Monday, October 28, 2013

My Radio Debut!

My radio story "Labor of Love" debuted Wednesday 10/23 on Interlochen Public Radio.

Meet Jerry Wares, an 83 year-old woodworker who for the past 10 years has dedicated himself to making harps, ever since a  family tragedy pushed his wife Marilyn to learn how to play:

Listen here.

Thursday, October 24, 2013


GroupAccount imagePRX (Public Radio Exchange) and the Center for Investigative Reporting have teamed up to offer a brand-spanking-new radio program that I for one am pretty excited to hear.

Here's how they describe it:
Reveal is an investigative journalism program for public radio.
We’ve heard the news, but we want to know what really happened.

That’s what Reveal is all about: finding out what’s going on behind the scenes, hidden from public view.

There’s more to the story.

Produced by the Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX. This collaboration intends to create a weekly program devoted to high quality investigative stories told in compelling ways. Reveal will present original work from CIR's team along with various partners: stations, producers, web sites, journalism centers and reporters from around the world.

And here's where to listen.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The secret to a peaceful baby vaccination

These simple, pain-reducing techniques are based on research coming out of Canada and echoed by the most excellent Connecticut Children's Medical Center.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Power of Words and Pictures

Several years ago, in my human rights writing class, we did a project to raise awareness on campus about the violence-controlled mines in eastern Congo that were producing the elements that went into the phones and computers and cameras, etc., that we all hold so dear. I was thrilled to see this well-written National Geographic article, "The Price of Precious" give an update. Read the whole thing, and check out the incredible pictures.
The states that since 2010, thanks to human rights advocacy, (especially the amazine Enough Project) there has been considerable improvement in getting companies to use conflict-free minerals in their electronics. For example "By the end of 2012 Intel’s microprocessors were conflict free for tantalum, though the company cannot guarantee that a dash of other conflict minerals, like gold, tin, or tungsten, hasn’t made it into their microchips." 
Equally interesting is the fact that this photographer's pictures single-handedly turned an influential group of Swiss gold buyers away from rebel-controlled gold mines. The power of words and pictures...

Friday, October 18, 2013

Nobel Prize

Alice Munro have you wondering about the fascinating history of the Nobel Prize? Look no further than this National Geographic article.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

upcoming class

Poetry's Classic Forms
Online @ (scroll to the bottom)

A hands-on workshop, complete with professional feedback on your work. Join me in a journey through poetry's classic forms! From haiku to sonnet, from villanelle to ghazal, discover the form that may help you voice your next poem exactly the way you want to say it.

Beginning Nov 10. Six weeks. $150.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Poem of the Week

a hip, jiving poem by Reginald Harris

Poem of the Week:   
Reginald Harris                               
Photo by: Ocean Morisset         

Baltimore Uproar by Romare Bearden 

Upton / Avenue Market Metro Station, Baltimore, Maryland

Get off here. This is a story you've
been told: these streets before the trash,
the rats, the crack-heads nodding to ghost
music. That past a distant gleam of notes,
sound-magicians dreaming, rising
from these streets: diminutive
personifications of the beat, rhythm
made compact flesh; flamboyant
fly-brimmed hipsters high on hi-de-ho,
lexographers of jive; and Our Dark Lady,
transformed from turning tricks to
trickster by the music, through her songs.

From The Avenue to the after-hours you
could hear it in the changes, the shift from
working day to glittering night. Shattering
twists of phrase calling out, the turn of a gloved
hand sheathed in silver from fingertip to elbow
to hide the tracks beneath. Rising from the
platform, the scent of gardenias is in the train's
retreating roar, leaving departing commuters
in spangled shards of sound. These multicolored stones
are her petals, a frozen music always calling,
calling back, urging on -- Rise up. Get off here. Rise

-Reginald Harris 

(From Autogeography, Nortwestern University Press, 2013)  
Used by permission.

Reginald Harris is the Poetry In The Branches Coordinator and Information Technology Director for Poets House in New York City. He won the 2012 Cave Canem/Northwestern University Press Poetry Prize for Autogeography. A Pushcart Prize Nominee, recipient of Individual Artist Awards for both poetry and fiction from the Maryland State Arts Council, and Finalist for a Lambda Literary Award and the ForeWord Book of the Year for 10 Tongues: Poems (2002), his work has appeared in numerous journals, anthologies, and other publications. An Associate Editor for Lambda Literary Foundation's Lambda Literary Review, he lives in Brooklyn, where he pretends to work on another manuscript. 

Please feel free to forward Split This Rock Poem of the Week widely. We just ask you to include all of the information in this email, including this request. Thanks!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Congratulations, Alice Munro!

Congratulations, Alice Munro, winner of the Nobel Prize. Alice Munro began writing short stories as practice for a novel--she didn't feel she had time for the whole thing--but she soon realized that she could do basically anything she wanted in a short story. In fact, editor of Best American Short Stories 2012 Tom Perrotta singled her out for just that ability. The Munro story he chose for inclusion in that collection shifts perspective dramatically among three characters--something you never used to see done in short formats. Well, she does, and others do, too, in that collection. Thank you, Ms. Munro, for inspiring other writers for decades. May the fabulous medium of short stories continue to grow thanks to your work.