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…
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!
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
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
When we say Streetlight what do we mean? Anyone who’s thinking of submitting work to this magazine, anyone who’s thinking of looking at what’s inside it, might want to know the answer to that question. It’s one we’ve been tossing back and forth, here on the editorial board, and so I thought I might carry the discussion a little further into public parlay. What do I mean by street light? To put it another way, what is it I think we think we’re bringing to light here? Obviously – if you take a look at … Continue reading The Street Where We Live
After four years on Charlottesville’s downtown mall, Chroma Projects is vacating our beautiful space. We are sadly closing our heavy glass doors at the end of January, and for the foreseeable future the gallery will take refuge in cyberspace, waiting until it becomes clear how to continue to work on behalf of the area art scene. In starting up the gallery, I hoped to illustrate through curation and thoughtful installation, my belief that art needs breathing room to be fully enjoyed, and everyone needs art to breathe and enjoy. It’s such a weary old chestnut … Continue reading Breathing Room by Deborah McLeod
SL: Congratulations on the publication of your short story, “Phoenix” in Streetlight’s upcoming Winter Issue. When did you start writing or realize that you were a writer? JD: I remember that when I was eight years old and in the 3rd grade I wrote a poem, but I was writing down words as soon as I could read. I felt that words held magic. In the 5th grade I was writing stories. I liked to write stories about large families so I could name all the children. I loved names. I’d write stories with families … Continue reading Author Juditha Dowd Interview
Here at Streetlight, our favorite nonfiction is the personal essay and after reading some recent submissions, I’ve been thinking about my own family stories. One of my favorites is one that didn’t happen to me, but to my mother when she was a child. It’s a story I heard several times and always was amused by – but, I notice, differently as time goes by. The story could be told with this caption: “The Day My Mother Got Kissed by Warren G. Harding,” and it’s as short a story, as the events it features. The … Continue reading Speak Memory, But Not Too Much
By Kanta Bosniak “Herein lies the real hope for our future. We are moving toward the ultimate destiny of our species—a state of compassion and love.” – Jane Goodall “Peace can only come as a natural consequence of universal enlightenment.” –Nikola Tesla “We use our gifts to bring people together.”–Babtaunde Olatunji Over a period of twelve years, I painted a series of sixty Contemporary Folk Art portraits that I use as teaching tools and which I exhibit in universities and other educational settings. The Center for Peace Studies and Violence Prevention at Virginia Tech is … Continue reading Mentors of the Peace
The poet/novelist James Dickey – who, among his many accomplishments, wrote the novel, Deliverance, is said to have once claimed that reading detective fiction was like opening a gift by first eating the excelsior. Dickey was really onto something with his cruel remark, but perhaps no one remembers excelsior (I’m assuming a quorum of readers who remember Deliverance). Excelsior, for those fortunate enough not to know, was material made from thinly sliced curled wood shavings and used to provide packing for fragile merchandise. It was later replaced – within living memory of some of us … Continue reading Excelsior!