Seattle-based Writer, Author, Poet, Writing Teacher


By Priscilla Long

This review of I Can’t Remember by Cynthia Macdonald appeared in The Women’s Review of Books, Vol. 15, No. 7 (April 1998), p. 7.

The poems in Cynthia Macdonald’s disturbing, brilliant sixth book, I Can’t Remember, constitute acts of remembering. The poems remember what has been forgotten, repressed, put away. They remember – possibly they inflict – the traumas of childhood and of history, and they do so with  concrete images and unsettling immediacy.

A father is lost, not because he has been “screwing around” as we might say, but because “Daddy had been slipping/ his slick, rubber-bound prick into too many others.” The Nazi genocide is depicted, not as the generalized Holocaust, but as one Jew who “smells barbecue/from next door: family burning.”… Continue reading

Priscilla Long


Poet, Writer, Teacher, Editor



MFA, Creative Writing, University of Washington, 1990

Founding and Consulting Editor,, the online encyclopedia

of Washington state history




2012 Hedgebrook writer in residence

2009 Jack Straw Productions Writers’ Program fellow

2006 National Magazine Award (feature writing)

2003 The Richard Hugo House Founders’ Award (a teaching award)

2002 Seattle Arts Commission (creative nonfiction)






The Writer’s Portable Mentor: A Guide to Art, Craft, and the Writing Life (Seattle: Wallingford Press, 2010).


Where the Sun Never Shines: A History of America’s Bloody Coal Industry (New York: Paragon House Publishers, 1989).


Weekly column, Science Frictions, appears every Wednesday (started September 11, 2011) on The American Scholar website. To see the columns… Continue reading