The Tiny Letter giveaway

The Tiny Letter giveaway

As an incentive to sign up for my newsletter, I offered a framed print of this painting by my mother, which inspired the cover of Old New Worlds. The youngest twig of our family tree, Lizzy, made the pick! Watch it here.

Priceless birthday presents

Priceless birthday presents

Tucked away in the basement of this building on the leafy campus of Johns Hopkins University, is the Department of Conservation & Preservation of the Sheridan Libraries. It was here that I went early this year to meet Jennifer Jarvis, a Book & Paper...

#Celebrateimmigrants

#Celebrateimmigrants

"Every writer has only one story to tell" —James Baldwin In my case, I wouldn't even have been a writer if telling my story hadn't compelled me; after I became an immigrant twenty-two years ago, I simply hadto write about it. So now, on this first day of June, the...

Behind the façade

Behind the façade

Evidently, the research bug hasn’t left me since I went in search of Sarah’s story for “Old New Worlds.” The other day I took myself on a walking tour of Earls Colne in Essex, where my sister settled about twenty miles from where Sarah’s husband grew up in the early...

Today, I am American 18 Times Over

Today, I am American 18 Times Over

...for the judge who presided over my citizenship ceremony, it was his last day before he retired, and he teared up as he told us that swearing in new American citizens had been one of the best parts of his job. “This is a land of immigrants,” he told us. “Even as you...

The world’s oldest paper

The world’s oldest paper

My publisher at Green Writers Press is floating the idea of printing Old New Worlds on hemp—and my instinctive response of “oo!” has quickly turned to Google. “Hemp hurds are favorable in comparison with those used with pulp wood.” – Jason L. Merrill, U.S. Department...

Six Degrees of Separation

Six Degrees of Separation

The concept of six degrees of separation is endlessly fascinating. For the longest time, I have been putting off reading Elizabeth Alexander’s memoir, The Light of the World. Joan Didion’s account of losing her husband in The Year of Magical Thinking made me feel...

Telling Stories

Telling Stories

When Jessica Miles Henkin from The Stoop Storytelling Series emailed me out of the blue to ask if I would consider telling a story about my immigration experience at the Saturday, November 7th partnership show with the Baltimore Museum of Art, it took me about a...

Found objects

Found objects

Look what I found, crumpled up and crammed behind the right drawer of my "new" writing desk! Close inspection tells me that it is the Certificate of Birth for Baby Girl Seifert, Anne Louise, born November 3, 1933, to Joseph Nicholas (42) and Claire Wilmoth Schamberger...

Tom Stoppard: master playwright

Tom Stoppard: master playwright

My take on another fabulous production at The Folger Theatre in DC. http://www.wbjc.com/2015/host-blogs/is-it-rosencrantz-or-is-it-guildenstern/ In a world where heads always wins and pirates can happen to anyone, this inventive existentialist tragicomedy thrusts two...

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