Cary Tennis | The Sun Magazine

Cary Tennis


Cary Tennis lives in Castiglion Fiorentino, Italy, and has hardly left the house since March. He is writing a book about a medieval convent mistakenly bombed by Americans in World War II.

— From July 2020

Already True

A Selection Of Poetry For These Times

July 2020

Our Dad Got Old

Our dad got old. He moved in with his brother. We had all left home because we were supposed to figure out what we were good at and do it. He’d taught us that.

June 2019

When A Guy Helps You Out

You are sitting in the mail room on that armless gray swivel chair with the duct tape on the seat, sorting the mail, and he’s telling you that corporate life . . . well, it’s a life, is what it is, and you can adapt to it and even start to enjoy it if you just adjust your perspective.

September 2018

That’s What Experience Is All About

You live the first half of your life / Afraid that something will happen.

March 2018
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

The Finishing Touch

When I was nineteen, I thought, If I haven’t published a novel by the time I’m twenty-one, I’ll be all washed up. While studying creative writing in graduate school, I thought, If I haven’t published a novel by the time I’m twenty-five, I’ll be all washed up. At thirty-five I quit drinking and thought, Now I really have to publish a novel, or I’m all washed up.

January 2014
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

On The Destruction Of A Roseate Spoonbill Marsh Habitat, Early 1960s

Trauma is a shock too large to contain. Like a current too strong for the body to dissipate, it burns as it passes through. It disfigures the spirit.

September 2012
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Citizens Of The Dream

You might very well be lazy, afraid of failure, and undisciplined and still write. You might lack the urge and still write. You might not be “a writer” and still write. . . . You are both obliged to develop your talent and free not to develop it. That is, you are free to acknowledge obligations but still say no to them.

June 2012
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Since You Asked

Cary Tennis has been called the “Walt Whitman of advice columnists” by one of his regular readers. His daily column “Since You Asked” has been a hallmark of since 2001. Tennis offers frank and sometimes pointed advice, and he reveals his own struggles with refreshing candor. He is part spiritual advisor, part fellow flawed human, part friend who’ll give it to you straight. He can also craft a mean sentence.

January 2009
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