Contributions by Susan Kelly-DeWitt

Book Review: Riding the Capitol Corridor Line

By | Book Review, Poetics, Prose, Susan Kelly-DeWitt

I’m on the train to my home city, traveling east rather unsteadily through the flooded marshlands. I’m reading a strange little book I found on my daughter’s shelf a few hours ago—Soulstorm, a collection of short stories by Clarice Lispector (1925-1977), translated from the Portuguese by Alexis Levitin, and first published in 1974. I’ve never …

Art-Poetica

By | Prose, Susan Kelly-DeWitt

I painted my first Emily Dickinson in 1992, probably as a kind of totem. I had spent my early childhood living in a cottage my parents rented on the property of a defunct artist’s colony in the hills outside Honolulu. Founded by artists Lillie Gay and George Burroughs Torrey after they eloped (with some scandal …

Wake and Wake

By | Book Review, Poetics, Prose, Susan Kelly-DeWitt

Once, while searching for an old photo, my mother unearthed an envelope that contained: • My father’s obituary, dated 11/5/69 • A holy card (Saint Francis) from his funeral • A dried four-leaf clover in clear plastic wrap • A card with emergency air raid instructions • Another card with a list of emergency alerts …

Poet’s Club

By | Book Review, Poetics, Prose, Susan Kelly-DeWitt

Our first “Poet’s Club” was held at Kathleen Lynch’s house. Our group included Catherine French (Side Show), Carol Frith, (her latest, two for a journey just came out from David Robert Books), Victoria Dalkey (twenty-nine poems and In the Absence of Silver) Lisa Dominguez Abraham (Low Notes), Mary Zeppa (Little Ship of Blessing and The …

Aunt Emily

| Poetry

Imagining Emily Dickinson in 1852    She’s thinking of song— dividing the day into eight juicy bits,   into sixty little books of six folded sheets, “always in ink,”   the worm of oblivion tucked neatly into one gnawed corner—   polishing some lapidary idea of a frayed eternity.   Her hair is red feathers—a …

Thinking About Irina Ratushinskaya

By | Poetics, Prose, Susan Kelly-DeWitt

I’m not quite sure what got me thinking about Irina Ratushinskaya recently but something did, and brought back how closely I followed her work during the eighties; Poets all over the world took her case very personally. Many of us wrote letters protesting her imprisonment and asking for her release. (Here is a link to …

The Carp by Yun Wang

By | Book Review, Prose, Susan Kelly-DeWitt

Sometimes chance conspires and the laws of randomness cast good things in our direction at a time that seems exactly right. This is what happened to me this week, when I extracted from two giant reading piles—columns over four feet high, weaving even now a little precariously behind my desk—a thin chapbook by a poet …

Whitman in Sacramento

By | Book Review, Poetics, Prose, Susan Kelly-DeWitt

Last night I joined several other poets and an audience that crammed into an independent bookstore in my city. We were there to celebrate Uncle Walt—Whitman, that is. The host and organizer, a young poet who writes under the name of SliC (Stuart Livingston Canton), had assembled a range of readers from the poetry community, …