Grace Cavalieri has sixteen books and chapbooks of poetry and 26 produced plays. Her newest publication is "Millie’s Sunshine Tiki Villas." Grace founded and still produces “The Poet and the Poem” on public radio, celebrating 36 years on-air in 2013. It is recorded at the Library of Congress and transmitted via Pacifica Network. She holds two Allen Ginsberg Poetry Awards (1993 & 2013), A Paterson Poetry Prize, a Pen Fiction Award, the Bordighera Award for Poetry, The CPB Silver Metal and received the Associated Writers’ Program George Garrett Award for 2013.
Our Featured Poet presentation begins with a poem by Grace:
Having a mother who's a writer is a different grammar
from a mother who bakes cookies and measures table cloths,
That's why my children tugged each other,
after they studied a picture of me
standing on points, satin toe shoes,
a stiff tutu, with a split golden tiara on top my laquered head.
I looked like a silver string had been pumped from
hell to heaven with me in the middle.
Look at mom, they said, how pretty, perfection, every hair in place.
What a disgrace to tell them it was my cousin Marilyn
with the Stuttgart ballet who flew away like a bird to
reclusion and cancer, one lonely autumn day.
I, on the other hand, was the one with strangle-tied dirty toe shoes,
the ones with bloodstained toes inside
and never stood still long enough for a photo, much less a pose.
Hair frisking all over, just like now, rushing along,
For a second I thought I'd take the credit and make them all proud.
But for momentary glory, that would rub them wrong. I'll tell them
who I really am, at whatever cost, no satin, nothing to brag about,
--still going strong.