Thursday, August 23, 2007

Grace Paley's Life Moves to a New Theater: Beloved Essayist, Story Writer, Poet Died in Vermont at Age 84, August 22

She gave, and she called out, and most of all, she told stories of herself and the people around her. Vermonters in particular will miss Grace Paley, whose term as state poet was about to end. Her performances ranged from reading poetry at the Bread and Puppet Domestic Resurrection Circus (in the "old days"), to talking with high school students about what it's like to speak out for peace and liberation, and she was always more likely to say yes than no to anyone asking for her time and voice.

She leaves her second husband, Robert Nichols, also a poet and adopted Vermonter. Their home has been in Thetford, Vermont, for many years now -- but that great New York/Jewish accent of the daughter of immigrants is what sticks in the ear and the heart. "Yeah, sure," she was most likely to reply.

Farewell, Grace.

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