April 4, 2019

Walk Six

My friend the writer Sara Renee Marshall introduced me to the work of Lisa Robertson, recommending her Occasional Work and Seven Walks and the Office for Soft Architecture. Sara, also a walker, is a keen and sensitive observer of space. I like the way she sees. And I see what she sees in Robertson, a writer for whom, according to critics Ryan Fitzpatrick and Susan Rudy, “space is not reduc...

February 19, 2019

Walk Five

Lately, I walk in pools. I call it swimming; I say, “I’m going swimming,” but mostly I walk. I wear a vintage-style swim cap, robin’s-egg blue with cream strap at my chin; a blue racerback one-piece suit; lavender water shoes; clear goggles; and a waterproof mp3 player that tucks behind my ears, hugging my neck. I walk through the water with foam weights and listen to short stories. Debor...

January 23, 2019

Walk Four

For the last month, I have been living in winter. I usually live in milder Georgia where I am finishing my PhD program but have returned to my parents’ house in Michigan during holiday break. Lately, I have been retreating to their house for all of my breaks—doing, as a 33-year-old woman, what my parents wished I had done as a 19-year-old. They live on a small inland lake and there are fe...

December 20, 2018

Walk Three

When I was nineteen, I went to London and, while walking the old and twisting streets, felt the simultaneous thrill and melancholy of solitude, as if for the first time. It was also in London, at a special exhibit I attended for class, that I first saw Edward Hopper’s Automat, a 1927 painting of a woman sitting alone at the café, which was on loan from the Des Moines Art Center. The woma...

November 23, 2018

Walk Two

Five years ago, I was standing in my house—a large fading Victorian with bad carpet and cracked shingles. I lived in this house with three other graduate students. Two of them were writers, and we were having a party. I remember we had just hosted a reading in our living room where, along with others, I read some poems. I was wearing my favorite black wrap dress, and I was drinking a glass...

October 24, 2018

Walk One

The women at the center of my writings are walled off in some way; there is a layer between them and the world. I’ve been told over and over in the writing workshops I’ve attended that my fictional protagonists and the speakers of my poems feel “detached,” that I should remedy this problem. It’s not that I think these are assessments are wrong really, but I do wonder if their corrective in...

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