How to find your voice

And there was a new voice which you slowly recognized as your own.” — Mary Oliver In my workshops for new writers, we often discuss the importance of finding or developing a “voice.” As William Zinsser points out, it’s as simple (or as difficult) as this: Your voice is who you are. Early on, most […]

Feeling the fall

There is no season when such pleasant and sunny spots may be lighted on, and produce so pleasant an effect on the feelings, as now in October.” –Nathaniel Hawthorne  Maybe it’s a symptom of middle age, or maybe it’s just my old Celtic soul stirring up a seasonal memory. Either way, late October always tugs on […]

Remembering Margo LaGattuta

My eyes like old glass windows, dusted with lost days, are ready to hold the new light.” — Margo LaGattuta, from “Pretending to Be a Barn” I found the e-mail from another writer-friend early this morning. It wasn’t unexpected, though I’d learned only two days ago that Margo LaGattuta was suddenly terminally ill. “Margo died […]

Art and soul

The eye is meant to see things. The soul is here for its own joy.” –Rumi For collectors of inspirational quotes, the ecstatic poems of the Persian mystic Rumi are pure gold. I find most of my favorites in one of the finest anthologies of Rumi’s work, The Soul of Rumi, translated by the incredible […]

A favorite love poem

Then all the moments of the past began to line up behind that moment.” — Billy Collins One of the things I admire most about poet Billy Collins is the way he mines the ordinary for beauty, then renders a moment of art. In “This Much I Do Remember,” he recalls a tender moment that […]

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