Women Talking: Grahn, McGuire, diFranco

In researching other poets in preparation for the Squaw Valley Community of Writers, I’ve been especially impressed by an interview with Dawn McGuire, who is living one of the paths I would love to have lived. A neurologist, McGuire used to read her poetry with Judy Grahn, about whom ani diFranco states, “When I was nineteen I discovered the poetry of Judy Grahn, and I was so moved by “A Woman is Talking to Death“, it’s still one of my favorite poems.”

Grahn’s poem illuminates where we rise from as a people and where too many are still stuck. I don’t understand bigotry, cruelty, or a lack of empathy, but do know when someone finds a way to clearly expose it and trace its ripples. I’m relieved I couldn’t write “A Woman is Talking to Death,” because I wouldn’t want the experiences; however, I’d be grateful to write with this brilliance and power.

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