Setting Fire to the Origami Crane – For Sarah Briggs Hoffmann

A little over a year ago, we gathered family and friends on an island in Muscongus Bay in Maine to celebrate Peter Hoffmann's (my father-in-law) life and bury his ashes in the island cemetery. It was a glorious day—sunny and warm—for a picnic, wine, and shared memories. Sarah, my mother-in-law, asked the kids to craft … Continue reading Setting Fire to the Origami Crane – For Sarah Briggs Hoffmann

Death and Poetry – UCSF Memory and Aging Center

I few months ago, I wrote about my out-of-body experience (spending the evening with a couple of exes) compliments of the University of California San Francisco Memory and Aging Center, where death and dying was discussed through the medium of poetry. Jane Hirshfield, poet and the Hellman Visiting Artist at the center (2012-13), led the … Continue reading Death and Poetry – UCSF Memory and Aging Center

Poetry and Death

So I spent last night in the presence of death and two exes: exhilaration and exhaustion. And with a marvelous improvisational violinist, Shira Kammen, whose ephemeral music was fitting for the occasion. There were others there with me, an auditorium filled with people, to discuss the "usefulness" of poetry as a way of transforming end-of-life … Continue reading Poetry and Death