What’s My Problem With Women?

I’ve always felt self-conscious about the number of women speakers and narrators in my writing. Thinking about the film Persona and the predominance (or just plain dominance) of women in many Bergman films has made me think about it again. I did a quick survey of my books and came up with these statistics on […]

I’d Never Seen Anything Like It

I first saw Persona at the Surf Theatre in San Francisco in my early 20s, and I suspect my deepest sense of what art is was defined by it and similar Bergman films, particularly by the monologues, where a character speaks at length directly into the camera in intensely intimate confessions that are often strangely […]

Bridge Readings

Here are some readings I’ll be giving in the next few months. Anyone who’s given a reading knows the heartfelt gratitude a reader feels for every person in the audience, and I’ll do my best to give people more energy and inspiration to take home with them than they came with! Bird & Beckett Books […]

A Tale of Two Books

Recently I looked through my records of submission and publication (mostly submission!) and noticed some facts that might be of interest to others. My most recent book, Dragging the Lake, was published in February 2006 (not exactly recent, except perhaps in the poetry world!), and Bridge is coming out in October. But between those two […]

Has Writing Become Too Personal?

I’m not talking about confessional writing. I love the “confessional” poets. I’m thinking of the way writers all know one another now, not just through MFA programs, AWP, etc., though I am thinking of AWP and the dozens of similar conferences, and about MFA programs and the thousands of similar writing programs and workshops. I […]

The Rough Pearl

Laura Kasischke said in a recent interview, “What I really like when I’m reading … is imagery … to have the stuff of the world put into language.” She reads a passage from her recent novel Mind of Winter in which Holly, a poet, “imagined vomiting it out of herself, like vomiting up a swan.” […]

Poetry & Prose: Madame George & Madame Joy

I came up with a theory during my adolescence that good books were the ones you could open anyplace—beginning, middle, or end—start reading, and they would work their magic. I tested my theory on A Farewell to Arms and it seemed to work: “That my love Catherine. That my sweet love Catherine down might rain.” […]