September 2015

Art & Flowers.

Psyche & Muse.

Eat while reading…


How about this amazing floral collage by Mrs. Delany? Her Passion Flower inspires a Symposium at The Barnes Foundation, October 1, 2015. Molly will speak about women, flowers, and art. The Symposium lasts from 9:30am to 4:30pm & includes a box lunch, a wine reception & a private tour of the Barnes Collection, 2025 Ben Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA 19130, (215) 278-7000.

“My fervent hope is that someday a cave painting of a flower will be discovered—then we’ll know the history of women’s art.”



cat m 

Psyche & Muse:
One day I read on the Tribach blog that a poem, “The Distance Up Close,” saved the blogger’s life when she was a young woman on a temporary stay in a mental hospital.  It took me a minute to realize that I wrote that rescuing poem.  Do visit Trebach (a metrical term for three unstressed syllables) to think about the stressed and unstressed life.  Since the stroke my analyst suffered three years ago, I’ve been writing poems about psychoanalysis, and about our forty-year journey together.  Yet poets don’t tackle this as a subject very often.  Thank you, Daniel Lawless at Plume, Kwame Dawes at Prairie Schooner, Clarice Foster at Contemporary Verse 2, Jason Guriel at Partisan, JD McClatchy at the Yale Review, Willard Spiegelman at Southwest Review, Ginger Murchison and Gregory Orr at The Cortland Review, and David Yezzi at The New Criterion for taking a chance and publishing many of these poems. Thanks to Rachel Hadas for recommending a book, the title of which rhymes with its author:  Ambiguous Loss by Pauline Boss.  It addresses these radical, ambiguous changes.


Nadia Boulanger for writers, maybe?
Look who’s publishing books!

green butterflies m

I’ve always admired the stories about composer Nadia Boulanger who worked with gifted musicians in her Paris apartment. I, too, teach one-to-one from my home.  But for 35 years I’ve never known exactly what to call these amazing teaching transactions with the gifted writers who find their way to me.   Boulangerie?  After I started an international Goal Group for writers and called it Mutual Muse, I suddenly had a phrase for this work. Yes, we are operating with a collaborative muse.  I’m going to call out some of the more recently published or upcoming books in the MuseletterUp first is Julia Shipley.  Her book of poems, The Academy of Hay, is the winner of the 2014 Melissa Lanitis Gregory Poetry Prize.

academy 2


 Eat While Reading…


Watercress & Watermelon Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette.
Chop one bunch of watercress. Add a heaping cup of watermelon squares. (Slice watermelon about half an inch thick; then slice half-inch squares.) Sprinkle on toasted pumpkin seeds & snipped chives.  (Toast the seeds in a toaster oven & use a kitchen scissors for the chives.) Add a grind or two of salt (Himalayan Salt has fabulous minerals) and pepper.  Vinaigrette:  one part raspberry vinegar to four parts olive oil.

Red Leaf Lettuce, Fresh Peas, and Nasturtium Blossoms.  That’s the one pictured above.  For my friends who have nasturtiums,  assemble this way:  Tear lettuce, shell peas, cut nasturtium blossoms.  Toss lettuce and peas with Raspberry Vinaigrette, above, then position the blossoms (weird and peppery, like watercress.)

On the other hand, you could just buy chocolate covered cherries & eat those while reading about a poetry bad boy (below.)

lady byron

Read While Eating:  I can’t wait till Lady Byron and Her Daughters by Julia Markus is published this fall.  I just gobbled up an advance copy from WW Norton.  Byron as wife abuser?  Now you can take Caroline Lamb who thought him “mad, bad and dangerous to know”… frighteningly literally. Markus writes the remarkable Lady Byron’s and her math genius daughter Ada’s story with a quick pace and chatty voice.   An eye-opener about a remarkable woman’s triumph over a  poet’s maxed out narcissism.

Best Canadian Poetry Tea


Molly Peacock
Anita Lahey, Lois Lorimer, Jim Nason
Jake Mooney, Sonnet L’Abbé
The Friends of The Best Canadian Poetry Series

cordially invite you to our

Spring Poetry Tea Party

Special guest Sue Goyette
on  April 19, 2015
from 2-4pm
(brief presentation at 3pm)
at Joy Bistro
884 Queen Street East,Toronto, Ontario M4M 1J3
T: 647.748.1755
(Joy is located at the corner of Booth Avenue, one block west of Logan Avenue.)

Contribution: $50.00*
We’d love it if you brought a friend, too!

Please prepay by clicking Here for PayPal
or by sending your cheque to
Tightrope Books, Inc.
#207-2 College Street, Toronto ON M5G 1K3

* Your contribution not only includes our festive tea, but also a copy of The Best Canadian Poetry 2014 edited by Sonnet L’Abbe, not to mention the witty company of poets and the gratitude of the editors and publisher of this anthology.


Feb 16 W.W. Norton & Company cordially invites you to the launch of The Analyst

February 16, 2017: New York City Launch– Molly’s first Manhattan reading from The Analyst at The Corner Bookstore. Book signing and wine & cheese reception will follow the reading. RSVP to February 16, 6pm. 1313 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10128 at 93rd Street. The Facebook event page is here.


The Analyst

When a psychoanalyst became a painter after surviving a stroke, her longtime patient, distinguished and beloved poet Molly Peacock, took up a unique task. The Analyst (from W.W. Norton and Biblioasis) is a new, visceral, twenty-first century “in memoriam” of ambiguous loss in which Peacock brilliantly tells the story of a decades-long patient-therapist relationship that now reverses and continues to evolve. Peacock invigorates the notion of poetry as word-painting: A tapestry of images, from a red enameled steamer on a black stove to Tibetan monks funneling glowing sand into a painting, create the backdrop for her quest to define identity.

“Whatever the subject, rich music follows the tap of Molly Peacock’s baton.”—Washington Post

“This collection is a welcome green in our clearcut time. Its poems unfurl botanically, precisely as they should, and invite us to consider how essential healing is to our progress. Here are two women in a crucial exchange, taking their turns to listen and to learn. There is an honouring afoot in this work that I’ve learned from, a bowing and a thanks that are given with the grace and humility Molly Peacock’s poetry can make sing. Whether it’s the radical company of visual art or poetry, here is how art abides while we persist and find our way.”Sue Goyette

“There’s a spellbinding intimacy here, between analyst and patient, the two women characters, and, most importantly, between poet and reader. A compelling examination of how much we depend on others, especially when it comes to ‘seeing’ ourselves through someone else’s eyes. Needless to say, the real subject is love.” — Philip Schultz

“With gusto, compassion, and wit matched by consummate craft and remarkable tonal range, Peacock revels in the liberties of language. The stroke of the ‘intimate witness’ (the poet’s beloved analyst) spurs a series of lyric meditations on the forces that shape and reshape identity. With the singular achievement of her seventh collection, Peacock transforms her art.” — Phillis Levin

“Guided to ‘listen, question, and watch things heal,’ I felt both the sting of recognition and the balm of comfort in these honest, graceful poems.” — Rachel Zucker

“Psychoanalysis has always been of a piece with the various languages of literature—a kind of practical poetry—taking its life, as theory and practice, from a larger world of words. A session lasts 50 minutes, [and it’s] always at the same time each week, the way a sonnet is 14 lines. As Molly Peacock superbly demonstrates in The Analyst, the form makes possible the articulation.” — Adam Phillips

(From The Analyst & originally published in CV2)