Too Long and Almost

Between the virus and the cost of travel, we haven’t seen each other recently. But spring is here, medical science is finding new ways to keep people healthy, it’s almost April-National Poetry Month, and my book, questions for water, will appear in just a few weeks!

I’m thrilled to finally have a full-length book coming out. It’s taken several more decades than I expected. 

The title poem was written in response to a piece of art for a collaborative show at the Hamilton Gallery. It’s primarily a delicious blue-green color with torn paper affixed and layered in places. Also affixed near the bottom of the work is a length of real barbed wire. The torn paper – to me – represented a single person in a small boat crossing an ocean. Other pieces of paper suggested a lighthouse; still others in the foreground suggested land with rolling mountains. The wire represented difficulty, challenge, and loss. Together it said “Immigration” to me. 

One of my grandfathers came to America from Italy, and I’d always been interested to write about that but never had. Other older ancestors came from Scotland, but I don’t have much information on them. I was working on this poem while the world watched absolutely horrific things happening at the US/Mexico border.  My own family history and those of immigrants I’ve known and those I saw in the news all came together. It’s the longest poem I’ve written (eleven pages!), and it includes bits of Italian, Spanish, and Russian languages in relation to experiences described in the poem. Colors and images of water recur throughout and function as transition points for the reader – repetition acts as an anchor if you will. 

I’d love to have the opportunity to read it to you. The book will be available on Amazon,, and on 5 April. I’d love to hear your thoughts if you get a chance to read it! 

Here are several opportunities to hear me read from questions for water:
Release party on Zoom on April 9th, 7pm.
If you prefer a cozier conversation, my friend Barbara Morrison will be hosting a salon on Zoom on April 13th, 7pm. Let me know if you’d like a link to the event.

On April 20th I’ll be on a panel of 3 poets published by Apprentice House Press hosted by the Ivy Bookshop in Baltimore. You can attend through this link:

In June, I’ll be reading with several other poets with new books for the Pratt Library. More info here:

Wishing you a spring full of blossoms and good health! Hope to see you soon.


Published by Virginia Crawford

Virginia Crawford is a long-time teaching artist with the Maryland State Arts Council. She has co-edited two anthologies: Poetry Baltimore, poems about a city and Voices Fly, An Anthology of Exercises and Poems from the Maryland State Arts Council Artist-in-Residence Program from CityLit Press. She earned degrees in Creative Writing from Emerson College, Boston, and The University of St. Andrews, Scotland. Her book Touch appeared in 2013 from Finishing Line Press. She writes and lives in Baltimore with her family.

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