“Thank you for your inspired work”
Reads the light looping pencil script on the final pages
of a dusty paper about a poem, graphic novel, or composition theory.
It was always thus: effusive praise
or tactical praise: “I look forward to reading a revision.”
A gentle but insistent urging
to be your best self in academia and elsewhere.
Slight elven silhouette—
a slash of red lipstick
gliding from desk to desk—
stature in inverse proportion to presence,
her humility belied her accomplishments.
Say First-year student not Freshman
Say folks or people, not guys
Don’t use the singular proximal demonstrative pronoun “this”
when you can simply name the this “this” refers to.
Submit your poetry.
Go get your PhD.
Don’t be afraid to end a sentence.