My wife & I live on a small farm in Yamhill, Oregon where we remain unrepentant holdovers from the early 70s west coast “back-to-the-land” movement. We raise a small menagerie of chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, pigs, Jersey cows, Nubian goats, a miniature donkey, a rescued potbelly pig named Odious and an emu named To & Fro and a couple of Manx barn cats. Of course, we also have dogs—two amusing, much loved, very fast 2 yr. old whippets. I teach writing and literature at George Fox University, a Quaker-founded institution, south of Portland, OR., USA.
My poems and short fiction have appeared in various print and online journals such as Monkeybicycle, Otoliths, Blue Print Review, Pindeldyboz,The Foliate Oak, Word Riot, Mannequin Envy, Poems Niederngasse, and The Centrifugal Eye, among others.
Things fueling my creativity: I read lots & lots of contemporary poetry in online & print journals as well as book-length volumes by recent authors; I read dozens of contemporary novels a year; I read magazines like the Smithsonian, National Geographic, Time, Archaeology, Slate, The Onion, and several academic journals; I'm a Google news junky; life on the farm; life, generally.
I write because I hate the blank page. (So who doesn’t? Maybe a lucky few, but the rest of us hate you.) For me the wanna-be price of being a writer is initial, paralyzing terror of how am I ever going to fill that accusingly empty page with something that’s not going to make me want to throw-up all over my keyboard? I already want to throw-up all over my keyboard even before there’s a word, a sentence, and idea conjured up there. I’m the kind of writer who wants the finished writing before it’s even started. I want to gloat over my glowing genius of a polished piece, but I loath the painstaking, ego-slamming process of getting that final product.
Poets: Anne Sexton, Dorianne Laux, Scott Cairns, Jeanne Murray Walker, Rita Dove, Carolyn Kizer, Wendell Berry, Walter McDonald, Sharon Old, Sandra Cisnero, Naomi Nye, to name a few.
Novelists: Margaret Atwood, Marilynne Robinson, Gail Godwin, Richard Russo, China Mieville, Dave Eggers, Susanna Clarke, Zadie Smith, Carol Shields, Jhumpa Lahiri, Kent Haruf, Amy Tan, again, to name a few.
Favorite books (besides any of the above authors'): Samuel Johnson Is Indignant by Lydia Davis, For The Time Being by Annie Dillard, The Origin of Satan by Elaine Pagels, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, Ultimate Visual Dictionary by DK Publishing, and tons more.
Thanks, Ed, for reading "The Beauties Abandon You" and for the comment.
Hi Ed, thanks for commenting on "Middle Age." I'm happy you enjoyed it.
Ed, thanks so much for your fine compliments about Spaghetti Woman.
Thank you very much for reading and commenting on my piece, 'Milk Shake & Fries" I love your writing.
Hi, Ed. Loved your comment on "Eleutheria." Thank you for your careful reading! I look forward to getting to know your work.
Thanks for your comment on "The Story of F." You delighted my inner evangelist (whom I am, however, trying to keep a lid on).
Thanks for reading and commenting on "The Wedding: Snow White." Happy new year to you.
Thanks, Ed, for your generous words of praise on 'The Explosions Sound Like Gunshots'.
I'm happy you enjoyed it and I dig that you went online to learn more about Gattorno and his work. His art and his life story are really quite fascinating. Thank again for taking the time to read the stuff!
I just posted 'The 2nd poem of Xmas'. Check it out when you've got the time.
I appreciate you taking the time to read "The First Poem Of Xmas" and I'm glad you enjoyed it.
I dig "Santa's Stuck"! Thanks!
Hi Ed: Thanks for stopping by my poem for Mr. Lennon and for commenting. Love your profile picture!
Ed, thank you for your comment on my poem for Jane Kenyon. It made my day.
Thank you for reading and commenting on "Escape Literature." I appreciate it.
Thanks, Ed, for your kind words on my story "As Pleat". Look forward to reading more of your work!
Thank you for reading and commenting on my piece, "Soliloquoy on Ma"--I'm honored that it reminds you of Jamaica Kincaid's "Girl"
Ed, you'll find more Nail Polish on my blog - maryannekolton.blogspot.com
"Odius"? oh my goodness! your animals!
ED - thank you! glad the rejection letters are funny, they were so much fun to write the whole thing felt illegal!
Thanks Ed, Even to a former Chicagoan who misses it so, your life sounds idyllic. Most of my work is in submission or soon to be published so not much of mine to read. You can read a story at my blog http://maryannekolton.blogspot.com/
Ed, totally appreciate your enthusiastic comment on "The Rising." Thanks.
Ed - thank you for your kind comments on 2 of my stories. Very appreciative. The pussy story was too much fun to write, it felt illegal:) best, meg
Hi Ed: Thanks for your comments about my Lennon poem. They made my day.
Hi Ed: Thanks for your comments on "Because It's Dec. 8..." Appreciate them.
Hi, Ed. Thanks for the comment on "George." Almost all my recent poems are 14 lines. I do consider them sonnets of a kind, but they are all unrhymed.
Thanks, Ed, for the read and your thoughtful comments on “Oh, Fish Eggs!” I appreciate it.
Hi Ed, thanks so much for your read and comments on body, and wishing you a good holiday and happy new year! susan
Thank you for your kind words on my story - looking forward to reading your work here as well.
Thanks for the compliment on my story, Ed. After reading your credentials, I'm sincerely flattered. I'm from up north (Seattle) but have spend many happy days in Oregon. Lived, briefly, in Rainier, watching the mighty Columbia Roll On. Currently, drying out on the Mojave Desert.
Thanks for the greeting Ed - you got the right wall :) Good luck with your grading...
Hi fellow Oregonian :)