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Notebook

Jacquard

It’s the celebration of my grandparents wedding anniversary in 1960. My mother sits across from me at the long table in the restaurant. Her face is half turned away and she is smiling. Her ears are bare but there’s a single rhinestone strand around her neck. The emerald engagement ring she always wears, matches her […]

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Re-inventing Marilyn

Ever since I first wrote about Marilyn Monroe in a series of poems set to jazz for the BBC in the late 1980’s, the subject of  her life and work have kept connecting and re-connecting to mine. I’m at work, these days, on a libretto for an opera based on some of the Marilyn poems; […]

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Research and Memory (2): a small project in recollection

When you entered the house where I wrote at the kitchen table while small black mice scrabbled over the floor and flowed in and out of the garbage, you’d see immediately in front of you, suspended over the staircase to the second floor, a tennis ball on a long string.  This was for Jed, a […]

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Research and Memory(1): a small project in recollection

Photo by Kate Williams  I’ve fallen into the habit, when I travel and research, of taking photographs of the rooms I stay in. I like the stories they tell me—tales I will likely never get around to writing—and the objects in these rooms bring back time and place for me in a way nothing else […]

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New Year Poem

Once upon a night      not long ago The moon flew     backwards against the clouds And the trees startled    twisting their antlers Silence lengthened      like a thread drawn From a white dress So slowly you     could not see its colour The ivy stopped its climb     Snowflakes Trembled       and did not land We waited at the foot […]

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Creative Writing in What It Takes To Be Human

When I understood that my main character, Sandy Grey, the protagonist of What It Takes To Be Human (which takes place during World War II) was going to have to learn to write during his incarceration in an asylum for the criminally insane, I began thinking of how he would go about it. As far […]

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Present-Present, The Slipperiness of Time;

Or Becoming a Bird–the Work of P.K. Page: A Few Personal Notes The young Cree and Shoshone poet, Sarain Stump, who drowned in Mexico in 1975, made his home in Eden Valley, not far from where P.K. grew up in Calgary, Alberta. So perhaps it isn’t as unlikely, as it may first appear, that the […]

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Shirts: or Notes for the Rotary

Bob Clark, when he invited me to speak to you, suggested that I might talk about ‘how I got to where I am today’—a daunting impossible subject, I thought, since I’ve been writing for a very long time. And ‘where I am’—which is really, ‘where am I?’ is one of those questions as complex as […]

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The Technician in the Box

Writers Discuss an Odd Encounter with Technology by Marilyn Bowering with Merna Summers, Audrey Thomas, Jo Ellen Bogart, Candas Jane Dorsey and Karleen Bradford 1. If anyone knows Audrey Thomas’ email address could you please send it to me? A computer fatality meant the loss of my addresses. Oddly, a technician, who signed himself Dante, […]

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Personal Magnetism

The story goes that an iron stone had sat on a hill at “Iron Creek” Alberta from time immemorial. As long as it was left there, the local Cree and Blackfoot nations prospered. Hunters placed offerings of beads and knifes at its foot before they set out, and shamans brought patients to it to benefit […]

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