Category: Poetry

  • Greenwriting on the Skarpa

    Greenwriting on the Skarpa

    My Afterword to Katy Bentall’s Greenwriting, published by (and available for purchase from) the estimable Bored Wolves Press, Krakow. It’s dark when we arrive at Katy’s house in the Polish countryside, early fall, 2019.  My friend and I, both road-weary, climb a flight of wooden stairs to retire. My friend installs herself in the bedroom […]

  • The Verb To Inquire

    The Verb To Inquire

    Every Friday afternoon, I have been tutoring a fourth grader named Delilah, whom I view through a screen on Zoom. During the pandemic, Delilah’s school is the bedroom she shares with her two brothers. Her desk is her bunk bed.  The family rarely goes out. Her mother quit her job to monitor the three kids’ […]

  • The Collaborative Skein: A Conversation

    The Collaborative Skein: A Conversation

    The poet Piotr Florczyk just published a remarkable collections of poems, From the Annals of Krakow, based on testimonies from Jewish survivors from his home town, Krakow, in the Shoah Archive at USC, where he Piotr did a residency. This conversation between the two of us, about Piotr’s book, about the forthcoming Polish edition of  […]

  • A Translator Remains Faithful

    As a tribute to my dear colleague Michael Henry Heim, I post an article I wrote about him for the Los Angeles Times, which appeared 10 years ago to the day of his passing on Sept 30, 2012. Michael was a world-renowned translator, a passionate advocate for literature, an inspired teacher, and a generous friend […]

  • My English Teacher: Lorraine Schulmeister (1918-2012), In Memoriam

    (This piece is part of an ongoing series of writers’ profiles of influential teachers published July 10, 2012 in the Los Angeles Review of Books.) An autumn afternoon on the sunny Great Lawn at Westlake School for Girls. Lorraine Schulmeister, my English teacher, and I read aloud from Emily Dickinson: “I dared not meet the […]

  • Woke Into Heron

    (heron dream drawing by Beth Thielen, c. 2012) Matilija poppies are blooming along the L.A. River… bright yellow and white, like fried eggs. I’m grateful to have an hour to ride my bike in what’s left of the morning overcast, to let my thoughts whir with my wheels while I inhale the unique salvia-sewage tang […]

  • After Pina (for Wim Wenders)

    Balancing branches on his shoulders, a man stacking chairs, three stories high. Slide on water, swim for your life. Leap for joy, generosity. Sacrifice. Why this yearning? I wanted to give her lightness. I forgot I was shy. My fragility was my strength. She told me to dance for love. He wears demon ears, sits […]

  • Yizkor Bucher (The Glatstein Chronicles)

    [published in the Los Angeles Review of Books] 27th Jun 2011 Louise Steinman Jacob Glatstein The Glatstein Chronicles Translated by Maier Deshell and Norbert Guterman Edited by Ruth R. Wisse Yale University Press, November 2010. 432 pp. On my trip to Poland this past winter, I brought the perfect book as my traveling companion. The […]