grace everywhere


Fireflies-in-a-Jar-59432The other night while eating Chinese and reading the winter issue of Ploughshares I discovered Lance Larson and his astonishing “Sad Jar of Atoms.”  I tumbled into a rabbit hole of language love that I haven’t felt since my first reading of Louise Erdrich’s Last Report of the Miracles from Little No Horse. This is true love. Deep love. Crush love.

“Life is a jar of maybe, of who knows, whereby we grow older and bones turn brittle as hope. Some jars live along time, like sea turtles, like Benjamin Franklin, a jar of genius filled with Poor Richard and flirting in French. . .”

Lance Larson, poet genius, poet laureate of Utah, I love you. I want to hold your prose babies in my prayerful hands. I am lost in cadence and find myself in a place where words are texture and all sound is a dazzle . . all because of your “Sad Jar of Atoms.”

Thank you for your Byronic reference. Thank you for “a jar made of sizzle and cordite.” Thank you for your “river and the eye of a bird.”


sit. stay. read.

girl with pugIn his infinite wisdom, Chinese philosopher Lau Tzu coined the phrase “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step,” and it is a hard one with which to argue. However never being content to leave a great sage alone, I would add: “all the pages of a genius novel begin with a single compelling sentence.”  The usual list of literary greats contains the (mostly) names dead white guys, but this is one for the girls. Herewith, a list of 15 brilliant first sentences and the novels from which they arise. By women. 

get the list here

a reader’s room

readerwho doesn’t love a list? as a culture, lists are what we love. just take a look at the front of any magazine at the checkout counter and you will see lists of everything from the best vacation spots in the West . . .to the best way to drop ten pounds. personally, we love books, so here’s a short list of must-read books. just for you. how many have you read? how many can you read in the coming months? this is our challenge: read three. three is any easy list. we promise.

15 books must=read books