March 11, 2019

All about the Benjamins

When Rep Ilhan Omar quoted Puff Daddy’s song, I had to have it explained to me – I tend to be clueless aboout pop culture and didn’t realize that it was a reference to the hundred-dollar bill. But I did, sadly, know the trope.


January 13, 2019


I replay my past with anguish over my failures – my biggest – my hot temper which bubbles over when I suffer a narcissistic wound. Every time it happened I was ashamed in the aftermath, vowed not to do it again. In time I learned some patience, some cooling off before reacting, but never enough.


January 10, 2019

The Quotidian

The quotidian does me in. I love to sing, although my musicianship can charitably be called “sketchy.” Courtenay loved listening to me. When I took lessons or sang in a community musical he always came to hear me perform. Similarly when I did readings or gave talks.


December 29, 2018

And now – bewilderment

I struggle to be in the now. I was with Courtenay for 47 years and we had the usual trajectory of excitement and its physical passions, moving to a sense of belonging together and then building a life together, but that life feels remote, almost non-existent.


December 14, 2018

The Journey So Far

Courtenay died on November 22 at 9 in the morning. He was in a hospice facility, where he’d been for a scant 53 hours. I was not with him. That is a source of pain.


November 23, 2018

Courtenay Wright, 1923 – 2018

My husband Courtenay turned 95 on October 16. He died a month later on November 22, but Professor Young-Kee Kim, chair of the physics department at the University of Chicago, hosted a lunch in his honor shortly before his death.  Here are the remarks I made at that lunch.


November 1, 2018

Courtenay Wright at 95

In between touring for Shell Game, mourning Pittsburgh, trying to do some election work, I celebrated my husband Courtenay’s 95th birthday. Kee Young-Kim, chair of the Department of Physics at the University of Chicago — where Courtenay taught and did research for 44 years — and her husband, physicist Sid Nagel — organized a wonderful celebration for Courtenay on October 30.


September 21, 2018

An Open Letter to Senators Hatch and Grassley: It’s Not too late to leave your gang

When Trish McReynolds’s beautiful husky was shot by a macho, gun-toting neighbor, she sobbed “Why”? to her mother, who replied helplessly, “Because he could. He had the power.”
That hard answer came back to us as we listened to Sen. Grassley and the Con-Avenue Gang try to bully Dr. Ford into silence, just as Judge Kavanaugh tried to silence her 36 years ago, (allegedly) lying on top of her with his hands over her mouth.


May 18, 2018

And once again, the backroom deals reign supreme

As most people know, Barack Obama is planning his presidential legacy center for the part of Chicago’s south side where he lived and taught law before become a U.S. Senator and then President. This isn’t a presidential library, which will be built in some other, as yet undisclosed location, but a private facility.


May 7, 2018

Out-take from Shell Game

When I started writing Shell Game 20 months ago, I imagined at first that it would center on a Syrian poet. My poet was called Tarik Kataba and he was in the U.S. illegally. He had been imprisoned and tortured by Bashar. When he was released, he fled and made his way here through what John le Carré called “the soft routes.”