3418 Valley Creek Circle
Alice D’Alessio grew up with a poetry-loving father, and that made all the difference.
After retiring from corporate and non-profit communications positions, she began writingpoetry and has published four books. The first, A Blessing of Trees, was awarded the Posner Prize from the Council for Wisconsin Writers, the second Days We Are Given won first place and publication from Earth’s Daughters. Her latest book, Conversations With Thoreau, was published by Parallel Press. She has taught workshops at Green Lake for Elderhostel, and various other venues.
A Blessing of Trees (awarded the Posner Prize from the Council for Wisconsin Writers.
Days We are Given (Earth's Daughters).
Conversations with Thoreau (Parallel Press).
Food for Thought
My letters always came back,
words circled; notes in the margins:
“Strunk & White advise...”
Misspellings, quietly corrected.
Teaching was in my father's soul
but wouldn’t pay the rent
or purge the spectre of breadlines.
He had a hill to climb so steep,
its peak, so out of reach.
They never amounted to much,
my people, he told me, white trash.
Coal miners’ shanty, soot-blackened,
privy in back; his father tracing words
along the page, struggling to read.
Shamed, he shed them all
clawing for handholds and dragging us along
he taught us well what he had wished to know:
Beethoven, Shakespeare, spooned in
with the oatmeal and cod liver oil.
Funny how we forget
from one year to the next
the joyful crescendo –
how it intensifies each day
from the pianissimo of catkins trembling
and pasque flowers purpling
to the underground tympany of restless roots
and finally the brassy fanfare
of redwing blackbirds
as they ride the willows