m a r g i n a l i a

notes from a creative writing PhD candidate

jhumpa lahiri, “trading stories: notes from an apprenticeship”

Books, and the stories they contained, were the only things I felt I was able to possess as a child. Even then, the possession was not literal; my father is … Continue reading

May 29, 2014 · Leave a comment

three. more. days. | training for a (first!) half marathon

When there’s no more gas in the tank, seasoned marathoners say that repeating a mantra while running can keep you motivated.  Phrases like “One step at a time,” “Just keep going,” and … Continue reading

May 28, 2014 · Leave a comment

ernesto “che” guevara – excerpts on education & healthcare from “the motorcycle diaries”

“In the way I traveled, first as a student and afterward as a doctor, I began to come into close contact with poverty, with hunger, with disease, with the inability … Continue reading

May 22, 2014 · 2 Comments

love & death in the balkans: brkic’s “the stone fields”

“What is a moment of death compared to a lifetime of it?” Book Review: Courtney Angela Brkic’s The Stone Fields, 2005 The Stone Fields alternates between a chronological historical recounting of Brkic’s father’s family … Continue reading

May 21, 2014 · Leave a comment

frank o’hara, “to the harbormaster” (1957)

To the Harbormaster By Frank O’Hara I wanted to be sure to reach you; though my ship was on the way it got caught in some moorings. I am always … Continue reading

May 21, 2014 · Leave a comment

“meditations in an emergency” – frank o’hara

“I’ve got to get out of here.” Meditations in an Emergency Am I to become profligate as if I were a blonde? Or religious as if I were French? Each … Continue reading

May 19, 2014 · Leave a comment

sylvia plath’s “the rival”

We all know someone like this, don’t we?  Nailed it, Sylvia.   The Rival If the moon smiled, she would resemble you. You leave the same impression Of something beautiful, … Continue reading

May 19, 2014 · Leave a comment

a summer reading list

A book a week: that’s my summer reading goal.  A fast reader by nature, I can usually manage a few hundred pages a week; I read two hours a day on the … Continue reading

May 18, 2014 · Leave a comment

didion, mccullers, che & more: on travel & memory

“We are homesick most for the places we have never known.” –Carson McCullers ————— “His father guessed what he was thinking, and spoke of what it had meant to them … Continue reading

May 16, 2014 · Leave a comment

anne sexton’s “her kind” & sylvia plath’s “the applicant”

Plath and Sexton: beautifully haunting, confessional female poets that explore similiar themes.  The following two poems were published in the early 1960s, on the cusp of second-wave feminism. The Applicant First, are … Continue reading

May 16, 2014 · Leave a comment

“having a coke with you” by frank o’hara

Who wouldn’t want to have a coke, or spend a day looking at paintings, with the amazing Frank O’Hara?  I love this poem. Having a Coke with You is even … Continue reading

May 15, 2014 · Leave a comment

falling in love with the DF: the mexico city reader

“Earth and water: it is a city that harbors nature, rather than excludes it… [we] treat the city not only as a setting or a moral environment but as a main … Continue reading

May 14, 2014 · Leave a comment

to what degree?: MA in english lit vs. MFA in creative writing

It took a single haphazardly chosen elective to alter the course of my academic path.  In the final semester of my senior year at James Madison University I enrolled in my first creative … Continue reading

May 14, 2014 · 4 Comments

poll: kerouac favorites

It’s a difficult question: If you had to choose your favorite Kerouac book, what would it be?  & Why? I haven’t read all of his works, but I’ve devoured, multiple … Continue reading

May 9, 2014 · Leave a comment

introductions

Underneath my childhood bed, in my father’s home, I keep eleven tattered journals stored in an anqitue hat box.  My first journal, given to me on Christmas Day in 1993, is … Continue reading

May 9, 2014 · Leave a comment

jack kerouac’s “fifteen strange seconds”

“I woke up as the sun was reddening; and that was the one distinct time in my life, the strangest moment of all, when I didn’t know who I was–I … Continue reading

May 9, 2014 · Leave a comment

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