Gardening to celebrate the fruition

Gardening to celebrate the fruition

By Cinda Thompson, Guest Writer

Editor’s note: This week’s Writer’s Garret is pleased to feature a first-person literary autobiography with Cinda Thompson, an Illinois writer from Peoria. A new feature of this column will be real Illinois writers with a connection to this state. Look for it sporadically here at the Writer’s Garret.

Thompson has received awards for her work and grants from the Lannan Foundation, Writers Live at the Library/Lila Wallace Reader’s Digest Fund, Writers’ Digest, the Illinois Arts Council/PAAC and others. A family history rich in coal-mining and agriculture informs her work, as does an interest in the lives of women, the power of family relationships, and the spiritual journey of each individual. A collection of her own work, At The Core, is now available.

If I had to make a statement concerning my work, I’d say I believe in keeping it simple. I like it when someone says, “I could have written that.” Makes me think I’ve hit something. Right now, I feel at home living in the Midwest. I was born in southern Illinois (Marion, “Bloody Williamson”), grandchild to coal miners and politicians. I suppose I feel that, indeed, what “plays” here plays everywhere. Certain things ring true.

I now live and work in Peoria. I have received degrees from both Southern Illinois University and the University of Arizona. Still at times, a teacher and oral historian, I am now employed as a photo editor in a national textbook publishing company.

The poem “Planting” was recently included in the PBS special Grow Old Along With Me (Leonardo’s Children/Maryland Public Broadcasting) featuring Richard Kiley and Julie Harris. The poem was also included in the anthology entitled When I Am An Old Woman, I Shall Wear Purple, by Papier Mache Press, 1987.



Old people work

Side by side

She wears a hat

The old man boasts

No hair at all

She moves

And he kneels

He digs

And she nods while

He speaks

To the seed

She ardently covers

Row by row

They rise and bend

Over their garden

On earth

Sunflowers will bloom


Late summer.

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