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Poetry Friday: “Walking on Water in Venice”

By Jean JanzenOctober 19, 2018

Anyone who’s visited a city far from daily familiars—surrounded by new language, customs, landscapes, and cuisine—knows how the senses seem on high alert, including our acknowledgment that we inhabit a physical body attempting to maneuver all of the above with grace and even confidence. Here, Jean Janzen’s speaker revisits a romanticized location known for its…

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Villanelles on Planes

By Tania RunyanApril 4, 2018

I took several short flights this month, the kind in which going through security takes longer than the flight itself and you wonder if you should have just driven. But what you can’t do behind the wheel, if you want to get to your destination intact, is write poetry. I challenged myself to write a…

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My Last Resort

By EDDecember 21, 2017

I’m at the beach with my husband, wining and dining on the company dime for a business meeting he has to attend, which can feel like icing on a cardboard cake for all the travel he has to do without me. I don’t vacation well. I’ve never enjoyed packing, sleeping in beds not my own,…

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Poetry Friday: “After”

By Marjorie StelmachSeptember 30, 2016

Grief is a state of being that almost defies articulation. When you’re in it, it consumes and seems present in everything. Marjorie Stelmach focuses the lens of this poem on small scenes from the natural world—frames at once ordinary and suffused with loss, as befits the claustrophobia of mourning. The speaker here admits to wanting…

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Knee Walk

By Grace TalusanJune 21, 2016

We stumbled onto the bus in Lisbon, sleepy after the overnight flight from New York. The pilgrimage tour guide handed out rosaries while the priest told the bus driver to play a recording of the rosary prayers on the sound system. I fingered the pink beads, following along with the Hail Marys and Our Fathers.…

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The Cave of My Imagination

By Jason K. FriedmanApril 25, 2016

Ma’arat Ha-machpelah, the alliterative name sounded as magical to me as the lives of the people buried there: Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob and Leah. I learned about the so-called Cave of the Patriarchs, Judaism’s most ancient site, in Hebrew day school, and I still remembered the Hebrew name when I went to…

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Brush with a Famous Writer

By Ann ConwayOctober 8, 2015

I was walking down a concourse in the Philly airport when I looked up to see the Famous Writer staring down at me. Actually at first glance I was sure I was looking at the British actor, Bill Nighy. But it was not. It was him, a well-known literary writer who had moved to Maine…

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Airbnb and the Art of Hospitality

By Sara ZarrJuly 13, 2015

Though Airbnb is born of modern times and technology, it almost seems a throwback to the art of innkeeping in much earlier eras when for a reasonable fee people opened up extra space in their homes, however humble, to strangers. And to me it’s somewhat remarkable in our suspicious age that people would do this. Hosts are making themselves and their things vulnerable by leaving their homes and appliances and personal belongings in the hands of unsupervised strangers. Guests are trusting that the space will be as advertised, and relying on the hosts for good information and functional plumbing.

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The Bearable Weightiness of Being

By Amy PetersonJuly 6, 2015

I was restless this spring, edging manic. I think my kids noticed. One Thursday I checked them out of school for an impromptu road trip.

“Isn’t this fun?” I asked. If this were a novel I’d say my eyes were glittering, but this is not fiction: I have no idea how wild-eyed I was.

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Telemachus to Penelope

By Bradford WintersNovember 24, 2010

Year after year my mother’s birthday coincides with Thanksgiving, falling just before, after, or right on the holiday. And though it would be ridiculous to ascribe anything but chance to the calendrical synchronicity, there is something so fitting about this timing—what better time for family and friends to give thanks for a woman whose life…

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