Archive for the ‘Mostly about writing’ Category

I’m very pleased to announce that my post “Fall at Steepletop” (which is about Edna St. Vincent Millay, her house Steepletop, and the Millay Colony for the Arts) is live at Superstition Review’s blog!

Millay barn with goldenrod



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Last night I led a short workshop on “Writing the Spiritual Journey” as part of the Cathedral Crossroads program at the Washington National Cathedral.


Cathedral Crossroads happens the last Tuesday of every month.  You can come walk the labyrinth, attend a program (like “Writing the Spiritual Journey”) and then (more…)

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I have just come back from a glorious two-week residency at the Millay Colony for the Arts.

Millay sign

The Colony began in 1973 on the estate of the poet Edna St. Vincent Millay, nearly 25 years after her death.  The barn that Millay and her husband built was converted into artists’ studios.  Forty years later, I wrote in one of them.

Millay barn with goldenrod

Studio Barn at the Millay Colony.

If I felt like a change of scene I could (more…)

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Mary Akers, editor of r.kv.r.y quarterly, interviewed me for r.kv.r.y’s blog this week.  (You can read the interview here.)

r.kv.r.y had published my essay “Advent” earlier this spring and it is this journal’s (wonderful!) practice to interview its writers.  This was my first interview, and I have to say: I’m pretty floored!

Mary Akers

The most excellent Mark Akers. Read her work at maryakers.com.

Mary asked terrific questions — (more…)

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One hundred and fifty years ago today, Stonewall Jackson, general in the Confederate army, died of pneumonia in a small cottage in central Virginia.  A week earlier he had his right arm amputated after being shot — by accident — by his own men.  I wrote a piece about looking for the arm’s grave, and you can read it at The Virginia Quarterly Review’s blog.

Stonewall Jackson

I’ve been thinking about Jackson all this week.  My piece was posted the day before the amputation and I read it (again) when it came out.  I imagined (more…)

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I’ve been off the grid for a while, first because I was on retreat in the North Carolina mountains and then because I was trying to retreat from the virus the twins picked up while I was away.  But I’d rather think about the green spring mountains than green stuffed noses.

desk in the mountains

I set up a little table by my window so I could write while looking out.  I had planned (more…)

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A friend of mine posted a picture from VCCA and it made me long to be back there.  VCCA stands for the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.  It’s an artists colony in the middle of Virginia at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains and is one of the more magical places I have ever been to.

The light across the fields at the end of the day.

The evening light across the fields at VCCA.

The first time I went was about this time of year and I wrote about it in an essay I called “Flight” but which The Millions retitled “A Hybrid, Trapped” — they published it earlier this month and (more…)

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