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Family: tender and terrorizing. Love. They are everything; they are shaping; they are absent. The most interesting collection of humans at our fingertips, fascinating, beautiful, curious, mysterious (how do we stay together?). I've always found fine boundaries when writing about family; how much is our own story, and how much is theirs? So, in search of an answer, I roamed voca and encountered a collection of nonfiction and poetry handling family; some biological, some full of hindsight, some full of desire for their own to-be-developed family, and some dreaming of a kinglier reality.
Roger Bonair-Agard -- "A Time of Polio" describes walking trips the narrator takes to his Uncle's home to drop off meals and how he picks up a drink on the way home. It's a poem of another time, and it explores what this time of polio means. (I think I've funneled you to Roger's work before, but this one is good and shouldn't be passed up.) http://voca.arizona.edu/index/php?reading_id=454
Beth Alvarado -- Check out any of her "Parts" series from her memoir, Anthropologies. I particularly liked "Part Two: 18" about a "very old, very tired 18" with a wall.
Rusty Morrison -- "Please advise stop..." An elegic collection of her father's death, and more. Her whole reading deals with her parents and husband, and she speaks often of form.
Tedi Lopez Mills -- "Homenaje/Homage" A bilingual presentation of her work. Homenaje deals with memories, and how sometimes, Mills' sister inserted herself in Mills' memories, where she might not actually belong.
Adrienne Rich -- "Family Romance" What if your parents weren't these parents, but something "better?"
Eleni Sikelianos -- "What will the baby be shaped like..." and "put commas around the baby..." and "5 Things That Terrify." There are some fast moving, bilogical terms in these poems. Attention is paid to the physical understanding of a family, or at least, of a baby. Many of these poems deal with the process of Sikelianos' pregnancy and her sketches.
Photo by Cybele Knowles