ARCHIVE FOR Writing the Family

Sometimes, When We Pick Our Poems Up

By the time I’d get my poems back…I could see them in a new way, maybe like children getting off the bus from their first day of school.   – Kay Ryan


Sometimes, when we pick our poems up, they come sprinting into our arms and we can’t tell if they are overjoyed to see us or if we are rescuing them from the cruelties of the playground.

Ben Berman

The Workshop The Writing Life

Passports to Wonders and Miracles

It was hot and muggy.


My five-year-old suggested that we cool off by heading to the library. And though I worried that she was beginning to think of our local branch not as a space filled with passports to wonders and miracles, as Libba Bray writes, but as that place with central air, I was desperate for AC.


Luckily, not only was the library air-conditioned, but it happened to be hosting a live animal program for kids – and maybe I was just trying to justify our outing in my mind but I couldn’t help but notice how ...

Ben Berman

The Writing Life

Sound Ideas

My two-year-old’s favorite word these days is doo-doo.


She’ll tell friendly store clerks that that is her name.


She’ll cry for us in middle of the night. I hongry, she’ll say when we get to her crib. What do you want to eat? we’ll ask. Doo-doo, she’ll say, before dropping back to sleep.

Ben Berman

Amusements Writing While Parenting

Yet Another Reason not to Marry a Poet

My four-year-old and I were recently walking to the playground when she noticed a picture of a young girl, not much older than her, hugging a dog.


Aww, she said, what a cute puppy.


I didn’t have the heart to explain why a picture like that would be posted to a telephone pole, and so I smiled and continued walking when she started to sound out the letters in bold on top of the poster.

Ben Berman

Amusements Writing While Parenting

The Art of Putting Things Together

Last night, my two-year-old spent the evening dropping fistfuls of fried rice from her high seat while singing Humpty Dumpty had a great faaaaall!


I probably should have intervened – taken her bowl away or redirected her. At the very least I should have stopped making sound effects every time the rice hit the carpet.


But as a poet, I’ve developed the ability to detach myself from my parental responsibilities and view my kids, instead, as adorable little metaphors.

Ben Berman

Amusements Creativity Writing While Parenting