Tag Archives: Dylan Thomas

Happy 68th Birthday to Anne Waldman!

2 Apr

Happy birthday, Anne Waldman!

Anne Waldman’s New York – New Jersey upbringing and connection to Greece is the opposite of mine. She was born in A Millville, New Jersey, on April 2, 1945, and grew up on MacDougal Street in New York City, while I was born in New York City and grew up in New Jersey. Likewise, it was her mother who moved to Greece for a few years, while it was my father who was from Greece. These connections and opposites don’t really mean anything, but a few years ago I did run into her at a party.

Anne Waldman is an impressive woman. Here’s a little bit of her bio from Poets.org:

She received her BA from Bennington College in 1966. From 1966 until 1978 she ran the St. Mark’s Poetry Project, reading with fellow poets such as Allen Ginsberg and Gregory Corso. Immediately following her departure from St. Mark’s, she and Ginsberg founded the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at the Naropa Institute in Boulder, Colorado.

She has published over forty books of poetry….

…Waldman has received numerous awards and honors for her poetry, including The Dylan Thomas Memorial Award, The Poets Foundation Award, The National Literary Anthology Award, and The Shelley Memorial Award for poetry. She has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts. She is a two-time winner of the International Poetry Championship Bout in Taos, New Mexico. She was elected an Academy Chancellor in 2011.

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Make Reading Part of Your Christmas Tradition

5 Dec

The holidays seem to have crept up on us this year, the unseasonably warm weather masquerading the approach of December.  Yes, there’s lots to do, between gift shopping and making travel arrangements and attending holiday parties, but I’ve been slowly learning and relearning that it’s not the doing that matters most.  It’s the people we’re with and the moments we share.

Instead of rushing from mall to mall, pepperspraying each other, what if we slowed down and carved out quiet moments of reflection with the ones we love most?

I have so many great childhood memories associated with the holidays.  My parents really knew how to make the holidays special.  It wasn’t all toys and games.  We had special rituals, decorations, foods, and traditions.  One of my favorite was when my mom would read to my sister, brother, and me Barbara Helen Berger’s The Donkey’s Dream.

Later this special Christmas story tradition continued when I went to college.  I had a wonderful pastor who read us Angela Elwell Hunt’s The Tale of Three Trees: A Traditional Folktale.

There are so many great Christmas stories out there for people of all ages and interests, and I truly believe that staying in with a hot cup of cocoa and a good book is more memorable than rushing out to get the latest Tamagotchi, Tickle Me Elmo, Cabbage Patch Kid, Poggs, Wii, or whatever this generation of kids is into.

Here are my Christmas book recommendations:

For the little women in your life, there’s Louisa May Alcott’s Christmas Tales and Stories

For anyone who could use a good laugh, there’s Laurie Notaro’s An Idiot Girl’s Christmas: True Tales from the Top of the Naughty List

For someone who loves twisted tales of holidays run amuck, there’s David Sedaris’ Holidays on Ice

For anyone who loves a classic, there’s Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol

For the nostalgic, there’s Dylan Thomas’ A Child’s Christmas in Wales

For those who love the South, there’s Truman Capote’s Christmas Memory

There are too many great children’s Christmas books to list.  What are your favorite Christmas books?