Saturday, April 25, 2009

writers: check it out

Hurrah! A free site devoted to the profession of writing. Which includes things like (gasp!) getting paid. I've been following their weekly updated writers' market for a while. Recommended!

Monday, April 20, 2009

sample poetry

Please check out my poems in these lovely magazines:

"Connecticut" in The Pedestal Magazine:

"January" in Flurry:

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Latehomecomer

I'm reading The Latehomecomer by Kao Kalia Yang right now, and I highly recommend it. Subtitled "A Hmong Family Memoir," this book describes the refugee experience better than any book I've ever read. She tells the story of the Hmong people coming from the jungles of Laos (where they were in hiding because they helped U.S. soldiers during the Vietnam war), crossing the Mekong River, wasting away behind the fences of refugee camps in Thailand, and adjusting to life in the U.S., and she does it all with beautiful writing and an excellent sense of storytelling. This book was chosen as the "common text" next year at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, where I teach, and I'm looking forward to discussing all the issues of identity it brings up with my students.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

So Brave, Young, and Handsome

I wanted to teach this in my Introduction to Literature course, but it didn't fit. Leif Enger is an incredible writer, and his stories have real characters, a grand sense of adventure, and lovely prose. Like his first book Peace Like a River, this one gives us the sense that the west is alive and well, that epic stories are still possible and indeed necessary. I'd love to sit down for a chat with the characters.

In the "making of" special, the director of the film 3-10 to Yuma said that we like westerns because they are larger than life, because they allow us to talk about good and evil in a way that little else does. That statement alone was enough to make me a fan of westerns. I mean, how often to we get to enter into a discussion about Those Big Things That Matter?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Penguins can fly!

Check out this footage from the BBC, posted on April 1st of last year. (wink)