Author • Poet • Artist • Teacher
May your imagination delight and inform you wherever you go!
Patrice in Action
a few thoughts
Our fires are decreasing in size and strength thanks to the enormous efforts of firefighters & the dry lightning that didn't come.
Over 70,000 people have been displaced in Santa Cruz. Many in Monterey County too. The smell of smoke is much reduced, so I'm going to take a walk among the trees. I will thank them for standing strong while their brethren
burned. I'll thank them for their majesty and tell them how grateful I am to look up to them, how far up my eyes have to go to see their topmost branches.
Forever, I used to think that I was the one who was a mess (and I don't mean my hair!) and that nearly everybody else was more or less fine. I mean, it appeared that way. And I'm sure I have appeared just fine too—brushed hair and a nice dress.
It was only the other day that I realized a lot of us tender-hearted people aren't actually a mess, rather we're open. Glennon Doyle Melton said she cries and smiles often, "because I'm paying attention." I think I was born this way, alert and attentive, because I'm not entirely certain I'd choose this.
With our current U.S. government, Covid, and now our fires, I've felt a mess in a messy world. On the inside I'm a body full of ignited firecrackers, wind stuck in a box, the future biting itself, a destination with no address, something I can't quite swallow, nor spit out. In other words, like many of you, I'm alive and afraid and open and loving. Love and creativity is what makes the whole mess more than tolerable, that's what makes it the thing I choose over and over again. Here's to love. Yours!
Poet, nonfiction writer and teacher Patrice Vecchione’s new book is My Shouting, Shattered, Whispering Voice: A Guide to Writing Poetry & Speaking Your Truth.
Kirkus Reviews called the book “At once impassioned and practical poetic advice.” Marcelo Hernandez Castillo said it “should be required reading for beginning writers as well as those who have been writing for decades.” Ellen Bass called it “more than a guide to writing poetry. it is an act of generosity and empathy, a helping hand to anyone who dreams of telling their truth through words on a page.”
Patrice is the editor several highly acclaimed anthologies for young adults, most recently, Ink Knows No Borders: Poems of the Immigrant and Refugee Experience, called a “vivid and vital collection” by The Washington Post. She's the author of Writing and the Spiritual Life and Step into Nature: Nurturing Imagination and Spirit in Everyday Life, and as well as two collections of poetry.
About her, Adrienne Rich said, “Patrice Vecchione is one of those steady, vibrant, serious and passionate temperaments who continually relish our sense of communal creativity.”
For many years, Vecchione has taught poetry and creative writing to young people through her program, The Heart of the Word: Poetry and the Imagination. She is also a columnist for her local daily paper, The Monterey Herald. Patrice offers writing workshops for adults and children through her program The Heart of the Word.