Sunday, December 30, 2007

Three women, plus

Three poets this year

During 2007, I've been introduced to the work of Lynda Hull. I've been reintroduced to the poems of Roberta Spear. And I've continued my exploration of Louise Glück's poems.

These three women have inspired me, and I'd like to be able to say what I think I've learned from each one of them.

Glück's work has shown me how intellect can work in a poem and how spare writing can increase emotional tension.

In her poems, Spear has shown how to tell stories—how in a few lines a poem can take the reader immediately to a place and the lives of the people who live there.

Lynda Hull's poems pull no punches. They pierce right to the heart—with empathy and compassion but no pity. Her work has shown me how the poet can begin a poem as an observer, instead of the star, and let images lead into memory, let times and places lead into any sorrow, loss, or joy.

I've seen them do it. Now, can I?

Who did you read in 2007? What stopped you in your tracks? What did you learn?


Other people have inspired me this year, and some of these women have inspired me for many years.

Ellen, for her energy, her activism, and her scholarship of
Emily Dickinson
Eliza, for continuing to follow her dream
Alix, who has found a job she loves
Nancy, who has found a job that takes her to exotic places like Oslo and Shanghai
Laurie, whose comfort zone is traveling outside of her comfort zone, and her gift for seeing life and recording it on film
T, for her love of food and feeding others well
Judy, who writes and publishes and gets rejected and writes more
Ross Palmer and Gina and Kristina, who work hard and remain dedicated to their craft (and Kristina has found a way to take her work to Italy—twice!)
Bonnie, for her courage, her energy, and her fabulous sense of humor

When I look at this list, the theme is perseverance. My big thank you to you all.

Update: I knew the list wasn't complete. It still isn't, and it may continue to grow.


Premium T. said...

Joannie -- I am honored! Also that you listed Ross (new!)
husband I love her work.
Thank-you! (You made my day.)

K. said...

Ross Palmer is one of the truly nice (not to mention uniquely talented) people in the Seattle Art World. I am the proud owner of two of her pieces: "Lyndon Johnson" (from her Presidents of the USA series) and "Free the Hollywood 10." The next time you are at Safeco Field, be sure to see her quilts (

Joannie said...

Oh, it's great to find more Ross Palmer Beecher fans (and K, to have two of her pieces!).

I love the quilts and enjoy showing them to others when we go to Safeco field. I've also seen her work at Swedish Hospital, comforting in that environment.

K. said...

Joannie, I (K.) am T.'s husband. You're welcome to come over and see the two pieces. Just set it up with her.