Author Archive

Who Decides?

By Stephanie Barbé Hammer

“Who decides what is good writing?” I asked my Composition students at Edmonds Community College this past fall.

We traded ideas. In the end, the answer was:

Us. We decide what is good.

That’s exactly right.

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The Winter of our (Dis)content

By Stephanie Barbé Hammer

What better moment in our profoundly messed up time to quote Richard III? Shakespeare can really write about dysfunctional regimes. I find myself thinking about the plays that focus on the rot at the top: Richard the III of course, but also Hamlet, King Lear, and even Measure for Measure, where a predatory puritanical ruler tries to blackmail a beautiful novice into having sex with him. A lot of Shakespeare sounds familiar to me right now.

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Outside alone at night for the first time (Seattle, 1960)

By Stephanie Barbé Hammer

The cousin has gone inside
For some reason. She is my only
Relative who is my age that
I know about and I trust her
Because she knows about grass

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