I sent a poem I wrote the day I found out Hilary Sloin had died (Potash Hill Fall 2019), but asked that it not be considered for Potash Hill because I expressed anger at her for dying, and because I used cuss words. And then I thought of the years she and I worked with T. Wilson in Poetry Workshop. Hil and I were so serious about writing then and, gratifyingly, T. took us seriously. It was the best writing training I’ve ever had—sitting in that sunny classroom, high up in an old barn, arguing about whether one word or another was extraneous.
I think the poem would pass a workshop criticism. I think Hil would be ok with the F-bombs and the anger. We were estranged for years, but she was never far from my thoughts and a couple years ago I found her again. We were both working on old furniture and selling old stuff. Both single, living with our dogs and driving old pickup trucks. Our apples didn’t fall far.
In fact, we first met in the apple trees next to the dining hall. We climbed the apple trees and talked like third graders: what do you like, what’s cool. We never agreed on everything but we related to each other a lot. She was funny, she was sweet, she was opinionated, she wasn’t always right, she made me laugh. She was an amazingly hard-working and talented writer. I’m lucky I knew her.
—Rachel Mendez ’85
I’m a PhD student at the University of Illinois and am working on my dissertation about Sacred Harp singing in the northeast. I found a reference to an article in Potash Hill, Spring of 1981, by Anthony Barrand and Carole Moody, called “The Making of Northern Harmony.” I was wondering if it’s possible to acquire this article either through your office, the library, or elsewhere on campus. Thanks very much for any help you can offer.
Marlboro’s archivist fellow Megan O’Loughlin was able to locate this issue of Potash Hill in the library and sent a scan of “The Making of Northern Harmony” to Jonathon, which you can find here: marlboro.edu/harmony. —ed.
Last Potash Hill?
If things go well with Emerson College as planned, this Potash Hill stands to be the penultimate issue, with one more published in Fall 2020 to honor our last graduating class on campus, make some cumulative sense of Marlboro’s legacy, and prepare readers for what might come next. Readers are encouraged to contribute to this final issue, in the form of letters, memories, vignettes, poems, or pictures. What was your favorite class? Who was your biggest crush? What was your ultimate Marlboro experience? What did this land that we all hold dear mean to you? Please send your memories to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will publish as many submissions as space allows, and post the remainder online.
As an alumna who graduated last May, I was able to see firsthand some of the work that was done with CASP and the asylum seekers (Potash Hill Fall 2019). I noticed that one of the main participants in the committee, Rosario de Swanson, a professor who has gone above and beyond in her work for the college, was not mentioned in the article. I hope there will be some acknowledgement of this error and that it will be made right.
—Alicia Lowden ’19
Thanks, Alicia, for keeping us honest. Rosario’s name was added to the digital version of the Fall 2019 Potash Hill. Please accept our apologies. —ed.
Potash Hill regrets that we misspelled the name of departed staff member Karleen Crossman in her obituary. —ed.