Cathy Carter invited me to read a poem from my book and chat about National Poetry Month last week, on a spot called “Arts Playlist” that aired last weekend. The longer version of the interview is archived here for online listening.
Carter is a station host and manager at WDDE 91.1, Delaware’s NPR news and public media station in Dover. I read “History Textbook, America” to fulfill her request for a short poem.
“History Textbook, America” is a poem about my father, or more accurately, about knowing little about my father, Jesus Maglanoc Balingit. Next to nothing. It’s a poem about how huge the world grows when you open yourself to Why’s paths, to wandering and wondering. As an writer I enjoy, finally, the mystery of my father. I can commemorate his mystery rather than mourn not knowing him well. In poetry, I can accept having little to go on …
The Brandywine Hundred Writers Conference will be held on Saturday September 13th from 10:00am to 4:00pm at the Brandywine Library in Wilmington, Delaware. The conference offers six workshops on the craft and business of writing.
Join us for a day of workshops and discussions for writers of all levels and genres with activities designed to encourage and inspire you to write. Get down on paper that story, that memory, that vision you want to share. Lunch will be provided. While attendance is free, registration is required. This day of workshops and discussion for writers is spearheaded by Jamie J. Brunson, coordinator of The Wright Touch writers’ group which meets monthly at the library. Brunson is also executive director of First Person Arts in Philadelphia. This conference is generously supported by the Brandywine Library staff, New Castle County Libraries, the Delaware Division of the Arts and the Friends of the Brandywine …
On the first Mother’s Day I have spent alone in some 30 years of mothering, I took a long morning walk to the spring-fed turquoise waters of Calanques de Cassis.
then spent several hours writing. Mes enfants me manquent, I miss my kids, my mind and my body whispered. So I replied, “Yes. But I adore being alone in this quiet fishing village, in residence with myself.”
Life at The Camargo Foundation was above all quite and private: womblike. A week into my month-long Bread Loaf Bakeless Camargo Residency, I wrote on being away by myself in a beautiful place–a Mother’s Day article for my local newspaper, where I write an occasional column “On Poetry.”
In the article, I included two poems that speak from a mother’s perspective, one by Camargo fellow Bonnie Bolling, who has four boys; and the other poem about having breakfast en plein air …
celebrates the house of our longings, our memory and our hopes. That house is filled
with real people, imperfect, living among frogs, herons, and muskrats, watching the moon and stars, not for a sign, but as emblems of what we are: watchers together. The poems are taut, poignant with love, the raw trouble of love and of families. They go unflinchingly into the hollows and find all the light that’s filtering in. —Fleda Brown, author of No Need of Sympathy
Words for House Story featured in Best Books of 2015 at Beltway Poetry
as a Best-Dressed book at The WARDROBE
read more poems The Swing
The Blue Spotted Salamander
Your Heart and How It Works
Death among the Thistles
—wood engraving by Leonard Baskin
Out here in this leggy light
Can I know my father in retrospect? Can I know my father by making up his life?
I need time to think about this question, with my pen in my hand. I am looking forward, with gratitude, to a November residency at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts that will give me time to dream my father. I am happy that the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation believes in my work enough to fund this upcoming retreat with a 2012 Creative Fellowship. The VCCA and the MAAF are valued partners in the arts here. Writers & painters & sculptors & musicians & activists I have met during previous stays at VCCA, many from the Mid Atlantic states, have become friends, collaborators and precious models for me as I pursue my writer’s life.
My father is dead and his presence haunts me. I have been doing research to learn something about …