where the writers are

Marilyn Kallet's Blog

RSSSyndicate content
Nov.28.2010
First she thought she'd pick the one named Bette Davis by the shelter staff, all gold fur and green eyes, coy, gorgeous, a fluffer. But when she returned to the shelter, one smaller cat grew brave for second, walked over, looked into her eyes.  Her boyfriend said, "This one really needs a home...
Continue Reading »
Nov.23.2010
I'm thankful for a life in words, for every poem that has sustained me, for every teacher who loved language and savored the sound of words.  I'm thankful for my disfunctional family of origin that has given me so many poems!  For my sister, who is also a poet, praise be!  For my sister, Elaine...
Continue Reading »
Nov.05.2010
      I’m sixty-three years’ old and I just got hit on by a school bus full of teenage boys at a red light.  They smiled, waved, hooted, motioned for me to roll down my window.  One of them shouted that he needed experience!   Now, these kids might have come on to Aunt Bea from Mayberry, but I...
Continue Reading » 2 comments
Nov.04.2010
Went out this morning to take photographs of a rental house for our Visiting Poet, Pamela Uschuk.  A cute house on Sutherland with lots going for it--including a back yard that's like a park.  The landlord is clean cut and friendly, and tells me that his sister's a poet.  What's her name?  Diana...
Continue Reading »
Oct.29.2010
Why France?  All those frenzied people in the streets, protesting the loss of two years' retirement benefits, all those threats from Bin Laden--what else?  O yes, that volcano last summer (Really?  A volcano?  Yup, in Iceland, remember--it trashed air itineraries for a month)  Why the hell would...
Continue Reading »
Oct.17.2010
Marge Piercy's first event, a reading at Temple Beth El on ritual and remembrance, was amazing!  Her work had an oracular force and grace to it, as if a larger breath had surged through her own individual breathing.  The work was incantatory, wise, sometimes funny, but mostly--large.  Her phrasing...
Continue Reading »
Oct.17.2010
Tonight marks the start of Marge Piercy's residency in Knoxville.  She's here on an intercultural grant--which would be funny if it weren't sad.  Her poems on Jewish identity helped us to secure the grant.  Jews are in a minority in Knoxville, and can still be a curiosity.  And there's still a...
Continue Reading »
Sep.27.2010
Over the thirty some years I've been hosting visiting writers, there have been a few who have stood out as difficult divas (I'm including men here, too).  These are the ones who say things to the students such as, "I'm a famous writer.  Why aren't you asking me questions?" And, "That...
Continue Reading » 3 comments
Sep.20.2010
I'll be doing a poetry reading and workshop this Saturday at our local independent bookstore, Carpe Librum.  I'm billing this as a wine-tasting also, to bring in a few people who might not otherwise dare to come out and play.   I know lots of  my poems by heart, but need to refresh and learn a few...
Continue Reading »
Sep.01.2010
The last day of summer is the day school starts--whatever that day is.  When we writer-teachers walk into the university, into the expectations of others, into the hungry and beautiful artistic lives of our students, our own writing begins to recede.  There's a clanging sound in the far background...
Continue Reading »
Aug.27.2010
In his letter to his brother, John Keats spoke of Shakespere's genius as being one demonstrating "Negative Capability," the ability to "live in mystery, without irritable reaching after fact..."   The creative writing teacher needs to demonstrate this quality of being a...
Continue Reading » 2 comments
Aug.09.2010
School's about to start up again and I've requested a meeting with new and seasoned graduate students in creative writing at the University of Tennessee.  I'll offer precise advice on how to apply for travel and summer funding, and for book subsidies. But more than that, I'll make a few remarks on...
Continue Reading » 10 comments
Jul.24.2010
I've revisited my introduction to the new book of translations, The BIg Game, by Surrealist Benjamin Péret--for hours a day over the last 30 days.  I keep adding, tightening, rereading from the point of view of an American reader whose first encounter with Monsieur Péret might be my intro.  I could...
Continue Reading » 2 comments
Jul.21.2010
The first poem here covers air, earth, and fire; the second dreams of fire  found deep within, creative fire.  No one is burned.   Fireflies     In the dry summer field at nightfall, fireflies rise like sparks. Imagine the presence of ghosts flickering, the ghosts of young friends, your...
Continue Reading »
Jul.05.2010
The older I get, the less tolerance I seem to have for the nightly schoozing at the large artist colony.  In the past I've met some of my very best friends at these colonies, and some of my poems have been set to music by composers I've met at artist colonies.  I seem to thrive at the smaller...
Continue Reading »