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Flaky Fables - Classmates

Do you often see people from your past, but you can’t remember their names? The old guy ahead of me in the grocery check-out looked about two coughing spells away from the Promised Land. I didn’t notice him until he tried to pay with a credit car...

 

American Life In Poetry

This is the sixth of Marge Saiser’s poems to appear in my column, and I’ve written elsewhere how much I admire her work. This poem is typical of her clear, accessible poetry of close observation. I am especially taken by her capture of the flash...

 

And the Winners for 2019...

It was the best of lists. It was the worst of lists. Also the most, least, biggest, smallest, flattest and roundest of lists. 'Tis the season when experts on everything roll out their report cards of...

 

American Life In Poetry

Poets Tom Montag and David Graham have just published a fine anthology, Local News: Poetry About Small Towns, from MWPH Books, P.O. Box 8, in Fairwater, Wisconsin. Here's one of the many poems I've en...

 

American Life In Poetry

There's a very fine book, Poetry of Presence: An Anthology of Mindfulness Poems, published by Grayson Books of West Hartford, Connecticut, and I've found a number of poems for this column there....

 

American Life In Poetry

Alberto Rios is a highly acclaimed American poet who lives and teaches in Arizona. I found this poem of community and peace in Poetry of Presence: An Anthology of Mindfulness Poems, published by Grayson Books of West Hartford, Connecticut. The most... Full story

 

Blue, Buffalo and 2020 Vision

Yes, I realize I'm very late getting my Christmas letter out, but there's a good reason for that: I'm late writing it. I hope you had a wonderful 2019. I started mine on the couch with my feet up....

 

American Life In Poetry

My mother's best friend, Ruth Stickfort Kregel, was "Aunt Sticky" to my sister and me, and today I feel like telling you a little about this woman we loved. This poem is from my new book, Kindest...

 

American Life In Poetry

I've been asked if I believe in ghosts, and my answer is, "Well, now, there's very little fun in NOT believing in ghosts." Here's a poem by Austin Smith, who lives in Illinois, about being encouraged... Full story

 

Dorothy Wreaks Havoc on Thanksgiving and Not Just In Kansas

I was feeling pretty confident about cooking Thanksgiving dinner for eight guests until I saw the headline: Dorothy Could Make a Mess of Thanksgiving. Well dang. I've made a mess of Thanksgiving on...

 

American Life In Poetry

Here's a poem about something that each of us receives, though only once. If you didn't get yours written into a poem, you've got it put away somewhere. Wyatt Townley lives in Kansas, and "First...

 

No Elephants Were Harmed in the Making of this Column

There's a box in my guest room containing one redneck coloring book (never used), four pink flamingos (brand-new), one wrench beer opener (still in the package) and an assortment of other equally...

 

American Life In Poetry

Sometimes a poem can seem to be like a jeweler's setting, in which a gemlike image is presented. This one, by Chase Twichell, who lives in upstate New York, has one of those perfect gems of... Full story

 

Cooks in Crisis

Every year, while I prepare our Thanksgiving meal, such as it is, I tune into The Splendid Table's annual live call-in show, Turkey Confidential, on National Public Radio. Food experts talk turkey abo...

 

Flaky Fables

Do you often see people from your past, but you can’t remember their names? The old guy ahead of me in the grocery check-out looked about two coughing spells away from the Promised Land. I didn’t notice him until he tried to pay with a credit car...

 

American Life In Poetry

Minnesota has many fine writers, gathered together by a deep and trusting affection for one another. Freya Manfred has been an important part of that community for her entire life, having been...

 

How to Choose Smart Video Games for Your Kids This Holiday Season

(StatePoint) When it comes to putting a smile on kids’ faces during the holiday season, video games are a pretty safe bet. So, how do you make buying decisions that make both kids and parents happy? And how do you choose video games that are fun...

 

American Life In Poetry

I highly recommend a new anthology called Healing the Divide: Poems of Kindness and Connection, edited by James Crews and published by Green Writers Press in Brattleboro, Vermont. Here's just one of...

 

Ameican Life In Poetry

We've published several poems by Washington, D.C., poet Judith Harris, who writes beautifully about her Jewish heritage. Bruno Bettelheim, writing about fairy tales, remarked on the closeness of the...

 

American Life In Poetry

How about a light-footed Irish reel before winter sets in, before the rest of our lives sets in? Here's a poem by Barbara Crooker, who lives in Pennsylvania. Her most recent collection of poems is...

 

Cheese Puffs and Politics

I was very inspired by an interview I heard on a news program today, if by inspired you mean completely disgusted and more cynical then I've ever been. It lasted at least two minutes and there was a...

 

American Life In Poetry

Here's a poem by Holly J. Hughes, who lives and writes in Washington state, about finding joy in what's before us. I found it in Poetry of Presence: An Anthology of Mindfulness Poems, published by... Full story

 

American Life In Poetry

One of poetry's most important tools is sensory imagery, and the following poem, by Christie Towers of Massachusetts, brings in pleasurable smells, tastes, and sounds to evoke a rich experience...

 

Straight Talk About Geezeritus

I'll be 40 next year. Did I say 40? I meant 60. Same difference. They both fall under the benign-sounding umbrella of "middle age," though it seems to me calling 60 "middle" might be a tad...

 

American Life In Poetry

Wallace Stevens, the great modernist poet, wrote about setting a jar down in a wild place, and how by doing so he organized that space around the jar. Here's Marilyn Dorf, a Nebraska poet, using a...

 

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