Not Far from the Tree

trees and palmettos“Adoptees all over the world live under the same curse: their bad qualities and behaviors get attributed to their birth-family genetics, and their good qualities and behaviors get attributed to the environment created by their adoptive parents.” A rant about class prejudice and misogyny in the adoption industry on Medium.

Poet of the Month for May

Michele September 2013Four poems and a statement of poetics are up at Terri Witek’s Poet of the Month site.

How do poems happen?  These are some of the thoughts from my statement:

My poems rarely end up as they began.  Once the idea is present, then my brain tries to push forward to the idea’s truth and form.  This is hard to describe; it’s like the real poem is about twenty feet in front of me and I’m straining to see it.  I love the feeling of being in revision, but it can be interrupted, even for years.  For example, I began writing a poem when I was in my thirties, imagining the freedom of being post-menopausal.  It was a very long poem.  Fifteen years later (and post-menopausal!), it became a sonnet titled “At Last.”

“At Last,” by the way, was published in this issue of Per ContraI often perform it at readings because it has some sly puns that make the audience laugh.

Review of Sandra Lambert’s THE RIVER’S MEMORY

The River's Memory - Cover

Check out my review of one of 2014’s best novels, The River’s Memory by Sandra Gail Lambert.

Excerpt:  The book is radical in both form and content, only in part because disdain for politics, and for politic behavior, is a characteristic that many of the novel’s women share. Although a historical novel, this is most emphatically not a family saga. None of Lambert’s main characters are weighed down with children, and so the conflicts they face are not about how to survive, or whether to reckon with their own deviance. They see themselves as outside of such concerns. Instead of human error or betrayal leaving indelible marks on generations, it is the land and water, the plants and the animals, that leave their mark.