In Dark Times, Poetry Can Enlighten Us

In Dark Times, Poetry Can Enlighten Us

Following the Paris terrorist attacks, the colors of the French flag appeared on American computer screens, in the icons of apps and the faces of friends on Facebook. As this solidarity with the people of France surged, Americans with connections to the Middle East...
Nuts to First Class

Nuts to First Class

I recently had the occasion to fly first class. As a poet and director of a small non-profit organization, this was a rare treat indeed. So why couldn’t I enjoy myself? It started with the warm nuts. I’d settled in with my free cocktail, having mastered the...
A Crime Against Humanity Sent Me to Harvard

A Crime Against Humanity Sent Me to Harvard

When I say publicly that I’m descended from slave owners, I almost always hear a gasp. I let the tension hang a moment and then I break it: “Well, someone has to be, right?” This usually gets a laugh, or at least a humph of recognition. Because many...
Wine over Brine

Wine over Brine

My home near Seneca Lake in New York is famous for a lot of things — good wine, fine food, and the Finger Lakes region’s beautiful scenery. Now, though, Crestwood Midstream — a Houston-based company that drills, stores, and distributes fracked natural gas — wants to...
Neighbors Don’t Let Neighbors Frack

Neighbors Don’t Let Neighbors Frack

All my life, I’ve been a good citizen. I vote. I volunteer. I know my neighbors. Moreover, I take care of my property. I garden. I make jams and jellies to give away for Christmas. In short, I fulfill my obligations as a rural homeowner. Still, there’s one...
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