Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Well, a Google search for "bitextual" turns up several different types of entries, but what I mean by this word is an author who writes in more than one genre. I first heard it used this way by Chris Abani (poet and novelist). I don't know if he coined the phrase, but I think it's a great word and encourage writers to both use it, so that it will become more widely known, and practice it, because we can all benefit from literary cross-training.

Thinking about this made me wonder how many other writers I admire are bitextual. This is the short list I came up with so far:

Margaret Atwood, famous for her novels, also wrote many well done poems that are polished and mythic.

Vikram Seth, author of the epic A Suitable Boy, wrote a novel in verse that I recently picked up at a used book store (but I can't recall the title at the moment).

Jan Clausen, one of my advisors at Goddard, has written extensively in both poetry and fiction, and talked to me about how switching back and forth can feel freeing.

Maya Angelou, of course, has written a library of memoir and also several volumes of poetry.

I'm sure there are others who have been masters of more than one form... feel free to add to this list! Let's get bitextual...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Better When Broken

a fever
the waves
a seed casing
the mold
a pattern
bad habits
new ground
the fast
the seal
wedding glasses

I wrote this list poem after a discussion with my friend Bob led me to think about all the things that we break on purpose, even though "break" usually has a negative connotation. Leave me a comment if you can think of others.

Friday, November 7, 2008


They called it a landslide
but that's such a negative image.
I say it was a huge flock of birds
rising all together
into the morning sky.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Yay, Obama! Yay, America!

Oh, I am so happy. So relieved and hopeful and proud.

As Obama said in his speech last night:

This victory alone is not the change we seek. It is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were.

It can't happen without you, without a new spirit of service, a new spirit of sacrifice.

So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism, of responsibility, where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves but each other.

Read the full text of Obama's inspirational speech here.