Friday, November 21, 2008

O Brother, Where Art Thou?

My father was a laconic man. I don't mean to say that he didn't talk much . . . he didn't give off an air of rudeness or mystery, as Webster's defines "laconic." He talked plenty; he held his own in conversations. What I mean to say is that my father didn't tell something unless he saw a need for it to be told.

Here's a classic example: one time when I was a teenager, a young man knocked on our door and asked to see my dad. I showed him into the living room and went to get Papa. Who then peeked into the living room and hustled me into the dining room, where he whispered in my ear, "That's your brother." I had no inkling that I had a brother.

It turns out my father had been married to another woman before Mama and had two sons from that marriage . . . our visitor was the younger of these two, Pepito. The older was Angel, a name that requires a story I'll tell another time. Hmmm. I guess I can be a little laconic too.

Here's a poem about my brother Pepito, another Gotera who was a soldier in the US Army.

A Soldier’s Letter

To my brother: 
 When I was fifteen, you surfaced
out of the San Francisco night, a stranger
knocking on our door. Your family
a mystery kept from me, a wife and kids
from another face in my father's secret mirror.

You stayed with us for two or three nights, a dark
and glum presence, brooding at the dinner table.
Mama didn't seem shocked at all. Those nights
we lay in my room, listening to the Sopwith Camel
and the Stones on KFRC, and you softly crooned

the melody. Once you asked who Jesus
was — why did we light candles to him?
At the end of the week, Papa drove you to
the Army Recruiting Station. And Vietnam
swallowed you whole. No news for six months, and then

your letter came. The one in which you threatened
 to disembowel Papa with your bayonet,
 to blow him away with steel shot from a Claymore,
 to lock and load your M-16, then shoot him
 Dead for leaving you and your Mom

alone in Manila. Where she took you and your brother
down to the bay and hugged you tearfully
until she saw St. Jude floating over
the water. A miracle. Your lives saved.
And now, in the 'Nam, your life had again been spared

by the vision in air of a woman in a white ao dai.
You jerked your head back in surprise, and the sniper's
bullet lopped off a leaf where your face had been.
And so you believed your hophead's life was sacred.
No rocket, no mortar round could pierce the armor

of revenge, the righteous shield of vengeance.
I vowed to make myself strong, to take
taekwon-do lessons, to save my father's life
when you rotated home. But moments pass
like buckshot, and when you finally landed at Oakland,

you went on back to LA, without stopping again
at our door. The letter — a reefer fantasy.
Today, the letter forgotten, you live in our father's
house, alternating between gay bars
on Castro and the VA hospital psych ward.

Rather than bullets or a C-4 explosion,
you pay our father rent from your disability
check — the proceeds of your post-traumatic
stress disorder syndrome. The last time
we saw each other, you showed Mary Ann your saints,

like a pack of cards. "This picture is St. Blaise &mdash
he saves you from choking on chicken bones. And here's
St. Anthony. I use him to find lost things."
You called the pictures your "directory to heaven."
Nights, I see you in my mind, bowing

before a small Buddhist altar, lighting
sticks of incense, chanting with your eyes closed.
You're thinking back to velvet times in Manila,
when you were a teenage singer on TV,
crooning love songs under a blue spot.

— Vince Gotera, from Premonitions: The Kaya
Anthology of New Asian North American Poetry

(1995). Also appeared in Ghost Wars (2003).

I don't know what to add to this story. Pepito had indeed been a teenage singer in Manila . . . and I don't know much more than that. He was quite a colorful fellow, very eccentric in weird ways. A gay man who sometimes pretended not to be though he made it eminently clear at other times. One day he would be a drag queen, a Diana Ross knock-off, and the next day he would say, "You should find me a wife, a nice Midwestern girl." He was sometimes a recovering drug addict, and at other times just a straight-out drug addict. I think he was a small-time drug pusher as well. He is no longer with us . . . he died violently, stabbed on some San Francisco street. The police never uncovered who done it.

About the poem as a poem: I worked pretty hard on lineation. A mix of end-stops and enjambment . . . creating (I hope) a meld of both hurry as well as suspense at different points. In the fourth stanza, I use indentation and a reverse drop line to set off and emphasize the word "dead." Which is then repeated immediately after. I'm giving you precious little here . . . basically I guess I just don't know much about this poem. Sorry.

I would appreciate some feedback about what you think is going on here. If you feel like it, leave me a comment, please. Not a remark for potential revision, because as far as I'm concerned the poem is done and I'm not interested in reworking it. I'm just curious about how people read it &mdash how you read it. And how you make sense of the poetics of this particular poem.

When I wrote "A Soldier's Letter," probably almost two decades ago, Pepito was still alive though we were hardly ever in touch. And now, after he has died, I realize that this poem was, in many ways, already my elegy for him. Rest in peace, Jose Pater Gotera. Rest in peace, my brother.


hat said...

Hi, Vince, I especially love this poem. So powerful, yet so quiet. I'll need to take a little bit of time to think about my response, but what I sense is this overwhelming, silent sadness that pervades the stanzas. Perhaps it's the last stanza with all the evocative images... the night quiet except for the chanting, and the blue, the velvet, and the crooning in the mind's tv... Despite all the words in the letter (and the poem), which can often overwhelm, one of the things remaining in my mind as a reader are the muted sounds of the love songs. Thank you for sharing this.

Vince Gotera said...

H-A, thank you for such a thoughtful response. Yes, the "mind's TV" at the end ... but my brother was also on TV in the Philippines, as a youth.

How do you, as a person of Vietnamese heritage, connect (or not connect) to the poem's narrative about the American war in Vietnam?

hat said...

Thank you for phrasing the question as the American War in Vietnam. I have not heard that from many folks that I've interacted with; it is refreshing to hear the contextualized assumptions behind your question.

I think that perhaps I read the poem less as a narrative about the Vietnam/American War and more as a family narrative (which is not to say that they are mutually exclusive in some family cultures). The poem narrates by second hand images of a war through a soldier's letter -- a context that I am unfamiliar with as a Vietnamese American. There are certain things that I know about the war and about what my family experienced during he war. But they are different from my experience of and appreciation for the poem.

I can tell that war-time VN had a profound effect on your brother's life, and as a poet I appreciate the poem in its complexity.

But as a Vietnamese American reader, I'm not sure how I should respond since it references a war long gone which occurred in a country that is now vastly changed.

If this isn't delving too deep into the poet's intentionality... What do you think the poem offers as a connection (or disconnection) between the Gen X-ers and the American War in VN?

Vince Gotera said...

H-A, many many thanks again for another thoughtful response. I don't know if you're aware that I wrote my dissertation on poetry by American veterans of that war and that I also teach Asian American literature, so yes, I'm well aware of the politics and so on connected with naming, etc., here.

About your question ... as the poet, I think maybe I'm too close to the poem. I certainly have no answer (at the moment) to that question. Let me think about it.

In the meantime (doing the teacherly thing), what do YOU think the poem offers as a connection (or disconnection) between the Gen X-ers and the American War in Viet Nam? (Wish I could do the diacritics and give honor to the language of Vietnamese.)

hat said...

Hi, Vince. I'll respond as an "American" poet might:

I don't think of the poem as offering either a connection or a disconnection. A large portion of the poem is weighted by the war experience, and sadly I think that many Gen X-ers (with Vietnamese heritage or no) are less familiar with this particular war. In fact, the war is the only lens through which some Gen X-ers recognize Viet Nam. And we all know too well how little and/or how much war reveals about a nation and its peoples.

For me, the poem (and our ensuing conversation) calls to mind multiple times when the American/Vietnam War served as the primary experience (cause?) for (dis)connection between peoples of different generations, different cultures, different ethnicities. If anything, I wish that Vietnam could be known more by its complex histories, cultures, languages, landscapes, peoples, cuisines, etc.

Thanks for throwing the provocative question back in my court, Vince! I'm enjoying our dialogue immensely...

Vince Gotera said...

H-A: I like your answer, especially double-edged as your view is, almost like W. E. B. Dubois's idea of "double consciousness." I agree completely with both of your views. I feel the same way about the Philippine-American war and about Americans' view of and knowledge about the Philippines. I think many Americans in general (and GenX-ers in particular) are unaware of how tightly the history of the Philippines is braided with the history of the U.S. A big difference between our views, though, is that few people today think much about the Philippine-American war. On the other hand, people today still think quite a bit about the American war in Viet Nam, especially as a reflection of the American war in Iraq. I'm sure it must be especially galling to you that many Americans think of the word "Vietnam" as a war and not as a country.

hat said...

Too true. The power of naming is powerful in some very peculiar ways, don't you think? Identifying VN only as a war and not as a country is a tragedy (thanks to our educational system? or politicking? vagaries of memory?) but not as a great a tragedy as the intentional erasure of other events in the history of our nation, and of humanity in general. One such example is the Philippine-American war.

I love discussing and thinking about language, and what you've said about the word "Vietnam" brings up an interesting point. When I was in VN in '05, almost nobody talked about the war, but if they did, it was called the "American" war. You know that the difference(s) between the names for this event is/are complicated to explain; all I can say is that when I heard it referred to as the American war in that context, the word sounded synonymous with the American presence (assuring as well as domineering) in all its glory.

I'm glad you've opened the discussion beyond the American/Vietnam war to include the Philippine-American war. As a vet of one particular war, why do you think there is so much "silence" about the Philippine-American war? I suppose here we get into the politics of war, don't we?

Vince Gotera said...

It's important to keep in mind that I am a "Vietnam era vet," not a "Vietnam vet" (and those are strategic quotation marks).

But anyway, to answer your question, it's an older war and people just don't think about it that much, I think. People hardly remember that we helped the mujahedeen against the Soviets in Afghanistan and that's within the last couple of decades. The Philippine-American war goes back 110+ years, so ...

If you ever watch the PBS documentary "The US and the Philippines: In Our Image," there's a moment where a very elderly woman talks about her husband going off to fight in the Philippine-American war, and she says something like, "We had to save those people." From whom? From themselves? That rhetoric comes up again and again, doesn't it?

Back to the mujahedeen: the exceptions are the Stallone fans who specialize in Rambo trivia ... they remember the mujahedeen struggle against the Soviets, but for the wrong reasons perhaps.

lady gaga halloween costume said...

I love coming to this site and reading all the great content.
lady gaga halloween costume ideas

13th floor elevators (1) 3d (1) 9/11 (3) a schneider (1) abecedarian (11) acrostic (5) adelaide crapsey (1) african american (1) aids (1) aisling (1) al robles (2) alberta turner (1) alex esclamado (1) alexander chen (1) alexander pushkin (1) alexandra bissell (1) alexandrines (3) alien (1) alliteration (3) alphabet (1) alphabet poem (2) altered books (1) altered pages (2) altered reality magazine (2) amanda blue gotera (6) amelia blue gotera (3) american gothic (1) amok (1) amy lowell (1) anacreon (1) anacreontics (1) anaphora (2) andre norton (1) andrea boltwood (19) andrew davidson (1) andrew marvell (1) andrew oldham (1) angelina jolie (1) angels (1) animation (1) anna montgomery (3) anne reynolds (1) annie e. existence (1) annie finch (1) anny ballardini (1) anti- (1) antonio taguba (2) aprille (1) art (7) arturo islas (1) ash wednesday (1) asian american (4) assonance (2) astronomy (2) aswang (12) aswang wars (1) atlanta rhythm section (1) balato (1) ballad (2) barack obama (7) barbara jane reyes (1) barry a. morris (1) bass (2) bataan (5) becca andrea (1) beetle (2) belinda subraman (2) beowulf (1) best american poetry (1) beverly cassidy (1) bible (1) bill clinton (1) billy collins (2) blank verse (8) bob boynton (1) body farm (1) bolo (1) bongbong marcos (3) bop (1) brian brodeur (2) brian garrison (1) bruce johnson (1) bruce niedt (4) buddah moskowitz (2) burns stanza (1) callaloo (1) candida fajardo gotera (5) cardinal sin (1) carlos bulosan (1) carlos santana (1) carmina figurata (3) carolina matsumura gotera (1) caroline klocksiem (1) carrie arizona (3) carrieola (3) carriezona (1) catherine childress pritchard (1) catherine pritchard childress (36) catullus (1) cebu (1) cecilia manguerra brainard (1) cedar falls (6) cedar falls public library (1) cento (1) charles a hogan (2) chess (1) childhood (1) children's poetry (1) China (1) chorus of glories (1) chris durietz (1) christmas (2) christopher smart (1) chuck pahlaniuk (1) cinquain (1) civil rights (1) clarean sonnet (2) clarice (1) classics iv (1) cleave hay(na)ku (2) clerihews (3) cliché (1) common meter (1) computers (1) concrete poem (1) concreteness (1) consonance (5) coolest month (1) cory aquino (2) couplet (5) couplet quatrains (2) crab (1) craft (5) creative nonfiction (1) crewrt-l (1) crucifixion (1) curtal sonnet (26) dactyls (2) daily palette (1) damián ortega (1) danielle filas (1) dante (5) dashiki (1) david foster wallace (1) david kopaska-merkel (1) david wojahn (1) de jackson (2) decasyllabics (2) denise duhamel (1) deviantART (3) dick powell (1) diction (1) didactic cinquain (1) dinosaur (2) disaster relief (1) divine comedy (1) dodecasyllables (1) doggerel (2) doggie diner (1) don johnson (1) donald trump (8) dr who (3) dr. seuss (1) draft (2) dragon (1) dragonfly (17) dreams & nightmares (1) drug addiction (1) drums (1) duplex (1) dusty springfield (1) dylan thomas (1) e e cummings (1) e-book (1) earth day (1) ebay (2) ecopoetry (1) ed hill (1) edgar allan poe (2) edgar lee masters (1) edgar rice burroughs (1) editing (1) eileen tabios (7) ekphrasis (3) ekphrastic poem (2) ekphrastic review (1) election (2) elegy (3) elevenie (1) elizabeth alexander (2) elizabeth bishop (2) elvis presley (1) emily dickinson (8) emma trelles (1) end-stop (3) english sonnet (1) englyn milwer (1) enita meadows (1) enjambed rhyme (1) enjambment (5) enola gay (1) envelope quatrain (1) environment (1) erasure poetry (9) erin mcreynolds (4) ernest lawrence thayer (1) exxon valdez oil spill (1) f. j. bergman (1) f. scott fitzgerald (1) facebook (3) family (4) fantasy (1) fashion (1) ferdinand magellan (1) ferdinand marcos (5) fib (3) fiction (3) fiera lingue (1) fighting kite (4) filipino (language) (1) filipino americans (6) filipino poetry (1) filipino veterans equity (3) filipinos (5) film (3) final thursday press (1) final thursday reading series (2) flannery o'connor (3) flute (1) fortune cookie (1) found poem (1) found poetry (6) found poetry review (2) fourteeners (1) fox news (1) frank frazetta (1) franny choi (1) fred unwin (1) free verse (3) fructuosa gotera (1) fyodor dostoevsky (1) gabriel garcía márquez (1) gambling (1) garrett hongo (1) gary kelley (1) gawain (1) genre (1) george w. bush (1) gerard manley hopkins (12) ghazal (2) ghost wars (5) ghosts of a low moon (1) gogol bordello (1) golden shovel (5) goodreads (1) google (1) gotera (1) grace kelly (1) grant tracey (1) grant wood (4) greek mythology (1) gregory k pincus (1) griffin lit (1) grimm (1) grinnell college (2) growing up (1) growing up filipino (2) guest blogger (1) guillaume appolinaire (1) guitar (9) gulf war (1) gustave doré (3) guy de maupassant (1) gwendolyn brooks (3) gypsy art show (1) gypsy punk (1) hades (1) haggard hawks (1) haibun (3) haiga (1) haiku (28) haiku sonnet (3) hart crane (1) hawak kamay (1) hay(na)ku (21) hay(na)ku sonnet (12) header (1) hearst center for the arts (2) heirloom (1) herman melville (1) hey joe (1) hieronymus bosch (1) hiroshima (1) hiv here & now (1) homer (1) how a poem happens (2) humboldt state university (1) humor (1) hybrid sonnet (4) hymnal stanza (1) iain m. banks (1) iamb (1) iambic pentameter (1) ian parks (1) ibanez (1) imagery (1) imelda marcos (4) immigrants (1) imogen heap (1) indiana university (1) inigo online magazine (1) ink! (1) insect (2) insects (1) international hotel (1) international space station (1) interview (3) introduction (2) iowa (2) iran (1) iran-iraq war (1) irving levinson (1) italian bicycle (1) italian sonnet (2) ivania velez (2) j. d. schraffenberger (4) j. i. kleinberg (3) j. k. rowling (1) jack horner (2) jack kerouac (1) jack p nantell (1) james brown (1) james gorman (2) james joyce (1) jan d. hodges (1) japan (1) jasmine dreame wagner (1) jeanette winterson (1) jedediah dougherty (1) jedediah kurth (31) jennifer bullis (1) jesse graves (1) jessica hagedorn (1) jessica mchugh (2) jim daniels (1) jim hall (1) jim hiduke (1) jim o'loughlin (2) jim simmerman (2) jimi hendrix (3) jimmy fallon (1) joan osborne (1) joe mcnally (1) john barth (1) john charles lawrence (2) john clare (1) john donne (1) john mccain (1) john prine (1) john welsh iii (2) joseph solo (1) josh hamzehee (1) joyce kilmer (1) justine wagner (1) kampilan (1) kathleen ann lawrence (1) kathy reichs (1) kay ryan (2) keith welsh (1) kelly cherry (1) kelly christiansen (1) kenning (1) kennings poem (3) killjoy (1) kim groninga (1) kimo (6) king arthur (1) king tut (1) knight fight (1) kumadre (1) kumpadre (1) kurt vonnegut (1) kyell gold (1) landays (1) lapu-lapu (1) lapwing publications (1) laurie kolp (2) leonardo da vinci (1) les paul (1) leslie kebschull (1) lester smith (1) library (1) library of congress (2) limerick (3) linda parsons marion (1) linda sue grimes (2) lineation (6) linked haiku (9) linked tanka (2) list poem (5) little brown brother (1) little free libraries (3) lorette c. luzajic (1) lost (tv) (1) louise glück (1) luis buñuel (1) lune (2) lydia lunch (1) machismo (1) magazines (1) mah jong (1) man ray (1) manananggal (2) manong (3) margaret atwood (1) maria fleuette deguzman (1) marianne moore (1) marilyn cavicchia (1) marilyn hacker (1) mark jarman (1) marriage (1) martin avila gotera (16) martin luther king jr. (1) marty gotera (5) marty mcgoey (1) mary ann blue gotera (6) mary biddinger (1) mary roberts rinehart award (1) mary shelley (1) matchbook (1) maura stanton (1) maureen thorson (326) meena rose (3) megan hippler (1) melanie villines (1) melanie wolfe (1) melina blue gotera (3) mental illness (1) metapoem (1) meter (7) mfa (2) michael heffernan (3) michael martone (2) michael ondaatje (1) michael shermer (2) michael spence (1) michelle obama (1) middle witch (1) minotaur (1) mirror northwest (1) misky (1) molossus (1) monkey (1) monorhyme (1) morel mushrooms (2) mueller report (1) multiverse (1) mushroom hunting (1) music (3) muslim (1) my custom writer blog (1) myth (1) mythology (3) nagasaki (1) naked blonde writer (1) naked girls reading (1) naked novelist (1) napowrimo (333) narrative (2) natalya st. clair (1) nathan dahlhauser (1) nathaniel hawthorne (1) national geographic (3) national poetry month (333) native american (1) neil gaiman (2) neoformalism (1) New Formalists (1) New York School (1) nick carbó (3) ninang (1) nonet (1) north american review (7) north american review blog (2) ode (1) of books and such (1) of this and such (1) onegin stanza (2) ottava rima (2) oulipo (1) oumumua (1) pablo picasso (2) pacific crossing (1) padre timoteo gotera (1) painting (1) palestinian american (1) palindrome (1) palinode (1) palmer hall (1) pantoum (2) paradelle (2) paranormal (1) parkersburg iowa (1) parody (4) parody poetry journal (1) parol (1) pastoral poetry (1) pat bertram (2) pat martin (1) paula berinstein (1) pause for the cause (2) pca/aca (1) peace (2) peace of mind band (1) pecan grove press (2) pepito gotera (1) percy bysshe shelley (2) performance poetry (1) persephone (1) persona poem (3) peter padua (1) petrarch (1) petrarchan sonnet (19) phil memmer (1) philip larkin (1) philippine news (1) philippine scouts (6) philippine-american war (1) philippines (8) phish (1) pinoy (1) pinoy poetics (1) pixie lott (1) podcast (1) podcasts (3) poem-a-day challenge (331) poetics (6) poetry (5) poetry imitation (1) poetry international (1) poetry reading (4) poets against (the) war (2) pop culture (2) popcorn press (1) prejudice (1) presidio of san francisco (1) prime numbers (1) prime-sentence poem (1) prince (3) princess grace foundation (1) promotion (1) prose poem (4) proverbs (1) pterosaur (1) ptsd (2) puppini sisters (1) puptent poets (2) pushkin sonnet (2) pyrrhic (1) quatrain (4) r.e.m. (1) rachel morgan (3) racism (1) rainer maria rilke (1) rap (1) rattle (1) ray fajardo (1) reggie lee (1) rembrandt (1) ren powell (1) reverse golden shovel (1) reviews (1) revision (1) rhyme (8) rhysling awards (4) rhythm (1) richard fay (1) richard hugo (1) rick griffin (1) rime (1) rippled mirror hay(na)ku (1) robert bly (1) robert frost (2) robert fulghum (1) robert j christenson (1) robert lee brewer (331) robert mezey (1) robert neville (1) robert zemeckis (1) rock and roll (2) roger zelazny (1) romanian (1) ron kowit (1) ronald wallace (2) rondeau (1) ross gay (1) roundelay (1) rubaiyat (1) rubaiyat sonnet (1) run-d.m.c. (1) saade mustafa (1) salt publishing (1) salvador dali (4) san francisco (8) sandra cisneros (1) santa claus (1) santana (1) sapphics (1) sarah deppe (1) sarah palin (1) sarah smith (26) satan (1) sayaka alessandra (1) schizophrenia (1) science fiction (2) science fiction poetry association (1) science friction (1) scifaiku (1) scott walker (1) screaming monkeys (1) scripture (1) sculpture (1) sena jeter naslund (1) senryu (4) sestina (9) sevenling (1) shadorma (2) shaindel beers (2) shakespeare (1) shakespearean sonnet (6) sharon olds (2) shawn wong (1) shiites or shia (1) shoreline of infinity (1) sidney bechet (1) sijo (1) skateboard (1) skeltonics (2) skylaar amann (1) slant rhyme (6) slide shows (1) small fires press (1) sniper (1) somersault abecedarian (1) somonka (1) sonnet (42) sonnetina (4) soul (1) southeast asian american (1) spanish (1) specificity (1) speculative poetry (1) spenserian stanza (1) spiraling abecedarian (1) spondee (1) spooky (1) st. patrick's day (1) stanford university (1) stanley meltzoff (1) stanza (1) stars and stripes (2) stereogram (1) steve hazlewood (1) steve mcqueen (1) stevie nicks (1) stone canoe (2) sue boynton (1) suite101 (2) sunflowers (1) surges (1) susan l. chast (1) syllabics (1) sylvia plath (2) synesthesia (1) syzygy poetry journal (2) t. m. sandrock (1) t. s. eliot (2) tanka (21) tanka prose (4) tanka sequence (1) tarzan (1) teaching creative writing (2) ted kooser (1) term paper mill (1) terrance hayes (2) terza rima (10) terza rima haiku sonnet (7) terzaiku sonnet (4) terzanelle (1) tetrameter (1) the byrds (1) the warning (1) the who (1) thomas alan holmes (183) thomas crofts (4) thomas faivre-duboz (1) thunderstorm (1) thurifer (1) tiger (1) tilly the laughing housewife (1) time travel (1) tom perrotta (1) tom petty (1) tom phillips (1) toni morrison (2) tornado (1) translation (2) translitic (3) tribute in light (1) trickster (1) triolet (6) triskaidekaphobia (1) tritina (1) trochee (1) tucson (1) typhoon haiyan (1) typhoon yolanda (1) university of northern iowa (6) unrhymed sonnet (2) us army (7) valentine's day (1) vampire (2) ven batista (29) verses typhoon yolanda (1) veterans' day (2) via dolorosa (1) video poetry (6) vietnam war (4) viktor vasnetsov (1) villanelle (2) vince del monte (1) vincent van gogh (1) virgil wren (1) virtual blog tour (1) visual poetry (3) vladimir putin (1) volkswagen (1) w. somerset maugham (1) wallace stevens (3) walt mcdonald (1) walt whitman (4) war (7) war in afghanistan (2) war in iraq (2) wartburg college (1) waterloo (1) whypoetrymatters (1) wile e. coyote (1) wilfred owen (1) william blake (1) william carlos williams (1) william f tout (1) william gibson (1) william oandasan (1) william shakespeare (2) wind (1) winslow homer (1) winter (1) women's art (1) wooster review (1) wordy 30 (1) writing (1) writing away retreats (1) writing show (1) wwii (6) young adult (1) yusef komunyakaa (6) zone 3 (1)