My Miniblog

I cannot image a life more rewarding than being a writer: the process of creativity, making something from thoughts & memories, the study of literature, especially poetry, and the people the vocation brings into my life.  I've written so long now I can't remember not being a writer.  I have tried to help other writers along the way by critiquing their work, recommending them for publication, giving workshops & lectures, etc.  I hope I've somehow managed to give as much back as literature has given to me.



To truly enter a photograph a poet must cross the threshold of the negative at her own risk. Gail Peck has returned from her journey into Dorothea Lange’s timeless photographs to remind us that the precipice between hope and despair is closer than we thought. Migrations, dispersions of the rootstock of Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas transplanted families in the “dirty thirties” to someone else’s soil in California, New Mexico, Washington. Today, America is still a country in motion; home is where the heart once was. What people have always longed for is a place with curtains, at least, that offers more than shelter from the rain. Ultimately, home is the place one’s ancestors will always remember. The poems in these pages take the images of those familiar Dustbowl faces and render them, riveting and real, endowed with memory in the furrows of the brow and the endless fields. This journey to the interior of eternal instants gives us unprecedented access as readers to stand in the darkroom and watch details emerge in the developer even Lange might have missed.


Alison Moore

author of Riders on the Orphan Train 


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I’ve admired Gail Peck’s poems for thirty years—their precision and sensibility, gorgeous imagery, and taut, chiseled language that echoes long after the final syllable. All these hallmarks are exponentially evident in Pecks’ extraordinary new volume, An Instant Out of Time. These new poems beautifully contemplate and amplify the Dust Bowl photographs of legendary photographer Dorothea Lange. While An Instant Out of Time is a primer on how to write breathtaking ekphrastic poems, it is also a celebration of two artists—Lange and Peck—in a seamless collaboration of their respective arts that is heartbreakingly unforgettable.

Joseph Bathanti

North Carolina Poet Laureate (2012-14) and author of The 13th Sunday after Pentecost

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Joseph Brodsky on receiving the Nobel Prize in Literature:


"The one who writes a poem writes it above all because verse writing is an extradordinary accelerator of consciousness, of thinking, of comprehending the universe.  Having experienced this acceleration once, one is no longer capable of abandoning the chance to repeat this experience . . ."

Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Warren Wilson MFA alums

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