Author Archives: Anita Sullivan

Born under the sign of Libra, Anita Sullivan cheerfully admits to a life governed by issues of balance and harmony. This likely led to her 25-year career as a piano tuner, as well as her love of birds (Libra is an air sign), and love of gardening, music and fine literature (beauty). She spent years trying to decide if she was a piano tuner who wrote poetry, or a poet who tuned pianos. She traveled a lot without giving way to a strong urge to become a nomad; taught without becoming a teacher; danced without becoming a dancer; and fell totally in love with the high desert country of the Southwest, and then never managed to stay there. However, Sullivan did firmly settle the writing question–yes, it turns out she is a writer, but not fixed into any one category. She has published two essay collections, a novel, two chapbooks and one full-length book of poetry, and many short pieces in journals. Most recently she published Ever After, a novel that takes place after life but before death, mostly on the Greek island of Ikaria. Every incident in the book happened to her in a slightly different form: she always writes from direct experience. Even more recently (November 2016) Sullivan published a chapbook of poems, And If The Dead Do Dream. True to her Libra roots, it has a theme of parallel worlds.

On the Pleasures of Writing Mediocre Literature

“Because you’re in a hurry and there’s no time for research, you re-invent the street names in downtown Portland, or pretend to have inside information on the corporate structure and jargon of the film industry in southern California, or make up a new century in which the telephone booth went obsolete. You become truly giddy […]

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The Summer of Two Eclipses

“There we were, a bunch of strangers in a random field, all facing the same direction as if we were sitting on the beach. But our heads were tipped back and we were wearing these silly grey glasses that looked like we had cut them out of a coloring book. Almost as soon as we […]

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The Physicality of Language: From Hand to Mouth (Best of WH)

“Speaking as a poet, I have come to recognize that raw emotions are like rare natural resources: they must be actively mined through some extraction process with tools. They do not obey ordinary verbal commands or cues any more than volcanoes and hurricanes do and, like weather gods, their powers should not be fooled around […]

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A Poet’s Reply to the Question: ‘Who is Your Audience?’

“I think it is a collective self you are ultimately writing for, but not a universal one: you are writing for anybody, but not for everybody.”—Anita Sullivan On The Other Hand By Anita Sullivan EUGENE Oregon—(Weekly Hubris)—August 2017— My niece writes romance novels and sells enough books on Amazon to earn herself a six-figure income. […]

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How Do They Make Moons?

“A group of us were taking a walk at dusk near the city landfill, which was located on a spot from which you could get a pretty good view of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. We lined up silently on top of a mound, looking across the uneven ground towards the dump itself, to await […]

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Instructions for Walking Through Walls

“The two of us had not spent more than 4 or 5 hours in one another’s company for the last 20 years, and our occasional telephone conversations had been an ordeal for both of us. The only way we were each going to survive this searing initiation into a new relationship was for each of […]

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Meteors, Hercules & The Secret Life of Stories

“The physicality of writing on paper with an implement that is silent, free from the subversive electronic tension of the screen, and blessedly insignificant, gives me a little purgatory of irresponsibility that allows regular, robust visitations to my self as a headstrong child with an enormous secret inner life.”—Anita Sullivan On The Other Hand By […]

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Rewilding Religion (Best of “Hubris”)

On The Other Hand By Anita Sullivan A Thai “Spirit House,” or “San Phra Phum,” meaning “Abode of the Land’s Guardian Spirit.” “Archaeologists, anthropologists, and other social scientists have known for quite some time that many ‘pagan’ folk religions, with their accompanying stories and songs, never completely died out, but simply went underground in a […]

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“Are there ‘something elses’ that stop changing, thus becoming immortal in some sense, but at the same time dangerous because they take no further part in the life/death cycle that rounds out our days? A person could approach good and evil this way if a person weren’t afraid of falling.”—Anita Sullivan On The Other Hand […]

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April Fool’s Day at the Amtrak Station

“Children are going through contortions on the benches. Two young men talk in Spanish across an aisle. A man and woman speak German over by the water fountain. The young ticket agent makes regular appearances. He talks briefly with the fat lady, coaxing her out from under her scarf, talks to the crossword-puzzle lady, to […]

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