When You Come Back

There is nothing like the practical concerns of daily life to interfere with your writing process. A while back I wrote about Poets and Writers magazine and how much I love their hopeful, inspiring stories about overcoming obstacles and finding success in writing, whatever form that success might take. The legendary writers who wrestle time away from… Continue reading When You Come Back


Circling the Truth

Dante never read Homer, at least not in Greek. Neither have I, but scholarship in fourteenth century Italy was a bit more spotty than it is today. Translations of the Illiad were secondhand accounts of the Trojan war that figured Achilles as a pining lover rather than a super-powered hero; otherwise, the only references to… Continue reading Circling the Truth



Emily Dickinson wrote thousands of poems, many of which were lost or destroyed, yet the nearly 1,800 posthumously published verses give us a luminous artistic record of a poet who is now, arguably, the most important of the 19th century. She painstakingly assembled thematically related fascicles, stitching each grouping of poems by hand (pastors similarly stitched the pages of their sermons). Unlike Kafka,… Continue reading Unfinished


GZA Bradstreet: Puritan Samurai

When I fell for the Wu, I fell hard. It was 1998, I was seventeen, and I was on a bus in Austria with a bunch of band and choir kids. I exchanged CD booklets with a friend of mine (because that was what you did back then), and after a one-two punch from the… Continue reading GZA Bradstreet: Puritan Samurai


Verse and the Unsaid

For as much fiction as I read, I still return to poetry. Like the elliptical orbit around a star, poetry can remain in the distance for long stretches of time, but soon enough I pick up a collection and start reading. Slowly. Great poems remind me of the depths ordinary words can reach when they are perfectly… Continue reading Verse and the Unsaid