Dear Mary,

Your willingness to respond to the world as a primary focus in your poetry has steadied me time and time again.  Your writing craft awakened me to the music of words and to understanding how either belief or doubt can offer poetic structure. 

In 2001, a friend and I took a two-hour bus ride to Manhattan to hear you read at the 92nd Street Y.  It was worth every minute—not only for your reading and the consideration you gave to each question you were asked afterward but also for the packed auditorium, for the hunger of the other women there, for the confirmation of my own hunger for ways to express what it is to be alive as a female on this Earth in this moment.

For me, you have modeled courage in your expressions of joy and your expressions of grief.  Your voice, bringing alive on the page a marsh hawk, a lily, or the blue air, has helped me persist in my own explorations. I have been emboldened by the spiritual connection in your writing.  I hope that connection emboldens you now.

My very best wishes,
Marilyn Hazelton