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About me

Recently arrived in Portland, Oregon. Recently retired from college teaching (drama, English literature, creative writing). Main passions: beauty, intelligence, humor, books, music, film, my kids and their kids, meditation (don’t just do something; sit there), social activism (don’t just sit there; do something), eccentric people and their stories, prisoners, Africa and its many peoples and cultures, Buddhism, Hinduism (especially a reverence for Mother Durga), the welfare of the planet and all the creatures on it, and (not to get too esoteric) pasta. Of the eight books I have written, five have been published. Of the thousands of stories and poems I have written, I don’t know–maybe thirty or forty–have been published. The great thing about my life now is that I don’t have to earn money if I can live frugally enough to survive on Social Security. That means I can now write what I really want to write and not bother about whether it is published or not. Gertrude Stein said, “You cannot write for both God and Mammon.” I find most of her proclamations hold up pretty well over time, so now that Mammon is out of the way, I wonder what I will write. I live to find out.

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9 responses to “About me”

  1. Laurie Polomsky says:

    I teared when reading Calming Down for two reasons. The first was about how happy I was to see your blog again and I wanted to give you a big hug. The other was about you writing. How amazing. If you have a sec please send me your email address again. I don’t want to lose touch.

  2. Marilyn Eddy says:

    Hello Kendall
    Just wondering how you are, where you are? Do you remember me….Steve Richardson’s sister? I’m in Santa Rosa CA, and thought you were coming to
    the Marin area at some point. Please let me know if you are in the area…I’d
    love to have you to my home for dinner.

    I still read “Look at That” often. It’s a good memory of my brother.
    Take care,

  3. Diane says:


    You continue to amaze me! You may very well be the most centered person I know (and this isn’t sentimentality)…I know how you have struggled to achieve this place. Know that you inspire me and are so very additive to my life!


  4. Christine Johnson says:

    Dearest friend of so many years, this site is wonderful, it keeps me up to date with your thoughts and feelings and your now wonderful life in Portland. I have ceased to worry about you so much nowadays. You have found your sanctuary at last. Keep writing, it is always inspiring (you could make the grocery list inspiring) and I love reading your blog. Will write when I have a moment – promise!!

  5. Diana Blok says:

    Dear Kendall,
    It has been a long time. I think of you often when I see my camelias on the balcony…remembering how in the beginning of spring the hard winds kept throwing them over. I wrote you this and you answered…it is just like life… we fall and stand all the time.
    I wanted to read your weblog again and find that you needed a break from it for now which I can well imagine. I have read the recent texts of roots and rootlessness and they are so inspiring.
    I hope this note finds you well and happily into another page of your well lived book. With love, Diana

  6. Jan says:

    I found you miraculously by searching for a poem I sent to my favorite, dying aunt.
    I was so sad that I couldn’t remember the title, nor the author. I had bought the whole book, tore out the page and mailed the poem. We didn’t do Internet.

    This morning, I whined and begged her to help me find it ( She has been dead for 5 years).

    I tried a poetry site, no good. after a rest period,
    I googled poem+ floating+daughter
    and lo and behold
    Your wondrous site appeared, complete with poem by Booth.
    Who wouldn’t break down and cry over that. I did, in gratitude.
    I would like to do what you do when I grow up.
    I’m old too, and want to blog.
    I’m just finishing a new degree in Communications
    and don’t really want to go mainstream. I can write myself.
    If you feel so inclined, please contact me @

    My auntie Maryanne sent me.

  7. Barbara Diane says:

    I ran across your blog and have been so enjoying your posts on Portland. I’m considering a move there as well. I’d love to know if you still love it there. If you see this, I’d love to communicate with you. Thanks!

  8. Julie Olsen Edwards says:

    I just found your blog – January 2013. I am one of Tillie Olsen’s daughters and was searching for some information about people who taught her work in college courses. I too am a Community College instructor (or at least I was for 40 years!). I was so moved by what you said about your work, your writing, your teaching. Are you still blogging?

  9. Kathryn says:

    I will write to you immediately, Julie. Thanks for contacting me.

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