Writers I Want To Kiss on the Face(book)

Karissa Morton’s blog on how we should support one another hits home with me. She writes:
It doesn’t take much to open someone’s link & read a poem he or she is proud of. It takes even less to click “like” or make a congratulatory comment, to metaphorically say, “Hey, I see your achievement in this tough, competitive world!” If we’re really a community, let’s engage like one.

Karissa Morton Carter


“We have all known the long loneliness and

we have learned that the only solution is love and

that love comes with community.”  Dorothy Day


On last count, Rebecca Makkai’s Ploughshares column, “Writers You Want To Punch in the Face(book),” has been shared almost a dozen times on my Facebook newsfeed today.  I have to wonder why.  Are we really all that passive aggressive?  Each time someone posted it, I couldn’t help but wonder who they were silently jabbing at.  (I can guarantee they each had at least one person in mind when they hit “share”—otherwise why share it if they hadn’t seen it themselves?)

In the column, Makkai invents a hypothetical writer, Todd Manly-Krauss.  Our dear Todd is described as a “good enough guy in real life,” but his Facebook presence is depicted as insufferable.  He’s the guy who claims to be “so…

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Living Life to the Max

MAXINE KUMIN, 1925-2014

Seven Poets Laureate in Washington: Mark Strand, Charles Simic, Kay Ryan, Maxine Kumin, Daniel Hoffman, Rita Dove, Billy Collins

Seven Poets Laureate in Washington, Oct. 2010: Mark Strand, Charles Simic,         Kay Ryan, Maxine Kumin, Daniel Hoffman, Rita Dove, Billy Collins

Maxine Kumin relished her role as the first politically active female Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress, the position now known as Poet Laureate.  She was the last laureate to move to Washington, yet she was there only one year; her outspokenness and political activism were probably the reason she was not asked by then Librarian of Congress, Daniel J. Boorstin, to stay for a second year as is the custom.  Equestrian, gardener, scholar, professor, critic, novelist, essayist, memoirist, author of children’s books, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, and activist for women writers, human and political justice and animal rights, Maxine boldly jumped the fences built around women and showed us what a woman untethered can do. Married to chemist and engineer Victor Kumin, who helped invent the Atomic Bomb (and who later refused to continue his work after the bomb was dropped on Nagasaki) for nearly 68 years and the mother of three, Maxine proved with the fiery determination with which she lived her life that, yes, a woman can have it all.

More on MAXINE KUMIN’s year in Washington.