House Is An Enigma featured on Sundress Publications’ The Wardobe


We’ve still got a few months before my third full-length collection, House Is an Enigma, is published by Southeast Missouri State University Press in October.

Interested in a preview? Then I have good news for you.

I’m humbled to say that House Is an Enigma was selected for this week’s Best Dressed feature on The Wardrobe, from Sundress Publications. Stop by every day this week to spend some time with one of the poems from the collection.

First up is “Alma,” which is one of my favorite poems in the collection. I’ve probably been writing it since I studied with Kate Knapp Johnson, my mentor, teacher, and all-around life-saver at Sarah Lawrence College.

Kate taught me more than I could ever begin to express about poetry and about the restless, endless, insatiable and ever-unsatisfied curiosity necessary to keep one’s art and craft alive. I learned much about the latter from her example, especially from her passion about the work of Carl Jung. In fact, Jung’s Memories, Dreams, Reflections served as a textbook in her poetry class, and it was life-changing for me.

Though I’m not sure if I can entirely explain how, I know (and really, isn’t that the best tribute to Jung — not being able to explain entirely but still, nonetheless, knowing) that “Alma” comes from my time with Kate and, via Kate, from Jung.

Kate mentioned one day that in many languages, the word “alma” means “soul.” In many ways, that’s exactly what this poem is: an expression of and from the part of my soul that was built in those long, deep, and deeply treasured conversations between a master teacher and me, an eager student who had so, so much to learn.



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