Sadly, my dear friend Ann Haskell died Oct. 22 after a two-year battle with ovarian cancer. Assimilation of such facts of life is difficult without the means to attend the memorial. She was my ex-mother-in-law though I remained a great admirer and missed her terribly-almost as much as her youngest son Peter-after we split up. As a young woman I was in awe of her. Quietly strong, kind, intelligent, beautiful, a scholar, single mother and professor of literature at SUNY-Buffalo when we met, Ann and I thankfully reconnected and started corresponding a few years back, along with middle son Mark and her daughter—my surrogate little sister—Gretl, who reassured me, “Mom knew you were thinking of her.” Mark let all her loved ones know Ann died as she wanted, peacefully, surrounded by her beloved family and felines, no doubt with characteristic grace and dignity. Here is part of her obituary. As I told Gretl, I don’t possess words enough to describe her accomplishments.
Ann S. Haskell Obituary – 1/7/29 – 10/22/10 Ann was born in Washington, DC, in 1929 and grew up in Arlington, VA. While raising three children on her own, she was among the first women to graduate from Clemson University and was awarded a Woodrow Wilson Graduate Fellowship. She received her Doctorate with honors from the University of Pennsylvania in 1964. She went on to teach at the English Department of the State University of New York at Buffalo, specializing in Chaucer and Medieval Life and Literature and in Children’s Literature, for thirty-seven years. She was a mentor and advisor to hundreds of students whose lives and careers she enriched with her generosity and scholarship. Her many academic publications include the books, “Essays on Chaucer’s Saints” and “A Middle English Anthology,” which has been in print since 1969. Ann wrote Op-Ed columns, personal essays, and articles on food and numerous other subjects for publications such as the Smithsonian, the Washington Post, Baltimore Sun and New York Times. She maintained a home in Provence in Southern France for forty years and she and her husband taught a program abroad on the Culture of Provence.
*sigh* Sure do hope I get to see Gretl and Mark again soon.
So, back to the grind . . . I’ve been trying to recall a time when I didn’t have a laptop handy 24 hours a day. How did I survive? Still in the throes of Visible Verse festival programming, production and promotion, literary scene pal Rob Taylor kindly blogging about it at Spread It Like a Roll of Nickels. I will be presenting a couple of videopoems–a preview–at Sean Cranbury’s Real Vancouver Writers Series, Nov. 17. I bought a Continue reading