In the mid 70s, I made a decision that would forever alter the landscape of my life. My grandfather’s Parkinson’s disease was progressing so we were on our way to south Georgia  for his move to a nursing home.  We stopped for snacks at an Eckerd’s drugstore and I was given  five dollars to buy whatever I wanted for the long trip.  I scanned the bookshelves and came upon  a newly released paperback available in several brightly-colored metallic covers.  I chose the  version in red and life has never been the same. 

That book was John Irving’s The World According to Garp.  For the rest of that trip and that terrible time in my family’s life, I was immersed in all of the novel’s humor and heartache, its sexiness and sorrow.  I was a kid and it was cathartic.  It made me laugh; it made me cry. 

It made me see the infinite possibilities in the written word: how a novel, a story, a page or a poem can confront our deepest feelings and fears, create an outlet for grief or an escape for a lost soul.  And in the end, Garp made me write.  So I have kept that same copy of Irving’s novel with me now for over 30 years, returning to it often just as we all return to the poets and writers who speak to or move us again and again. 

From that time on, I grew up down South carrying that tattered Garp in my heart until eventually I came of age as a New Yorker during some of the city’s finest times and greatest sorrows.  Now, I find myself living on the country’s farthest shore, where I have returned to my first great love, writing poetry.  I find inspiration for my poems in everything from a mundane task like laundry or a trip to the mall to the majestic natural world by which I am often surrounded, all while embracing and contemplating the digital revolution that defines our times and changes our world and our words.

The internet is giving us another chance for poetry, says Erica Jong.  I can only hope that she is right and that what you find here may compel you to re-visit my site often for my new poems, blogs and thoughts.  Sign on, sign up and see for yourself how edgetsread is evolving, knowing always that it makes a difference when what gets written gets read.



“It makes a difference when what gets written gets read.”