“She is ever fair…”

“She is ever fair, and never proud / Hath tongue at will and yet is never loud”

a fellow student’s verse sketch of the 16-year-old Emily Dickinson.

I’m Nobody! Who are you? The Life and Poetry of Emily Dickinson — the exhibition runs through May 28 — there’s still time!

If you happen to live/be in New York, stop by The Morgan Library & Museum (225 Madison Avenue at 36th Street, New York, NY 10016. Just a short walk from Grand Central and Penn Station.)

Don’t miss.

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“write from your own life”

“…make sure that there are aspects of your book that you know to the bones. Maybe there is a character inspired by your own mother. Or maybe you are a devoted baker, and your heroine is a pastry chef. It can be a place, an occupation, a way of life.

The point is this: Knowing something profoundly and deeply will free you to write about it in an engaging and authentic way, and in an original voice. Aspiring authors sometimes fear sharing the premise of their work in progress, on the grounds that somebody might “steal their idea.” I don’t think anybody should worry about this. The fact is, if you write from your own life, only you can write your book.”

—  Michele Campbell

Bragging Time: Compass Award 2016

My English translation of Bella Akhmadulina’s poem “To Boris Messerer” (1974) won third prize in the international translation contest Compass Award 2016:

To Boris Messerer

I later would recall: I was alive,
and it was winter, snowing, and my heart,
consumed with burning, ached, I was in love —
with whom? with what?
In Povarskaya street
(the name has changed) there was a house… The live-
long day, the whole night through I was in love —
with whom? with what?
The house in that old street,
the space that’s called a studio in which
an artist works.
Work lured the artist out
into the cold. Alone, I would await
his steps. Framed by the window, night drew on.
I later would recall: I looked upon
that waiting labor as my being’s aim,
but even then I could not help but pair
the urgency of tender hours that fleet —
with future woes… The house in that old street —
with the unheard-of day approaching fast,
when I’d recall that house, left in the past…