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Marilyn Kallet's Blog

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Mar.05.2010
I'm off tomorrow for Chapel Hill, to be the first poet in residence at Cassilaus, a modern house that would make Frank Lloyd Wright envious.   I saw this article in the New York Times, emailed the filmmaker who is one of the partners, and asked if they would like to have a poet.   On Location - A...
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Mar.03.2010
I have written about teaching and breaking boundaries, have spoken about the risks a teacher faces whenever she crosses the line even in small ways.    And yet, I find myself facing the same challenges.   When I hire students to teach for the university, at the Young Writers' Institute, when I take...
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Feb.27.2010
My good friend Kali gave me an extraordinary gift.   She set up a fan page for me on Facebook.   And right away, former students of mine connected--I was so happy to find people I thought I'd lost.  And even happier to learn that they are still writing!    And touched that my adult daughter is a...
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Feb.15.2010
Lucille Clifton passed away on Saturday, February 13th.  She had suffered from congestive heart failure for years, and had struggled with other ailments. She was my teacher several times at Squaw Valley, and I regularly teach her book, Blessing the Boats.  She was large in spirit and in body--she...
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Feb.07.2010
Often my dreamwork students record dreams involving babies.   Frequently the dreamer is careless with the baby, letting it starve or die of neglect, treating it absent-mindedly. Once we begin to practice active imagination, Jung's technique for dreaming further and letting the dreams inform the...
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Feb.06.2010
Poet Lucy Sieger arrives in Auvillar
I won't swear to it, but this may be my last time teaching the poetry writing workshop in Auvillar, France, under the auspices of the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.   I love the village and its people, the wine, the food, the Garonne River.  The place has given me a book of poems, and then...
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Feb.03.2010
Spent several hours trying not to crawl at the the cockroach party this afternoon.   They called it an English Department meeting, but we all knew what it was.  The head roach led us in some feeler-twitching to celebrate the excellent ways in which we are all coping with the budget cuts: bigger...
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Jan.22.2010
In Dreamworks on Thursday, we read student poems, and after about an hour of discussion, I sensed it was time for a change of pace and tone.   One of the dreams presented the dreamer as quietly and calmly letting someone shoot her dead.  Not an optimal ending!  The affect in the dream was flat,...
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Jan.19.2010
This is my 25th year of teaching Dreamworks--writing poetry from dreams--at the University of Tennessee, and I'm still amazed by the quality of the work.  More than the "regular" writing workshops, the poems spurred by dreams tend to be wilder, more inventive, and to have mythic tinges...
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Jan.18.2010
Here's your chance to write in France, in a little jewel of a village.  (Did you see Chocolat with Johnny Depp?  The village of Auvillar looks just like the movie.)  In fact, Auvillar is one of the "most beautiful villages in France."  The people are really kind and sweet, the food is...
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Jan.18.2010
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Here's your chance to write in France, in a little jewel of a village.  (Did you see Chocolat with Johnny Depp?  The village of Auvillar looks just like the movie.)  In fact, Auvillar is one of the "most beautiful villages in France."  The people are really kind and sweet, the food is...
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Jan.16.2010
Here's one that wants to be part of my Dante and Beatrice series.   I keep tinkering with the ending.  Are we there yet? Treachery   Beatrice never caught Dante with a blonde. No need, Dearie. The sky cat kept his boys in line.   If Dante drew near someone unbeatific, Whiskers cracked a steep...
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Jan.15.2010
     Here's another poem I return to, by Denise Levertov (may she rest in peace!)  Denise was born in England, self-taught, moved to the U.S. with her then husband Mitch Goodman, and studied with William Carlos Williams.   The poem takes a line from Psalms and makes it about the richness of life...
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Jan.14.2010
Here's a poem I return to all the time for its inner affirmations, its glow.  And it's about a radiant pig!   My students all have to memorize this one.   Better to have this meditation on one's lips than the negative mutterings that might take its place:  Look at the way it fans out on the page...
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Jan.13.2010
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There are too many to choose from!  Some of them I return to like prayers.   In fact, I've just been asked to offer the convocation prayer at the Martin Luther King commemoration at Knoxville College, and I have been meditating on appropriate poems.  (Today, at the interfaith prayer service, I read...
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