Isabella and Emily Dickinson

I began this site as a promise, of a sort, to a student. I’ll call her Isabella. She’s a natural member of that group of human beings to whom Belles-lettres matter–and by this I mean those people who are attuned to writing that is aesthetically pleasing (whether brutal or lovely) and original (by which I mean a true representation of some part of the life of the writer).

Isabella is in a writing workshop I’m teaching at the college this summer. We were in my office, talking about a promising poem she had written, when it occurred to me that she should start a blog.

What I wanted for her was the solidity of her voice moving out into the world, a place to be a writer beyond our class (which will be over soon and can’t continue to support her). I wanted her to have a world to write to, and a way to begin to make a rough anthology of her poems, pressing each into an entry that would be conserved.

As we talked, I ended up promising Isabella that I would start my own blog (what a word! Talk about your ugly Anglo-Saxon consonants. Block, hog, blench, agog. A blog must surely be something cavepeople hit each other over the head with). Isabella and I gave each other until class tomorrow (a Monday) to have something to show for ourselves. It’s Sunday night now. You see what I am like. I keep my promises, but definitely at the last minute. Continue reading