I have a shelf at home where, up until recently, I kept the books I hadn’t yet read. It was three shelves, actually, stacked with the volumes I hadn’t had the time or chance to peruse. Many of the books have been there for quite a while, because I have a bad habit that, if you’re a serious reader, you may be familiar with: I reread books. Yes, it’s a bad habit. I’ll finish a book, look over my choices for the next one, and go back to an old favorite, one I’ve read before … Continue reading It Can Be New Every Time
Charlottesville’s own WriterHouse just celebrated its fifth anniversary. For any organization, five years is a nice healthy stretch of time. In a virtually all-volunteer one, it’s exemplary. I say this with a certain amount of pride, because I’ve been an active member of WriterHouse almost from the very beginning. That is, it was founded in May and my membership dates from August of the same year. I’ve taken classes, attended readings, heard from visiting authors, and for the past couple years, volunteered with a group that helps keep the building open for use during … Continue reading Write Locally
StreetlightMag.com –– a locally grown and growing arts journal in Charlottesville, VA –– seeks a committed intern looking to gain experience in digital publishing and marketing in a non-profit journal environment. Creative and detail-oriented applicants should have technical knowledge of and proficiency in social media, WordPress/blogging proficiency, (web design experience ideal but not required.) Other responsibilities will include managing publishing schedules, some proofing/copy editing. Position is unpaid and would begin immediately. Contact: Susan Shafarzek email@example.com Follow us!
“The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.” -Einstein During the last few years I’ve debated going to graduate school for poetry. Do I need a formal degree to get where I want to be as a poet? A look at price tags helped me decide quickly, at least for the time being. But shortly after putting the issue aside, I was presented with two literary opportunities that felt like the perfect interim education: copy writing at my content marketing firm and co-editing poetry for Streetlight Magazine. Maybe grad school could wait … Continue reading Learning v. Education
A few days ago I was in the Ramada Inn off Interstate 4 in Altamonte Springs, somewhere in central Florida. My son sat on the bed surfing the web and my daughter, her back against the headboard, legs stretched out under the sheets, balanced a Mac on her lap. From out of my son’s computer came a little boy’s shrill cry, “Charlie bit me.” And again, a high-pitched wail, “Ouch, Charlie bit me.” “What in the world?” “Mom, it’s Youtube,” my son said, “Watch this.” He clicked the play icon and a video of a … Continue reading House of Mirrors
This year, as you probably know, marks the bicentennial of the publication of Pride and Prejudice. And, if Jane Austen could only see what an industry she has spawned. The Amazon listing for books related to – or cashing in on — this title spans 101 pages. There are sequels and “variations” and “re-tellings” as well as “re-imaginings.” There are journals, graphic novels and a whole spate of murder mysteries, including one by P.D. James. There is a version set on Mars and another one set along the Hudson River. There is Pride … Continue reading At Your Service
At one point in the graphic novel Maus, Art Spiegelman’ chronicle of his father’s life before WWII and in Auschwitz, and the author’s own difficulty dealing with that history, Spiegelman is speaking with his therapist, who is also an Auschwitz survivor. Spiegelman is having great difficulty writing the second part of his book, which concentrates on the father’s time in Auschwitz; the holocaust, as a subject, is too large, too complex, too evil to even address, to the point where both men are struck dumb. Eventually the therapist quotes Samuel Beckett, saying “every word is … Continue reading Something Besides Silence
I once heard another poet say, “Only poets read poetry.” My reaction was half- pshah! that can’t be true! and half- ah, how true! Personally, my reading list is split pretty equally between poetry and fiction/memoirs- recently it’s Matthew Dickman’s All-American Poetry and Cheryl Strayed’s memoir, Wild. One is on Oprah’s book club list and the other isn’t. The above claim- only poets read poetry- ruffles my curiosity. I know many non-writers who read poetry, but usually, they have some other personal connection to the arts. What about the person who read … Continue reading Let Them Read Poetry!
I’m all for book groups. In theory, at least. In practice, not so much. I’ve tried, but failed, several times to remain a member of one. I could argue (and I have) that this is because too many of these groups evolve into competitive-cooking, wine-swilling, salacious gossip sessions, but, actually, that’s the part I like. What I don’t like, I’ve discovered, is the book part. For me, there is something that happens to the whole experience of reading when it is done for the purpose of shared group discussion. It changes into something other: … Continue reading Resolution
[frame align=”right”][/frame]Here on the eve of a noisy election, I am experiencing what some have referred to as media fatigue. There was a song in the Sixties about “useless information” and lately I find myself talking back to the TV journalists, snarling at the screen, mouthing and mumbling like an adolescent at the back of the class. “So what?” and “Who cares?” Well, I do care, but right now I long for white space. In my life and on the page. I flip through travel brochures and stare at the photographs—the lost city of Petra, … Continue reading Are We There Yet?