman,Continue reading “Trayvon Martin’s Murder Five Years Ago: Not Enough Laws or Hearts Have Changed”