CALL for submissions to my blog Miriam’s Well on the theme LETTER TO MY YOUNGER SELF

CALL for submissions to my blog Miriam’s Well on the theme


flash memoir, insight, advice

A bit off the cuff–no more than 500 words

Deadline: send to me any time in the month of July, 2016

Send in the body of the email AND as an attachment—

Feel free to share this with other writers.


Miriam Sagan

Writers can be any age–you don’t have to be looking back over decades to do this.

Richard Feldman Interviews Miriam Sagan About Her Blog Miriam’s Well: Part 1

My husband Rich has been brainstorming with my about this blog ever since it started. He said he had some questions, so I was thrilled to answer them. Part 2 coming later this week!

1.  How did the blog originally fit into your mission statement, and how has that changed?
I’m charmed that you even know I have a mission statement! I picked this up from my work with personal coaching.

–To engage with as many people as possible in creative projects
–To put poetry in unexpected places where it will expand the viewer’s perceptions
–To use metaphor as a way to create connection, community, and a sense of relationship with the world
–To focus on the ephemeral, sustainable, and inexpensive

I think basically the blog still functions the way it was originally intended to. However, at the start there was a learning curve about web presence and presentation. But I do need to focus on that again and again, as in the re-design last autumn.

It also gives me a way to be creative and share writing every single day, no matter what else is going o in my life.

2.  Looking at your current list of categories, which one would you have found the most surprising when you started the blog?
I feel little out of touch with the categories. Baba Yaga and Patti Smith are the blog’s goddesses or guardians or totems, but those areas aren’t that active. Not exactly a category, but I was very surprised by the number of international contributors—that is in large part due to the ever increasingly active haiku community. So I’m surprised at how much the haiku and tanka section has grown.
3.  What do you think is the biggest current gap in the blog’s coverage?
Millennial writers. I need more voices that are different than mine. I’d love more younger perspectives. I’ve had several fantastic contributing bloggers—Bibi Deitz and Michaela Kahn to name just two—who have a lot of readers. But I’d love more from the even younger generation. You’ll note my millennial contributors are often family members—nieces, nephews, daughter—who I’ve begged material from.


My greatest support comes from my on-going contributors and readers. I’ve been prpud to publish so many terrific writers, and enjoy their growth and careers.
Miriam’s Well is ALWAYS looking for poetry, short fiction, art, and musings, particularly as related to our categories and in the area of haiku and other forms derived from the Japanese. If you are interested in being a guest blogger at any time, write me at msagan1035@aol.
The Well also runs a series of interviews for poets who have published at least one book or chapbook. Contact me if you are interested in doing an interview.
Miriam’s Well welcomes announcements of art openings, poetry readings, and community evens. Do keep in touch, follow the blog, and best of all—comment!

Upcoming Poetry Reading with Debbi Brody and Basia Miller

Debbi Brody and Basia Miller announce a reading of New Works in Conversation, Anasazi Fields Winery Placitas, NM, July 17, 2016at 3:00pm. This event is free and open to the public.  

Basia Miller and Debbi Brody, have been next door neighbors in Santa Fe for over 20 years. Basia, a former St. John’s professor and author of the bilingual “The Next Village / Le prochain village” is primarily a narrative poet. Debbi a lyric poet, has most recently authored “In Everything, Birds” (Village Books Press, OKC, 2015)  Their conversations through poetry are fun and
fascinating, in part due to their stylistic differences. Both our known for the engaging manner in which they read. 

Introduction by Jules Nyquist of Jules Poetry Playhouse in Albuquerque. Please invite your friends to this free event.
The winery is located at 26 Cam De Los Pueblitos, Placitas, NM 87043
Anasazi Fields Phone:(505) 867-3062

Musings From All Over

yoga by moonlight
summer solstice

a child laughs
picking up fallen blossoms
– thunder rumbles
barefoot again-
the dog asleep
on my slippers

Neena Singh

Visionary Art, Baltimore, USA

life’s illusion
the ending starts
at the beginning.

Thomas Canull

Visionary Art, Baltimore, USA

Autumn Close-Up 
in the absence of
an inspired wind, all fallen
leaves fled to their roots

Yuan Changming


Monday Feature by Michaela Kahn: James Baldwin, Homosexuality, and the Terror of Love

James Baldwin, Homosexuality, and the Terror of Love –

Following in the wake of the Orlando nightclub shooting I was surprised at the media and politicians’ initial insistence that the act was one of “terrorism” rather than a hate crime. It seems that we would rather believe that our “enemies” are some mysterious and incomprehensible group far away – a group that infiltrates our sleep and attacks in the night, rather than acknowledging that the demons that haunt America have been bred right here. We’d rather look to terrorism than connect this shooting with the other 1,000+ domestic mass shootings over the past 1200+ days, because terrorists are associated with wars, and wars with weapons, and the thought that we are arming our own people to commit mass murder is just too frightening. The thought that this is going to keep happening, with more children dying in schools, doctors in clinics, Muslims in mosques, blacks in churches, shoppers in malls – is something we’d rather forget.

James Baldwin is a writer who I found early on. To me his homosexuality was never really something separate from the rest of who he was. For me his relentless humanity was his most salient characteristic, along with his narrative skill and his undying compassion for his characters.

I found an interview of Baldwin, recently, where he talks about homosexuality in the context of his life, work, and America. Some of what he said felt so appropriate for the times, I wanted to share just a few pieces.

From “James Baldwin: The Last Interview and Other Conversations” with Richard Goldstein.

Goldstein asks Baldwin about the risk that he took and the difficulty he must have had in writing Giovanni’s Room at the time he did (1956). Baldwin says it was tough, but that he had to clarify something for himself…

Baldwin: Where I was in the world. I mean, what I’m made of. Giovanni’s Room isn’t really about homosexuality. It’s the vehicle through which the book moves. Go Tell It On the Mountain, for example, is not really about a church, and Giovanni is not really about homosexuality. It’s about what happens to you if you’re afraid to love anybody…

Goldstein: But you didn’t mask the sexuality … And that decision alone must have been enormously risky.

Baldwin: Yeah. The alternative was worse.

Goldstein: What would that have been?

Baldwin: If I hadn’t written the book I would probably have had to stop writing altogether.

Goldstein: It was that serious.

Baldwin: It is that serious. The question of human affection, of integrity, in my case, the question of trying to become a writer, are all linked with the question of sexuality. Sexuality is only a part of it. I don’t even know if it’s the most important part, but its indispensable.

Goldstein goes on to ask about how difficult it was for Baldwin to personally face his homosexuality and states that he doesn’t believe straight people understand how frightening that process can be. Baldwin replies …

Baldwin: It is frightening. But the so-called straight person is no safer than I am really. Loving anybody and being loved by anybody is a tremendous danger, a tremendous responsibility…. The terror homosexuals go through in this society would not be so great if the society itself did not go through so many terrors which it doesn’t want to admit. The discovery of one’s sexual preference doesn’t have to be a trauma. It’s a trauma because it’s such a traumatized society.

Goldstein: Have you got a sense of what causes people to hate homosexuals?

Baldwin: Terror I suppose. Terror of the flesh. After all, we’re supposed to mortify the flesh, a doctrine which has led to untold horrors. This is a very biblical culture; people believe the wages of sin is death. In fact, the wages of sin is death, but not the way the moral guardians of this time and place understand it.

Goldstein: Is there a particularly American component of homophobia?

Baldwin: I think Americans are terrified of feeling anything. And homophobia is simply an extreme example of American terror that’s concerned with growing up.

To me Baldwin’s points – about hate coming from fear of love, fear of intimacy, fear of growing up – ties in to the reactions we’ve been seeing around the country in the wake of the Pulse shootings. Love vs. Hate. The hateful church group who picketed outside of the funeral of one of the victims – confronted by the mass of counter-protestors, many in angel costumes, who descended to entirely block them out, singing “Amazing Grace”. The self-righteous rhetoric of pundits and the gun lobby – juxtaposed with the massive flood of images on social media of couples kissing.

So in this sense perhaps the shooting at Pulse was an act of “terrorism” — an act born from the terror of love. In which case it is up to us to face our fear, be brave, and love as fiercely as we can.

To read the rest of this great interview, click here:

Hometown Gay Pride

I wonder if it is true of all smallish cities–but sometimes all the parades in Santa Fe feel like the SAME parade. Gay Pride had enough kids in costume and dogs to resemble the pet parade! It’s not the San Francisco of my youth–with the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence (bearded nuns on roller skates) but it’s still great. And I’m apt to yell and cheer whenever I see anyone I know, or my workplace’s float goes by.
I may glare at my utility bill, but I was touched to see the gas company marching with posters remembering individuals murdered in Orlando. And you don’t get Gay Rodeo unloading bales of hay just anywhere.



Little Libraries

When the world feels chaotic


and I don’t know what to do with myself


I feel better if I give some books away…


I’d been hearing about this little library right outside the Farmer’s Market Building, but in an amazing case of serendipity I came across another one en route


right on Alameda, east of Delgado.


Thanks to whoever is putting these up!