Where did you put the baby?

Sage CohenUncategorized2 Comments

A few years ago, I attended a family science camp at Camp Westwind over a long weekend with my son, Theo, and then-boyfriend, Mark. The small cluster of families met up in the parking lot and together took a small boat across a small body of water where we disembarked and trudged together up a sandy hill into camp. Theo … Read More

How to tell the stories you want to live by

Sage CohenUncategorized6 Comments

At my Aunt Linda’s wedding about 25 years ago, my cousin Shari gave a toast that I will never forget. It went something like this. John, Linda’s new husband, was relentlessly positive and approving of Linda. To the point that Shari suspected he was a fake. After all, how could anyone be so universally satisfied by another person? No matter … Read More

The incantatory consolation of language

Sage CohenUncategorizedLeave a Comment

When there is nothing to be done, there is language. More specifically, says poet Gregory Orr, we can turn to “the incantatory consolation of language” to help us navigate our deepest darknesses. In his expansive conversation with On Being’s Krista Tippett about Shaping Grief with Language, Orr speaks about how lyric poetry was his path of transformation through a tragic … Read More

Resilience poetics as life practice

Sage CohenUncategorizedLeave a Comment

Do you ever write something down, reread it, and discover something about yourself that’s been there all along? This happened to me when I revisited today’s lesson in my Write a Poem a Day class featuring Jack Gilbert’s Failing and Flying, one of my favorite poems of all time. Like Gilbert, I believe anything worth doing is worth doing badly. … Read More

You can’t get it published if you don’t send it out

Sage CohenUncategorized2 Comments

At a recent writer’s conference, I was talking to a poet who mentioned wanting to be published for the first time. “How many poems have you sent out to literary journals so far?” I asked. “None,” he replied. “How many of the poems you never submitted do you think might get published?” I countered. He was stumped for a minute, … Read More

How poetry saved my apartment building

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I spent my late 20’s in a third-floor walk-up on Dolores Street in San Francisco. My desk (from which I conducted my newborn copywriting business) looked out over a high school football field from which the secondary sights and sounds of teen spirit mingled with my work and my life. Apartment living compresses community to a 360-degree sensory merger. The … Read More

Are you good at too many things?

Sage CohenUncategorized19 Comments

When I was in graduate school studying poetry with the world-renowned poet Galway Kinnell, he said something to me that I’d like to say changed my life. But it didn’t. “You know what the problem is with your poetry?” Galway asked, then answered before I could, “You’re good at too many things.” It didn’t seem fair to blame my competence … Read More

Writing into the places they once occupied

Sage CohenFierce writing, Uncategorized16 Comments

A few weekends ago, I drove myself to the beach. No partner. No dog. I walked alone for hours. As I walked, I photographed the beach, full of emptiness and light. Standing at the thrashing eclipse of continent and ocean, I photographed myself smiling at nothing and no one. Until my beloved Machi died eight months ago, I had never … Read More

Are you believing hard enough?

Sage CohenUncategorized5 Comments

Hello, and happy 2019! It’s good to be with you on the fresh, unwritten page of a new year. At this time when many of us are choosing or recommitting to habits, practices, or projects for our writing lives, I want to help you address a sneaky dynamic could have you spinning your wheels. Here’s what happens. Sometimes, our desires … Read More

What if we’re all swimming in duckweed?

Sage CohenUncategorized10 Comments

The day after Thanksgiving, my ten-year-old son and I took a walk through the Reed College Canyon, a sacred wild place that is practically in our back yard. I’d told him about my favorite pond full of algae where the ducks like to hang out. As we turned the bend and the small body of water came into view, my … Read More