On Writing:

Column: On Poetry

Performing poetry: Ode to the spoken word. The News Journal, April 26, 2015. As Delaware’s 2015 Poetry Out Loud state champion, Hannah Sturgis of POLYTECH High School in Woodside gets ready to compete on the national stage April 28 in Washington, DC.  With “The Applicant” by Sylvia Plath and ‘Snake Oil, Snake Bite” by Dilruba Ahmed, two poems Hannah will recite.

Delaware winners: Young poets tell the world how it feels. The News Journal, April 19, 2015. Poems by Delaware students who brought home national medals in the 2015 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards national contest: Katie Houser, 17, “(Viet)nam;” Emily Lugg, 13, “Dictionary Says;” and Kyna Smith, 16, “Blue October.”

Hip Hop influenced poems continue tradition of revolution. The News Journal, April 12, 2015. A preview of the anthology “The Breakbeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip Hop” (Haymarket, 2015), along with “Guilt” by University of Delaware senior, Gemelle John; and “Genesissy” by award-winning poet Danez Smith, author of [Insert] Boy (YesYes Books, 2014).

Teachers rely on memories to help students write poems. The News Journal, April 5, 2015. On teaching poetry to children: how to share your love of favorite poems. With “Still Life with Heart Extracted from the Body of a Horse” by Matthew Olzmann, award-winning poet from Detroit, sharing his classroom experience.

The language of home: poets mine their childhoods. The News Journal, April 3, 2015. Notes on the house of memory, and poems by Lucian Mattison, 2014 Dogfish Head Poetry Prize recipient for Peregrine Nation (Broadkill River Press) and Linda Blaskey, “Looking West toward the Ozarks” from Best New Poets 2014 (Samovar/Univ. of Virginia Press).


  • Poems about Fathers continue to enchant meThe News Journal, June 15, 2014. Perusing  poems about fathers for Father’s Day, and thinking about my dad’s wingtips. With poems  “Fatherhood” and “Goodnight Moon” by James Arthur. “Fatherhood” is from Arthur’s debut collection, Charms Against Lightning (Copper Canyon, 2012).
  • There’s Always a Poem to Finish,” The News Journal, April 20, 2014. DDoA Individual Fellow in Poetry, Jane Miller, talks about her experience at Cape Henlopen Writing Retreat. Poems by 2012 retreat participants Miller, Kit Zac & Maria Masington. Link to the 2014 application.
  • Scholastic National Medalists from Delaware,” The News Journal, April 13, 2014. Adults need to make sure the conversation about creativity and education stays active. “A Lesson On Astronomy” by Kyna Smith, grade 10.
  • Writers gather on 2nd Saturdays,” The News Journal, April 6, 2014. After 30 years and many locations, poets still gather every 2nd Saturday, now in a Wilmington tavern. “Petition” by 2nd Saturday guest reader, Ellen Steinbaum.
  • Mark the shift in seasons,” The News Journal, March 30, 2014. Observations on the coming of spring . . . finally, right? Includes two poems to wake you up by poet Tanya Olson from her first book, Boyishly.



  • A Never-ending To Do List,” The News Journal, April 29, 2012. “Theory of Incompletion” by Mark Doty, with 1001 things to do before you die. . .
  • Laws of Bedtime and Beartime,” The News Journal, April 1, 2012. “Learning in the First Grade” by Jane Kenyon, and childhood poetics.





  • “Jane Bowles on Tangier: A Source of Endless Pleasure,” (Mirrors on the Maghrib: Critical Reflections on Paul and Jane Bowles, Caravan Books, 1996).
  • Ralph Cheever Dunning” and “Solita Solano,”(Dictionary of Literary Biography: Americans in Paris 1920-1939, Thompson Gale, 1980, 2005-2006).


  • “Elvis is Back: Fleda Brown’s The Women Who Loved Elvis All Their Lives,” Delaware Today, November 2004