In Memoriam Wendy Battin

A memorial was held this week at Mercy by the Sea in Connecticut for my friend, poet Wendy Battin, who died too young this past December. Our mutual friend Pat Valdata was one of several who spoke about Wendy’s life and work. She kindly included the words below in her address, a small tribute to a fine poet and friend:

In the fall of 1997, Canadian writer Mary Lee Bragg and her husband Colin Morton house sat for Wendy and Charles when they went to Greece for the fall term. Mary Lee writes:

“That fall was absolutely magical for me. … Working in Wendy’s space, sitting in her chair, guarding her collection of drums, reading her books, sleeping in her bed, cooking in her kitchen – I feel as if I knew Wendy better than almost anyone else in my life. And what I “knew” is impossible to summarize. …In two decades of knowing Wendy we spent very little time together. I was in awe of Wendy’s intelligence, and the breadth of her knowledge. Through her posts to crew, I enjoyed her wit, her keen observations of people, and her mastery of language.”

Colin Morton:

“I marveled at the intensity of her dedication to her writing and her pursuit of clear, lustrous language. Even her late notes on the losses that seemed to shut down her possibilities often possessed a terrible beauty her readers recognized as fine poetry. We are going to miss having her voice in our lives, reminding us of what it is possible to dream.”

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