Tomorrow, two of my former poetry students will visit Knoxville, and we'll have brunch. Kristi Maxwell is driving in from Cincinnati, where she's getting her Ph.D. in creative writing. Ashley Van Doorn will be driving in from Atlanta, where she's working in a bookstore. She worked on her M.F.A. at the University of Oregon. Both Kristi and Ashley took my "Dreamworks" class about eight years ago. Ashley is also a sculptor. When my last book of poems came out, she made a "magic box" for me, a la Joseph Cornell, to celebrate. It sits on my desk and gleams with mystery, laughter, sorcery (it has a little bejeweled moose inside the glass cover).
Kristi has a new first book of poems out, REALM SIXTY-FOUR, Ahsahta Press. We'll celebrate with a champagne brunch at Calhoun's on Kingston Pike, where Chad Barger is the manager. Chad was a former undergraduate of mine, and he always gives us special attention (and sometimes free dessert!) This is family--the writing family, the dreaming family, kin.
I've been teaching poetry since 1970. Andy Brumer, who was in my first class at Rugters/Livingston College, wrote the preface to my new book of poems, PACKING LIGHT! Andy was a pro golfer, who became interested in poetry in my "Poetry and Magic" class. Now he writes regularly, and has published a book with U of Nebraska, THE POETICS OF GOLF!
Matt Urmy, a multi-talented musician and poet, took "Dreamworks" with me some years ago. He recently interviewed me for PUBLIC REPUBLIC, and opened that beautiful new door for me.
Teaching continues to pay me back in so many unexpected ways.
Causes Marilyn Kallet Supports
Southern Poverty Law Center, US Holocaust Memorial Museum, ACLU, Amnesty International, Save Darfur.