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Posts Tagged ‘Allison Backous Troy’

My Own “Rex Manning Day”

By Allison Backous TroyOctober 3, 2011

After my parents’ divorce, my mother moved us kids to a trailer on the northeast side of town. It was long and narrow, like a ship’s galley, and the wallpaper’s thin brown stripes seemed to carve themselves into the drywall. The trailer never felt like home, never felt like a place you could settle. We…

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A Heart in Two Places

By Allison Backous TroySeptember 24, 2011

The grid is the plan above the earth. It is a compass of possibilities. —D.J. Waldie, Holy Land During the time I spent completing my MFA, I worked for months on a single essay about the south suburbs of Chicago, where I spent my youth and young adulthood. I had just moved to Michigan, and…

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The Work is Calling

By Allison Backous TroySeptember 13, 2011

“It was only love we were looking for….” —Patty Griffin Part of my task at Good Letters, for myself, is to work on my first book. With the ways that daily life squashes my writing time, I’m trying to see these posts as ways into my memoir. The book that I’ve wanted to write, and…

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A Heart in Two Places

By Allison Backous TroyAugust 24, 2011

The grid is the plan above the earth. It is a compass of possibilities. —D.J. Waldie, Holy Land During the time I spent completing my MFA, I worked for months on a single essay about the south suburbs of Chicago, where I spent my youth and young adulthood. I had just moved to Michigan, and…

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Cancer and the Cloud of Witnesses

By Allison Backous TroyAugust 4, 2011

As I type this, the band-aid on my back is sliding off, the Vaseline from the dermatology office a slick, clear ooze spread below my shoulder blades. I had to get a mole removed, and the daily care the resulting wound requires is both minimal and difficult: I’m having a hard time reaching my arms…

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A Conversion Story

By Allison Backous TroyJuly 14, 2011

The word “conversion” reminds me of Anne Lamott, whose own Damascus Road story is one that I love telling my students: Lamott recalls the fevered days after an abortion when, drunk and spotting blood, she noticed a stray cat sitting at her doorstep. The cat followed Lamott everywhere, down the street and to the liquor…

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Joining the Dance

By Allison Backous TroyJune 23, 2011

Having thought, for many years, that I’d spend my life aching for what I’m about to say, it feels strange to write these words down. But I’ve spent the past five months knowing it, knowing it to my bones. I am in love. And there aren’t enough poems or pop songs to capture what I…

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The Inscape of Grief

By Allison Backous TroyMay 27, 2011

Are your fingers long enough to play Old keys that are but echoes: Is the silence strong enough To carry back the music to its source And back to you again As though to her? —Hart Crane, “My Grandmother’s Love Letters” Last Wednesday, my grandmother, my father’s mother, died. She had been fighting lung cancer…

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Buddy and Me

By Allison Backous TroyApril 20, 2011

As I write, my dog Buddy is nestled next to me, wrapped in an afghan, asleep. It is a rare moment, this silence, the sweetness of my dog sleeping next to me, his quiet breath punctuating the air. I don’t know how to write about a dog without sounding dorky or mushy, but I know…

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Blessing the Past

By Allison Backous TroyFebruary 17, 2011

Memory makes it possible for us both to bless the past, even those parts of it that we have always felt cursed by, and also to be blessed by it. —Frederick Buechner Lately, I’ve been thinking about blessing, mostly due to Tony Woodlief’s beautiful blog post earlier this month. “I pay attention to how blessings…

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