Her novel EMMA showed me how stupid I’d been

Returning to high school after nearly a year as a teenage dropout runaway, I had good intentions about attending classes and completing assignments, two resolutions I’d failed at in the past. …


A sample letter to send off today

Police departments, sheriff's offices, state troopers and highway patrol offices are administered at the municipal, county, or state level. Making detailed changes locally is often a swifter process than trying to change things at a national level. Goals like #prisonabolition and #policeabolition can’t be achieved overnight. …


No, it’s not because they are getting unemployment checks

Bartender lining up glasses of beer

Working as a server or bartender is hard work. Like retail work, you have to smile while putting up with rude or demanding customers. Back when I was a bartender, one irate customer spat his false teeth at me.

Also like retail workers, you aren’t paid well. In fact, in…


One of Medium’s best ideas in 2021 has been starting the #StopAsianHate blog. I’m looking forward to reading and learning more about what life is like for people who identify as Asian in the present day and in the past. …


Going no-contact with toxic parents

Most parents do their best for their children, but they make mistakes along the way. It’s part of being human. Toxic parents, those who physically or emotionally abuse their children, are another thing entirely.

Either way, forgiveness is one option, whether it means letting another person off the hook for…


The original purpose of bail was to insure a defendant’s appearance at trial. Now it’s a different story.

Metal jail cell door with white person’s hand gripping a bar. Unclear if the person is inside or outside of the cell.

In the last 40 years, cash bail in America transformed from a system assuring defendants’ presence at future court dates into a pre-trial punishment. This transformation has devastated individuals and families, and it has both reflected and reinforced the power of police to commit violence against citizens.

Some states have…


#NaPoWriMo Poetry Prompts

Asian woman with white hair and glasses, hands folded under her chin, wearing a bright yellow shirt

Aging is the sort of inevitable, non-negotiable topic that fascinates poets. Birth, school, work, death, in the immortal lyrics of The Godfathers.

Some of us fight aging. Some of us embrace it. Whichever approach is yours, though, aging beats its only known alternative. In the immortal words of someone.

People…


NaPoWriMo Poetry Prompts

An olive green book of Shakespeare nestled in a white duvet with a cup and saucer

Sonnets are often the first poetic form people learn about, and for good reason. They are fourteen lines long, usually about one subject, and contain a brief argument that makes a distinct point. …


#NaPoWriMo Poetry Prompts

White datura blossom

The word “villanelle” is from the French, although the form itself probably originated in Renaissance Italy. Originally, it was not a very structured form, but the villanelle we know today plays by a long list of rules.

Poets are so often rule-breakers. Why would they be drawn to the limits…


#NaPoWriMo2021 Poetry Prompts

a display of accordion fold paper flowers (or possibly the tops of umbrellas) in shades of yellow

T.S. Eliot (why do I keep bringing him up when I claim to resent him?) is credited with saying “Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal.” Of course, it’s plain wrong to plagiarize, and Eliot’s statement shouldn’t be taken as a license to lie. …

Michele Sharpe

Words in NYT, WaPo, Oprah Mag, Poets&Writers, et als. Adoptee/high school dropout/hep C survivor/former trial attorney. @MicheleJSharpe & MicheleSharpe.com

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