Who will make Your long bed, Smooth your grass quilt,…
From this vantage point, the ten-year silence in my writing life, from my mid-twenties until my mid-thirties, no longer seems particularly important. Or rather, it seems as if it should not be. I am in my late fifties. I have been writing again for longer than I stopped, for longer than what I’ve called my first writing life, which began in my early teens and ended with that silence. Since age thirty-five, I have published six books of poems, have poetry and prose in several journals, written and performed a one-woman play, carved out a meager living as a creative writing teacher, and earned an MFA. But I cannot write about this abundance without addressing the silence, the negative space in my life with words.
I began writing poetry when so many girls begin, at age thirteen when there is simply nothing else to do with all of that. When I was not writing, I was crying, though nothing in particular was wrong, then, in my life. I oozed adolescent angst. It had to go somewhere; it might as well be on the page.
Do I exaggerate? Of course I exaggerate. I was thirteen.
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