What is the title of your class?
Travel Journal in Poems
People should take this class if…
They want to write in order to harvest indelible moments, treasure times of being lost, revisit magic places and characters, and savor enigmatic encounters from their journeys.
Can your students connect with you on social media? If so, how?
I have a website with a space for comments.
Are any of your works online and available to the public?
I have a short essay on a daily writing practice on the Powell’s Books website.
I talk about my father, the poet William Stafford’s, work ethic on OPB.
What’s your teaching philosophy?
My students are making writing, but my goal as teacher is to make writers: to establish habits of welcome, courage, and invention that will carry us all past ego and toward stories, poems, and songs that brim from within.
If you could have any famous actor read one of your pieces to you, who would it be and why?
I would have Eva Cassidy sing my poems.
What are you currently working on?
For twenty years I have been composing a novel called Affinities: “I am a plain woman; my beauty is what I see, and feel….”
What’s your favorite “rule” of writing to break in your own writing?
Know what you are trying to say.
What are you reading now? If you could pair it with a beverage (alcoholic or otherwise), what would you choose?
Maxim Gorky’s autobiography keeps calling me back: midnight, with an earthy tea.
If you trust your eye, the measure’s awry. Be closemouthed; it’s not the tongue built towns and cities, but the ruble and the hammer. You’re no Bashkirian or Kalmyk, whose only wealth is lice and sheep….”
[My grandfather] could go on like this all evening; I knew the words by heart. I liked the sound of them, but I was suspicious of their meaning. From what he said I concluded that there were two forces making life difficult: God and people.
Granny would be sitting at the window spinning thread for lace, the spindle humming in her dexterous fingers. After listening silently to grandfather’s words for a while, she would say, “Everything will turn out like the Mother of God wants it.”