Tag Archives: Joe McPhillips

I Don’t End Up in Tangier

So, I’m not a cute young man who graduated from an Ivy league school. One strike against my application to the head of the American School. But, even for a girl I got a cheerful note from Joe McPhillips. And so, I kept on writing and teaching and left my paralegal world with Mohammed behind. Marcia and Mohammed moved to Vermont; I lived in New York for a year with Gary, my husband, adopted Maddy from a Romanian orphanage and then started Richard Hugo House with my friends. After five or six years, I revisited my Moroccan dream when I met Ahmed Radi, a poet from Marrakesh.

Ahmed was on a three-week Fulbright in Bellevue, just across the water from Seattle. My friend Diane Douglas, a very cool woman who ran the liberal arts center at Bellevue Community College, told me about a Moroccan poet who had come to her program. I invited Ahmed to Hugo House and we had lunch. A couple of years later, after I’d moved on from ten years as the founding director at Hugo House, I wrote to Ahmed and solicited his help with a Fulbright application.

That’s how Gary and Maddy and I went to Marrakesh. The short version. And here is a photo of Ahmed and I during the Marrakesh Marathon.