Lost Orchard

Prose and Poetry from the Kirkland College Community

Edited by Jo Pitkin

Subjects: Poetry, Fiction, Memoir
Series: Excelsior Editions
Imprint: Excelsior Editions
Paperback : 9781438449982, 292 pages, January 2014
Hardcover : 9781438449999, 292 pages, January 2014

Table of contents

Foreword by William Rosenfeld
Nin Andrews
How the Poem Dies
The Other Girl
Natalie Babbitt and Samuel Fisher Babbitt
from Tuck Everlasting
Nina Bogin
The Lost Hare
The Old World
The Orchards
Michael Burkard
Planetary Nebula in Vulpecula
Sometimes When the Street Was Weeping
Thirteen Ways
Selma Burkom
Recondite Relations
Leslie Cook
A Sudden Vision of Upstate New York as Dakota Territory
What of landscapes?
Grandfather Poem
Nancy Avery Dafoe
from The Writing Contest
Kathy Durland Dewart
Grey Fox
What Is Already Here
Rachel Dickinson
Scotland or How I Flunked Europe 101
Carol Durst-Wertheim
Stephanie Feuer
What Counts
Elizabeth Fletcher
Beach Fox
Doris Friedensohn
from Eating As I Go: Scenes from America and Abroad
Elias Friedensohn
from My Lovely Impassioned Students, 1972-73
Tess Gallagher
Instructions to the Double
I Stop Writing the Poem
The Red Devil
Judy Silverstein Gray
On My Bookshelf
Susan Hartman
Nine-Month-Old Boy
In the Generation That Laughed at Me
Martha Hawley
Becoming What You’ve Always Been
Alice Aldrich Hildebrand
A Dream of Our Own Imagination
Advent, 2008
After My College Reunion
Ellen Horan
from 31 Bond Street
Elisabeth Horwitt
Taking Care of Marilyn Monroe
Deborah Pender Hutchison
Left to My Own Devices
First Ice
Lynn Kanter
from Her Own Vietnam
Peggy Dills Kelter
Naomi Lazard
In Memoriam
Elegy to the Twenty Skiers
Notes for the Recording Angel
Denise Levertov
The Footprints
‘Life Is Not a Walk across a Field’
Kathryn E. Livingston
Chance of a Lifetime
Donna French McArdle
How Surf Works on Soul
My Daughter’s Sketches
Penelope’s Work
Victoria Kohn Michels
Spring in Clinton New York
At the Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Liz Morrison
The Meaning of Meat

Ilene Moskin
High School Prom
My Mother’s Body as Territory
Isabel Weinger Nielsen
She Might Break
Barbara Elizabeth Nixon
My Comfort
Gwynn O’Gara
Fallen Apples
Vagabond Sky
Let Me Be Beautiful Like Sea Glass
Gwynn O’Gara, Nancy Dafoe, and Nicole Dafoe
The Kirkland Experience
Joanne Papanek Orlando
To the VVAW (after Lexington)
Jo Pitkin
The Lakehouse
The Mollusk
Clare Guzzo Robert
Tea Ball Mind
Irma Rosenfeld
William Rosenfeld
At Shishevo
Deborah Ross
Frommer’s Historical Guide to Upstate New York
Betty Sarvey Salek
from The Fish in the Mirror
Amy Schiffman
The Past Decade
Susan Shopmaker
Steak-Night 1978
Maria Stadtmueller
Taking Francis Hostage
Constance Stellas
Billie Jean Stratton
White Welkin Rafting
Epitaph For Every Zipped Fly Who Once Stood at Hoot’s Bar
Shed Song
Jane Summer
Mrs. Chretien Listened to Elgar
Zan Tewksbury
Last Train to Bhutan
Ellie Tupper
Julie Weinstein
Abigail Wender
The Winter My Runaway Brother Returned
Yellow Balloon
Valerie Worth
Contributor Biographies
About Kirkland by Samuel Fisher Babbitt

A unique literary anthology with contributions from former members of Kirkland College, the last established women’s college in the United States.


Finalist for the 2014 Next Generation Indie Book Awards in the Anthology category

A collection of poems, short stories, novel excerpts, creative nonfiction essays, and one-act plays by Kirkland College alumnae, faculty, and administration, Lost Orchard brings together for the first time in print those who shared this exciting, vibrant community. Located in Clinton, New York, the college was founded in 1968 in singular times—at the start of the second wave of feminism and in the midst of profound changes in American society. Kirkland was the last private women's college created in the United States, and also the last established coordinate college until its tumultuous takeover in 1978 by its partner, Hamilton College. Known for its innovative curriculum, Kirkland empowered young women, fostered independent thought, and pioneered academic disciplines, including American studies, environmental studies, media studies, and creative writing.

Jo Pitkin is the author of The Measure and Cradle of the American Circus: Poems from Somers, New York. She received her BA in creative writing and literature from Kirkland College and MFA in poetry from the Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa. She lives in Cold Spring, New York.


"Lost Orchard is a paradise regained. How wonderful to have the brilliant and beautiful work of so many talented writers, all once part of the Edenic community that was Kirkland College, collected and preserved. Jo Pitkin's editorial eye is both acute and sensitive, and I salute and thank her. " — Peter Cameron, author of Coral Glynn: A Novel

"Lost Orchard dazzles me for its wild romp through New York's urban and pastoral landscapes (as well as its journeys hither and yon), its revolutionary ideas (revisited and revised), its diverse family portraits and reflections, its variety of forms (poetry, fiction, essays, plays, even a recipe), and its delightfully weird mix of pathos, grit, wit, and collective intelligence. " — Jane Springer, author of Murder Ballad

"Lost Orchard is a testament to higher education at its best, when intellectual curiosity and experimentation create an enduring community—something far richer than a sequence of classes. Kirkland College generated a literary community of astonishing breadth and depth—writers who continue to make significant contributions to contemporary literature. Still efflorescent, this lost orchard has been very fruitful indeed. " — David Fenza, Executive Director, The Association of Writers and Writing Programs

"The contributions to this anthology are as diverse and interesting as one would expect of alumnae and faculty at Kirkland, the last founded, progressive women's college in the United States. Short stories, plays, and poems cover a broad range of subjects, including breast cancer, dementia of a parent, traveling in Macedonia, recent political events, fantasy, and what it was like being a student at Kirkland. True to the ethos of Kirkland, the collection is not organized by topic or by whether the author was a student, faculty member, or president, but rather in a more anarchic manner—alphabetically by last name. The result is deeply satisfying as a book to read in any manner one chooses, to dip into again and again. And one will want to!" — Leslie Miller-Bernal, author of Separate by Degree: Women Students' Experiences in Single-Sex and Coeducational Colleges