Category Archives: Blog

Mystery Revealed at Morven Farm


 

The mystery will be solved on Saturday at six. The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (VCCA) will unveil “The Commission” at Morven Farm in Charlottesville on Saturday May 10th. This year’s Commission — “Coming to Know What We’ve Always Known” — showcases a collaborative art installation created for one night only. Proceeds from the gala fund-raiser will afford future artists time at the VCCA working retreat in Amherst County. The 2014 winning Commission combines the imaginative work of VCCA Fellows, poet Sally Dawidoff and visual artist Georgia June Goldberg. Dawidoff’s poems have been published … Continue reading Mystery Revealed at Morven Farm

Boundaries


 

When I recently encountered STREETLIGHT for the first time, I found myself wondering about the name, why it was chosen, what associations it is meant to evoke.  Then as I explored the magazine I ran across Susan Shafarzek’s blog of February 10 in which she addressed the question of “why the name Streetlight” and invited “further comment.”  I decided to accept the invitation. Of course I am in no position to say what the editors may hope to communicate, only to offer my own idiosyncratic response to the name.  It led me to recall a … Continue reading Boundaries

Allowing To Be Led


 

“If we can’t educate you, we’ll make a pet of you, or sacrifice you.”  This from Jean Sampson in her class Gutsy Abstract Oil Painting at The McGuffy Art Center where Jean is a resident studio artist. This is a joke at the expense of the lone man in the classroom and because I often find myself the lone man, I hadda laugh. Ladies, you do know we LIKE these kind of jokes, right? “The painting just sits there, asking, demanding, what are you gonna do to me?” Jean and I look at a canvas … Continue reading Allowing To Be Led

Still Waiting to Move a Mountain


 

  The recent New York Times news article asking the question: “Where Are the People of Color in Children’s Books?” was painful for me. Because I know where one of them is – on my desktop, unpublished.  It wasn’t supposed to happen that way.  Soon after I finished writing The Boy Who Moved a Mountain, it was accepted by a literary agent and then sold rather quickly to a major publishing house.  It advanced through various stages of the editing process.  Julian Bond wrote a blurb for it.  It was assigned ISBN and Library of … Continue reading Still Waiting to Move a Mountain

National Poetry Month


 

Another April means another month of celebrating poetry across the country. Admittedly, this surprises me every year. That many people care about poetry? Walt Whitman would slap me in the face, and he’d be right to.  But then I remember what Rainer Maria Rilke said: “For poems are not, as people think, simply emotions (one has emotions early enough)—they are experiences.”  And what Wallace Stevens said: “The poet is the priest of the invisible.”  In light of NPM, here are a few local and national going-ons. If nothing else, reach out your hand and take one of … Continue reading National Poetry Month

Oh Yes, You “Forgot?”


 

I had just finished reading the estimable Jeremy Dean’s noteworthy PSYBLOG today, titled. “10 Foolproof Tips for Overcoming Procrastination,” when I noticed that my next email was from Trudy Hale, the Editor in Chief of this magazine. And what it was about was that I had not done my blog for this week. We don’t each do a blog every week, but take it in turns, as you may have noticed. I had no excuse. I forgot it was my turn. I take forgetting to be a form of procrastination and I have good reason … Continue reading Oh Yes, You “Forgot?”

Riding More Rails…


 

Last week’s blog, “All Aboard!” sparked some fond memories of train trips of yore. Streetlight would like to share a couple such reminiscences.   I was what they call a train “dead head” which means I could ride trains for free because my attorney father was employed by the Southern Railroad Association. I was a freshman in college (1957) riding the train alone from Columbia, SC to Boulder, CO where I was joining three friends to set off on a six week drive discovering the West. I had a Pullman room, those wonderful rooms that … Continue reading Riding More Rails…

All Aboard!


 

Recently scanning for a train schedule, I was surprised to discover an advertisement for “The much-anticipated Amtrak Writer’s Residency.” Amtrak as literary inspiration? Well their menu does include “Fresh Sandwich du Jour,” “Salmon with Chablis Sauce” and “Chicken Apple-Maple Sausage.” And, it seems that 24 writers can taste such treats while riding the literary rails and writing about it. Amtrak will pick up the tab for a long distance, round-trip ticket and provide the lucky writer with a private sleeper car complete with its own desk, bed and window to document America’s passing scene. Winning … Continue reading All Aboard!

When Criticism Counts by Margaret Bardwell White


 

The closing of Charlottesville’s Chroma Gallery has me thinking about the business of art and the making of art. (recent blog: https://streetlightmag.com/2014/01/20/breathing-room/) For an artist, nothing replaces the value of being represented by a gallery, unless it is to have work chosen by a museum. It is a vote of confidence, a means to connect with an audience, and a way to earn money, when it works. You have a show, sell, and then go back to your studio, make more art, and show again. When a gallery closes, this ideal system goes away. But … Continue reading When Criticism Counts by Margaret Bardwell White

Red Light Green Light


 

In the last week’s blog, Memoir/Essay Editor Susan Shafarzek’s question, “What do I mean by STREETLIGHT?” triggered  in me a memory of growing up in Memphis and our neighborhood streetlight that drew us kids into its circumference of light after dark, after suppers and through the long damp summers. The streetlight’s slender concrete pillar shot up into the humid night sky and illuminated the two-lane street and cracked sidewalk. Under this streetlight, we would gather and begin our games, swap tales, fictions and non-fictions of ourselves and others, mash-up songs, re-tell jokes, push  and shove, be … Continue reading Red Light Green Light