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Potatoes by Katharyn Howd Machan

Art credit - Elizabeth Stark
Art credit – Elizabeth Stark

Katharyn Howd Machan, Professor of Writing at Ithaca College, holds degrees from the College of Saint Rose, the University of Iowa, and Northwestern University. Her poems have appeared in numerous magazines; in anthologies and textbooks such as The Bedford Introduction to Literature, The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2013, Poetry: An Introduction, Early Ripening: American Women’s Poetry Now, Sound and Sense, Writing Poems, Literature: Reading and Writing the Human Experience; and in 32 collections, most recently Wild Grapes: Poems of Fox (Finishing Line Press, 2014), H (Gribble Press, 2014—national winner) and When She’s Asked to Think of Colors (Palettes & Quills Press, 2009—national winner). Former director of the national Feminist Women’s Writing Workshops, Inc., in 2012 she edited Adrienne Rich: A Tribute Anthology (Split Oak Press).

About her work, Katharyn says, “I’ve written almost 8,000 poems since 1967. “Potatoes” is the only one that, as far as I know, kept a man from hanging himself one night: a friend of his (my neighbor) gave it to him and, as a former cook, he  laughed, felt lighter, and put away the noose. He told my neighbor the next morning and asked him to thank the lady poet.”

Author Katharyn Machan.
Author Katharyn Howd Machan.
The author.
The author.


Postcard Poems and Prose View All

An Intersect of Authors and Art

5 thoughts on “Potatoes by Katharyn Howd Machan Leave a comment

  1. Hey Katharyn, love this poem. My dad used to make Sunday fried potato dinners. A break for my mom, a treat for all of us. Your prose poem brought that memory back to me.


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