Kristin Needs a Friend

by Hannah Piecuch and Kaitlin Barker Davis

HANNAH: I just finished part two of The Wreath and all I want to do is fume and gossip about it—forget an actual essay. So much happens! Some of it—wherever Erlend is concerned—makes me furious. 

KAITLIN: Same! It was a relief to feel that way though after the cascade of tragedies in part one. This season of Kristin’s life is sort of like freshman year at college: girl leaves home for the big city, makes questionable friends and choices, falls in love with older boy, questions her belief system, and forms a self separate from her family. 

H: Right. She is at Nonnester Abbey in Oslo being educated by nuns. She’s apparently a good student—already into herb lore thanks to Fru Aashild—and skilled at helping out with needlework on giant tapestries. The nuns like her. Since she’s already engaged and not joining the Abbey in holy orders, she gets to go into town and dance by torchlight on feast days. I don’t know much about medieval Norway, but that kind of freedom surprised me. 

K: Me too! But maybe it’s not so much freedom as that nobody knows what she’s doing. Except her “bed-mate” Ingebjorg. Can we talk about her? That girl is not the friend that Kristin needs. First of all, she  convinced Kristin to buy the shoes she really couldn’t afford—although they sounded pretty fabulous with those red ribbons. 

H: Ingebjorg has a hand in all the early disasters of this section—she’s the one who takes Kristin on the expensive shopping trip and who loses her head and gets them lost in the countryside. She also starts competing against Kristin for Erlend’s attention before Kristin is really even aware of him, and I think that perhaps makes Kristin a little bolder than she would otherwise have been. Not that we can blame the rest of what happens on Ingebjorg. 

K: Can’t we though? Who can we blame it on? Erlend, obviously. But just for a second before we get to him, I really need to talk about Kristin’s affinity for abandoned roads. They do not turn out well for her. Did she not learn her lesson in part one, after Bentein nearly raped her? Granted, she was fierce and totally held her own out there–but then she just finds herself another empty road leading out to the wilderness. 

I know we can’t be telling women not to walk down certain streets, or blaming them instead of the men they encounter for what happens. I also know you have to go off on your own to find yourself, to find what you’re made of. I’ve gone on plenty of arguably unwise adventures, and they all turned out to be majorly formative experiences. But I am hoping Kristin can make some significant plot turns that don’t involve abandoned roads. (Maybe it’s not Kristin I’m annoyed with, but the author? I just don’t want her to overuse the abandoned road device.)

H: I think this is a part of the story that’s hard to imagine–because we don’t live in rural villages connected by dark roads. But it also seems dismayingly current. I mean, I still think twice about running alone in conservation land. And it’s not because of wolves, bears, trolls, or elves. 

K: Some things just never change when it comes to being a woman, I guess. 

Okay, now for the juicy stuff. I’m dying to hear what you hate about Erlend. So many red flags!

H: So many! Kristin doesn’t learn about Erlend’s other lover or his children until she has already spent the evening dancing with him and sleeping next to him under the stars. And after that, she feels a fierce loyalty to him, even as every new revelation about him is negative. Here he is, apparently verging on bankruptcy, miles from his estate, just riding his horse around the countryside for liaisons with Kristin. He is not a catch. 

Kristin is into him in spite of all this. Is she actually drawn to him as a person, or is it just the circumstances? Everything happens so fast between them, and I am not sure I buy their connection. 

K: I think her actions and decisions are tied to her grief over Arne. I was so shocked and sad when he died! Arne was probably Kristin’s first significant loss. She loved him but abstained from that love because it’s what she was supposed to do, since her family had already betrothed her to Simon. She was still bound enough to her community’s codes of honor and religion to let that loyalty override her own feelings. But maybe that loss unhinged her. Loss can erode your sense of certainty in the order of things. And I think Arne’s death left a void she maybe can’t help trying to fill with another true love.

H: I think that is so true. And there are moments when he makes her think of Arne, or think of what she didn’t do with Arne, and she just puts her reservations aside because of that. Maybe Kristin was ready to fall hard for someone, so long as they were more interesting than Simon. 

I think my Jane Austen radar is up. Erlend is cut from the same cloth as Willoughby or Wickham. If he had honorable intentions, he wouldn’t have gone near her. But the counter argument to that is human nature. It’s possible to fall for someone, whether or not you should. Sometimes two people meet and then everything else about their lives has to change. I mean, if that didn’t happen we wouldn’t have novels. 

K: There you go, bringing it with your MFA in fiction. Meanwhile I’m the nonfiction girl judging a fictional character for her fictional life choices! Ha. Yes, you’re right. All good stories, fiction or non, need conflict–novels especially. 

H: Necessary conflict aside, the lines after Erlend seduces Kristin made me feel devastated for her:

“Kristin stood up too–slowly feeling faint and shattered… Her whole body seemed to be aching with astonishment–that this was the iniquity that all the songs were about. And because Erlend had done this to her, she felt as if she had become his possession.” 

First of all, I feel like she just discovered what sex is by doing it. But even more than that, I find the power differential so alarming. She has no idea what she is doing, and Erlend knows exactly what he is doing. She has nothing at all to gain from being with him. And he seems to think he will gain some kind of rebirth or redemption by loving someone as good and pure as Kristin. And then there is the language of possession. I found this scene more disturbing than her fighting off the-rapist-priest-Bentien. She just seems so young.  

K: She is young, she’s 17! I know this is medieval Norway and she’s in a convent, but the girl has done some living. When I was 17, I went to youth group on Wednesday nights and got into good clean trouble with my friends, like driving around at night stealing construction cones and putting them in a boy’s front yard. I’d never suffered heartache or loss–nothing had  happened in my life to shake me, to provoke any questioning or rebelling. I had a boyfriend and a purity ring, and I felt much stronger about the ring than the boy. 

H: So Arne was her youth group boyfriend. Only now that he’s gone she doesn’t have any real friends. When I finished this part, I just had an overwhelming sense of Kristin’s isolation. 

K: A convent seems like the last place Kristin needs to be right now. She went from the isolation of her little mountain village with nobody to confide in to a cloister of nuns, where her one friend seems to make even worse decisions than she does. I guess the cloister is Kristin’s version of going off to college – and in college you don’t always get to pick your roommate as a freshman, but at least you’ve got some other friends to choose from who aren’t nuns. No offense to nuns, I love nuns.

H: She has all these men in her life telling her what to do–Erlend, Simon, her father, even the monk Edvin–but there is literally not a single other woman for Kristin to really talk to. It makes me wish she had a real female confidante. Then again, what 17-year-old listens when a friend says something against the guy they are into.

K: I know, you’re right. I guess I forget that we are twice Kristin’s age, plus a few more years. God, are we really that old? I maybe would’ve listened to a friend–maybe–but probably not my sister. But now, at 38, I’d be lost without my friends, and especially my sister.

But enough about Erlend. We need to talk about hair and clothes. The descriptions of Kristin’s long golden hair, intricately twisted into gorgeous braids and woven with ribbons makes me really tempted to grow my hair out. 

H: I love the scene when Kristin realizes that Ingebjorg is waiting to see what she wears to the dance and goes all in to out-dress her.

K: Yes! For all of Ingebjorg’s faults, she is the quintessential fun roommate–the girl knows how to party and lure boys, she’s into fashion, and she pushes Kristin to get outside her comfort zone … albeit maybe a little too far for her own good. Sigh. I wish we were in a cocktail bar having this gossip fest instead of this long-distance dishing. 

H: Or a pub for mead, to be on theme. 

K: I actually kind of love mead.

Hannah and Kaitlin have been bi-coastal friends for nearly a decade, after meeting at their first MFA residency in Santa Fe—where Kaitlin actually did drink enough mead to fall giggling into a dorm room twin bed, but only after Hannah took fake sips of the bottle she was allegedly sharing with her.

Pink Tummy Canticle

By Joanna ES Campbell 

“Oh, I’m thinking about something that Fru Ashild once said,” replied Kristin. “I was only a child back then.  But it was something about good days being granted to sensible people, but the grandest of days are enjoyed by those who dare to act unwisely.” Kristin Lavransdatter, pg. 181

I jab the pointy ends of cloves into orange flesh. A finger condom protects the tip of my thumb, too easily harmed by the repeated motion of tiny spears. I decorate the fruit in spirals – dots – constellations – lines and little maps. The fruit will rot, yes? Or slowly dry out – will mold, too – not sure why though – but many will dessicate – the cloves play a role, yes? And the ripe orange becomes a shriveled aromatic – a kind of defeated testicle – so light and delicate on my window sill. 

I would never do that to my stomach. 

Cottonwood lined rivers can make us do dangerous things, especially around the bend of rock faces, blown to bits long ago by the railroad. Alpine air whips through the canyon, and your mind plays tricks – the body fills with boozy liquid – rising from your toes and you think (is there thinking involved?) that a kiss on his wind-burned cheek would be okay. Or the lips. Even in adulthood, wisdom can flake away like glints of mica. 

Cedar boughs and sinuous rivers – freshly pulled root vegetables have taunted me down – desire – want.  Sometimes our surroundings conspire to entrance us no matter the cautionary tales – the prudence from our mothers, literature, even the guilty pleasures of Lifetime movies. 

Temptation has never occurred indoors – it’s always outside. Always the land. Even through tall windows framing a forest. 

Words and letters and orchids can make us lose our senses.

Our own dreams and beautiful hearts cushion something precious within – the folds of my interior tummy, biopsied, a tiny growth plucked for science. 

I feel different about what I eat after my doctor hands me color photographs of my stomach. A small cave of wet bubblegum. And though acids wreak havoc, my insides are…what is the word? Beautiful? No. Inflamed, yes but also, and quite surprisingly, Dear. Dear like a two-year-old playing naked in the sand, beaming with wonder at the three-foot circumference of her world – the broken pearly underbellies of rough pen shells waiting for discovery. 

The insides of my thighs are dark from chaffing, skin loose, underarms sagging, my vagina known by more than I’d prefer – stretch marks tattoo my body, but my stomach – entirely different. My dear stomach has somehow remained sweet – innocent – intact. I now want to give my stomach the long lost greetings it deserves full or heart-shaped cards and chocolate kisses. 

Wishful and pink and shiny – tender and vulnerable – the photos reveal the kind of plump folds cooed over. This place inside me, known by resilience despite broken hearts, depression, hospitals – fearless lack of perspective – the lies and countless reckless decisions. A place that has ached, yes, and fretted and feared but somehow, unbeknownst to me, remained protected – wrapped in a warm blanket – never wanting for long. 

There’s a crevice inside my chest cavity still easily fingered by bad actors. I trip on thoughts that grace is a destination, a hike I must persevere rather than a free gift. Really, why is it so hard to occupy grace when we royally fuck up?  Or when we simply fuck up in a run-of-the-mill sort of way?  When we’re simply living, and yes, trying to reflect and learn and grow, and yet still, our hearts are blown off course. (I assume there is a course.) 

Through no fault of our own, eating is our most intimate act. I can’t remember who originated this idea – Hippocrates? Lao Tzu? Michael Pollan?  Through no fault of our own, brain chemistry and culture collide.  I read somewhere that I can forgive my past by having a sense of humor. 

February is a funny month because I crave pink, soft things, pretty things. Pink is not my signature color – I’m not a pink person – not because of Valentines, though I have no complaints there.  Chilled sunshine, bare branches, and moonlit snow make me want pink, to be a little girl I never was – kind and poised – beckoning to become something I never could be – clean and tidy – freshly scented – risk averse and sensible.  Peppermint candles, a pink duvet, cherry blossoms – stripes and ribbons, lip gloss, sparkly rings – a tsunami of pink arrives each winter, a kind of liturgical season, and, in truth, more akin to renewal than a life paralyzed by perfection, a life I’ve never known. I welcome the ritual with curiosity, with glee.  I was not born with a skittish heart, and now I see my stomach is the most perfect pink of all – year round – always there, always present. Still.


Joanna ES Campbell holds an M.S. in Resource Conservation from the University of Montana and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Seattle Pacific University.  Her checkered past includes teaching ecological literature and land ethics in the Wilderness & Civilization Program at the University of Montana; organizing statewide heirloom tomato festivals; and graduating high school by the skin of her teeth. She is the undefeated 1986 jump rope champion of her elementary school in which she peaked athletically.  Her writing can be found in various guest blogs and anthologies as well as Farming Magazine, Art House America, Arkansas Review, Process Philosophy for Everyone, Relief, and Orion Magazine. She is co-author of the book, Taste and See: Experiences of God’s Goodness Through Stories, Poems, and Food, as Seen by a Mother and Daughter. Joanna lives on Petit Jean Mountain in central Arkansas where she putters with her husband on eleven wooded acres. She is currently writing a lyrical memoir drawn from her experiences of wilderness and community in North America. Follow her blog at 

Don’t Be a Stranger

By Melissa Poulin

I was raised in a warm, loving family and brought up in a delightfully diverse congregation that was part of the United Church of Christ. This church was service-oriented and politically engaged, and it was emphatically welcoming of everyone. It was not a perfect church, but it was fiercely loving, and passionate about serving God through the care and loving of all people. I glued popsicle-stick arks in Sunday School and learned about God’s mercy. In Vacation Bible School, I created a parchment scroll from a Safeway bag and two sticks, and copied the Lord’s Prayer onto it in black Crayola– a prayer that stayed pinned to my bedroom wall for many years. And I went to a lovingly awkward sex-ed class with my youth group, organized and led by church parents and elders, where we asked our embarrassing questions without being shamed, and learned to put condoms on bananas. There was not a hint of purity culture in my church. Instead, there was a whole lot of trust and responsibility given to us as teenagers, which inspired me to live up to that trust.

But as my body-awareness grew, I also grew more aware of how unique my church, and perhaps my denomination, was within the larger Church. I learned about the long and bloody history of Christianity, the violence and harm it had caused and continued to cause in the name of the Perfect One. I’m not talking about persecution, but about the many ways the people of God seem to find to judge and hurt each other. I didn’t know what to do with the feelings of betrayal, horror, and shame I felt as I learned that the same faith that had brought me a deep sense of belonging and acceptance had brought the exact opposite to the lives of so many people. So midway through high school, I left the church and didn’t return until I was 26.

I felt separated from something that had been a part of my life since birth, and it was painful. But I mostly buried that pain deep inside and went looking elsewhere for connection to God. I went to yoga and read Buddhist and Hindu texts. I tried various meditation techniques. For many years, I turned my back on Jesus, and while deep down I missed the Lord terribly, I numbed myself to those feelings, convinced that they were ignorant and backward. To truly live like Jesus, I reasoned, I had to leave His church. I wish I’d been honest about those feelings with myself and with others, and that I’d opened myself to guidance from elders in my church who had almost certainly wrestled with the same feelings. Instead I kept them to myself, and I spent years in a self-enforced exile.

In part two of The Wreath, Kristin is staying at Skog with her uncle to attend the requiem mass for her grandparents, and has made arrangements with Erlend to meet at the mass.

“Erlend did not attend the mass as he had promised Kristin he would, and she thought more about this than about the word of God,” Undset writes. “But she felt no remorse over it. She merely had the odd feeling of being a stranger to everything to which she had previously felt herself bound.”

That little word “merely” is so casually out of place here. How could something like breaking the bonds of her old life be mere? The disconnect in language mirrors the one between Kristin’s preoccupation with Erlend and the slow wreckage of her life around it. Kristin’s thoughts are driven toward Erlend only. Meanwhile, her sense of isolation from her family and faith deepens, as the gravity of her sin sinks in and she realizes the full extent of the consequences of the trajectory ahead of her.

Even as she longs for him, Kristin begins to grow anxious about how much she is giving up for Erlend: “She was separated from everything she had been bound to in the past, and the bond between [her and Erlend] was such a fragile one.” It pains her that she’s breaking her promise to her betrothed, even if she never loved him, and the promises she’s made to her own family. But it’s her exile from the “community with God” that begins to consume Kristin most: “It had always been part of her life, and now she stood outside with her unconfessed sin.” The equation begins to grow heavy on one side. Will it all be worth it, in the end, just to be with Erlend? Cracks begin to form in her certainty, but she also feels she can’t turn back. The arrow has been released from the bow, and the only way for it to go is forward.

There’s so much I relate to in Kristin’s state here, and so much that is worlds away from anything I’ve ever experienced. The odd feeling of being a stranger to everything to which she had previously felt herself bound. That’s how I felt as a teenager, leaving the church of my childhood. Like Kristin, I had deliberately abandoned my faith. Like Kristin, I felt no remorse in the moment, and perhaps that’s both the peril and the privilege of youth, this lack of prior experience that can cushion you from realizing the gravity of your situation.

But Kristin’s strangerhood— her estrangement, perhaps, from her faith– has more to do with her sexuality. Sexuality was a huge part of why I left the church: the many ways the Church has failed its members who don’t conform to a narrow married, cisgender, heterosexual worldview. The many ways the Church turns our neighbors into strangers.

Nadia Bolz-Weber, the Lutheran pastor, describes this with the perfect metaphor in her beautiful book Shameless: A Sexual Reformation. She writes about seeing agricultural fields from an airplane, noticing a grid of perfect green circles within larger squares, where the corners are dry and brown. She realizes that this is the result of an irrigation problem, a central spigot that distributes water in a circle. Any plants and seeds at the margins– at the edges and corners– are left out. This is the narrowness of the Church. If you don’t fit in, especially if your innate sexuality and gender identity doesn’t fall within the limits of the green circle, you are essentially left to wither and die. But this isn’t a problem with the person. It’s an irrigation problem. It’s a problem with the Church.

“[My] argument in this book is this,” she writes. “We should not be more loyal to an idea, a doctrine, or an interpretation of a Bible verse than we are to people. If the teachings of the church are harming the bodies and spirits of people, we should rethink those teachings.”

I’m ruminating on all of this as I walk through the slow, painful winter of Kristin’s exile within the walls of Nonnesetter. I know what it is to be imprisoned by sin, by dishonesty. Most recently, I’ve felt myself imprisoned by unforgiveness, a terribly lonely jail that I’ve learned Christ alone can unlock for us. I know what it is to feel half-alive because of anger and resentment, and it’s a feeling I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. Being alone in sin, “unconfessed,” as Kristin puts it, is an excruciating pain unlike any other, and it’s what Jesus came to liberate us from. We are not meant to hide our pain and our shame deep inside, letting it grow in the dark.

But neither are we meant to be the source of shame for others, and I think this is the definition of purity culture.

“Purity most often leads to pride or to despair, not to holiness,” Nadia Bolz-Weber writes in Shameless. “Because holiness is about union with, and purity is about separation from.” With a modern lens and the vantage point of 2022, it’s easy to view the culture of medieval Norway as purity culture in the extreme, with the resulting extremes of pride and despair she describes. It’s possible to look at the circumstances that led to Kristin’s feelings of shame as needlessly restrictive and punitive. Arranged marriage, a lack of sexual education, no resources for practicing safe sex, no way for a woman to live independently outside of marriage, stigma around premarital sex, and condemnation of children born out of wedlock. What an excellent recipe for the soul torture Kristin is experiencing.

I don’t know how we expect anyone to know the right partner from the wrong partner, holy sex from harmful sex, without allowing people to make their own mistakes. My heart hurts for Kristin on so many levels as she ponders these things in her soul. And I also trust that God is present in her life as God is present in all of our lives, ready to use the hard things for our good, if we return to God.

I no longer believe the Church needs to be perfect in order to lead people to the Perfect One. But I wholeheartedly believe that as believers we need to follow Christ and His message of love and redemption, not a hateful, narrow definition of who is worthy of that love.

“If the Gospel is where we find healing from the harm done to us by the messages of the church, then it must also be where we find freedom,” Bolz-Weber writes. “Meaning that even if it is the last thing I want to do, I absolutely have to believe the Gospel is powerful enough, transgressive enough, beautiful enough to heal not only the ones who have been hurt but also those who have done the hurting.”

Melissa Reeser Poulin is the author of a chapbook of poems, Rupture, Light (2019), and co-editor of the anthology Winged: New Writing on Bees (2014). Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in basalt, Catamaran Literary Reader, Entropy, Poetry Northwest, Relief, Ruminate Magazine, The Taos Journal of International Poetry & Art, and Water~Stone Review, among others. She’s working toward her license as a community acupuncturist, and lives near Portland, Oregon with her husband Lyle and their three children, Sky, Robin, and Iris. Follow her on Instagram at @melissa_r_poulin or online at

Two Leopards and a Snake (and SHOES!): A Tale in Ingeborg’s Voice

By Megan Willome

Well! Did you see that new girl? Tiny drops of blood on her brand-new blue dress! Imagine!! 

The first thing I did was ask her about her people but she didn’t say much so she mustn’t be anyone all that important! Although she is betrothed to that very handsome knight’s son! She’ll have it way better than me and old Einar Einarsson (I ask you! What sort of name is that?!?!) Oh, that man will be my greatest sorrow!! But he’s rich and that’s good because I plan to make him buy me lots of clothes and I do like clothes! I showed Kristin all my gowns but she didn’t seem to be that much into clothes so I knew what I had to do: I had to take her shopping!!

We set out for the spring festival and that ugly old Haakon fussed at me! But he can’t hear for anything so I giggled and took Kristin’s hand and dragged her to the shoemaker’s! She didn’t want to go but really you should’ve seen the shoes she brought with her! Maybe those are okay for some barn dance up where she’s from but not here in the city full of luscious young men! Hey, a girl can flirt! And I can flirt!!

There was a gentleman in the store with a cape that was to die for and the most dashing sword but Kristin didn’t notice him at all! I made him step aside and Kristin! This girl! She looked positively scared … of shoes!! Anyway old Didrek was trying to get her feet into something halfway decent while I was trying on a whole bunch of gorgeous new arrivals and I bought these super great green ones with red heels! Finally Kristin bought something! (Thanks be to God!!!) We also got ribbons!!

Which would’ve been a perfect day! Great job Ingebørg! Way to citify this country bumpkin! And then the whole thing got almost ruined because of two leopards and a snake!!!

Everyone was screaming and running and jumping into boats and I almost got trampled by a horse! But Kristin! That girl was not listening to me AT ALL!! She wanted to find some monk she knew but I ran into the forest cuz I knew this path that she didn’t know about because she’d only been at the convent like three weeks! Then we saw a farm and I was like, Great! Look at all these handsome young men drinking and having a picnic! And they said they’d take us home only they were definitely not taking us home right away! Which was fine and dandy with me but then Kristin paid them off and they were not happy!! One man asked her for a kiss and a purse!

Now all we had was what ribbons and shoes, which I’m sure he didn’t want but Kristin wouldn’t even give him a kiss! Just one little kiss, you know? I would’ve given him a kiss he’d tell everyone about!! Maybe Kristin’s never been kissed before. Maybe she doesn’t know how much fun it is to kiss someone you’ll never see again!

Well Kristin got into it with this German and he broke her necklace! (So sad!!) But then someone was coming and I screamed since Kristin was too busy fighting these grown men when … hallelujah!! The man from the shoe store with the cape and the sword came to our rescue!!!

Kristin bless her heart did not know how to behave when rescued by a man with good fashion sense! She’d like to have fainted! But I plopped down all provocative and sad and arranged my braids just so, you know, over my very ample breasts and would you believe Kristin laughed at me!! So I went and talked to the man but he had his hand on Kristin’s shoulder and next thing I knew she was riding with him on his horse! (Only because I can’t actually ride that well and I definitely do not have the clothes for it though I will make sure to buy some on my next trip to town!) They talked the whole way back (grumble!). When we got home we had to stay up and pray till midnight and when I finally got in bed I fell asleep right away like bam no nightie-night!

But I thought a lot about those leopards that Kristin got into it with and how they honestly might have made a lot of trouble for us if not for our rescuer with the quiet voice and beautiful eyes and lovely cape and sword! He tried to get me to take a message to Kristin but I wanted no part of that! I wanted to dance with him all by myself!! But he wanted Kristin all to himself

Oh well. I still had a fun time with Munan, who actually is a knight—unlike this Erlend fellow—and who gave me the loveliest gold buckle! Munan told me all about Erlend, who’s his cousin, and now I think that man is a snake!! And Kristin! She spent the whole night with him! Her! Betrothed! So the next day I told her what Munan told me, about how Erlend took this woman away from her husband! and had two kids with her! and then had to run off to Sweden! and got excommunicated! and owes a ton of money! It was a whole huge deal!! 

Kristin said she knew what she was doing but just because a man is handsome doesn’t make him a catch! Can he buy you all the shoes your heart desires? Not if he has to pay the church a bunch of fines! Anyway I’m going to town today to go shopping! Who knows what a girl might find! Cuz when my Einar comes to get me I want him to know he’s got it good!!!

Megan Willome is a writer, editor, and author of The Joy of Poetry and Rainbow Crow, a children’s poetry book. Her day is incomplete without poetry, tea, and a walk in the dark. More writing links at her website and at Poetry for Life.