Creating connections through the arts and across cultures

Tag Archive for ‘Writing Matters’

Writing Embroidery: Skeins of Thought

Writing is an effort of untangling the skeins of thought. Rather than rolling them up in a ball, all neat and tidy, the writer finds plain cloth to embroider them. With each strand of thought stitching through the other the writer makes a new design. My sister and I embroidered in the back seat of […]

Hardtimes Lessons: “Moonlighting,” story and poem by William T. Dawson

William T. Dawson’s poem “Moonlighting” is a poem of an event from the 1980s (when some of us remember the recession). Dawson’s poem speaks to our times as hard times cycle back around. I asked William to tell us a bit about the context surrounding writing his poem. This is what he said: I write […]

“Memorial Day”—poem by Phillip Dodds

My cousin (on my father’s side…Aunt Eleanor’s oldest child of seven children) Phillip Dodds served in the Air Force from November, 1958 to November, 1966 on three bases: Lackland Air Force Base in Texas; Keesler Air Force base in Mississippi; and Eglin Air Force base in Florida. Phillip did not experience the combat experience or […]

Heart Talk—poem duet by Grace Madison & Ernest Dempsey

“Deep listening from the heart is one half of true communication. Speaking from the heart is the other half.” —Sara Paddison, author Hidden Power of the Heart When I sent this quotation to my friend Grace Madison (she is the mother of Curt Madison, one of my high school chums who know bases in Alaska), […]

St. Louis Poet Karen Smead Mondale: “He would tell you he never was an artist.”

I first met KAREN SMEAD MONDALE, long-time community activist and retired educator, last fall at a Duff’s River Styx poetry reading. She read at Duff’s this week as part of Loosely Identified, a St. Louis women’s poetry workshop, while I was on my Nashville audiobook recording trip, so I missed that treat. Karen Mondale at […]

Mara Purl: Koto at Lincoln Center then twirls to “Child Secrets” awards upon return home

Mara Purl, a colleague from Women Writing the West, knows the challenges and advantages of being multi-faceted in our artistic work. Mara says she’s a “hyphenate” (how cross-genre folks are designated in Hollywood.) She refers to her web site as “an eco-system with interconnecting gardens” and you’ll be amazed at the multi-talent you’ll find there. […]

Barry Yelton’s “In That Peculiar Space”: A Poet, dreams of infinity, a small star, butterfly, pond

Barry Yelton and I met through the Independent Authors Guild. Barry is the author of Scarecrow in Gray, A Civil War Novel. Barry is also a marvelous poet, so far assembling around fifty poems towards a chapbook titled: “On Wings of Gentle Power,” a line from one of the poems, referring to the spiritual boyancy […]

Smith Magazine’s Six-word Memoir Project (as heard on NPR)…and now…Story Circle Network Podcast

Six-word memoir was hot this year. And, it’s fun as well. Some time back I phoned in my 6-word memoir: Country girl roamed. Home grazing sweetest. and my 6-word description of “Sightlines: A Poet’s Diary” A downhome family lovestory beyond death. for the May Story Circle Network Podcast. Frankly, I’d forgotten all about it. Then, […]

“Tunanortsa”—poetry call for Clive Matson’s “Crazy Child Scribbler”

Hello poets! May Garsson ( is collecting submissions for Clive Matson’s publication Crazy Child Scribbler using a new form called “tuanortsa” (astronaut spelled backward). This is a simple form, a poetic palindrome that reads more or less the same from top to bottom as from bottom to top. Here’s an example May gives (taken from […]

What Use Is the Poet? William T. Dawson’s “Snow Blindness”

The Poet gropes in the darkness for the switch knowing that the light that is sought lies within. –William T. Dawson I met William Dawson when I told a story at last year’s Sunflower Festival in Mountainaire, New Mexico. We shared supper on his simple terrace as we gazed across the desert leading up to […]