Shann Ray Recommends...

“I am thankful to be surrounded by lovely women—my wife, my three daughters not yet grown, my mother, my wife’s mother, and my Czech American grandmother who we call the Great One. Our house is alive with conversation and music and dance, and the daily run is a high-speed dash until at last the house quiets and we whisper love to one another and the house sleeps. This threshold of quietness is like a descent into darkness for me, a powerful and intimate and abiding darkness in which the light emerges in words and the rhythm of words and the poetry of sound that has as its melody the breathing of my wife and three daughters as they fall into their dreams. I sit at the desk and feel deeply loved because of the way my wife’s face is illumined by the light from the hall, and I remember when she spoke to me like an angel earlier, how I pressed my face to hers and felt the bones of her cheek against mine, the bones of her forehead and the orbital bones of her eyes, and the kiss of her lips against the underside of my wrist. She kissed me to grant me life, and to ward off death, and so the writing begins.”
Shann Ray, author of American Masculine (Graywolf, 2011)

Photo credit: Vanessa Kay