Posts tagged as:

stories

Falling into poetry from fiction, one year on…

April 24, 2014

This piece was published one year ago in The Public Humanist: It’s National Poetry Month, and while we could drink our way through an entire month of pure poetic delight without the well ever running dry, we (whisper) might not want to stop reading stories. Or, we might feel more at ease reading stories. Poems […]

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On Writing Letters

March 14, 2014

This piece was published one year ago in The Public Humanist: For years I wrote letters. “Have you ever heard of The Collected Phone Calls of Gertrude Stein?” Rita Mae Brown says in Starting from Scratch. “Writers should learn to write letters and save the telephone for business.” I took her words to heart. Not […]

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Your face will shine through all our tears. Thank you, Pete Seeger.

February 4, 2014

It’s the mid-‘90s and I’m in the old kitchen of the Red House—summer sunlight slants in and music spills from a little boom box. “Sailin’ up,” Pete Seeger’s voice sings into this room we’re all hanging out in together, and my cousin Bill echoes, “Sailin’ up.” “Up.” “Down.” “Down.” “Up.” “Up and down the river. […]

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“Therein…lies the richness of reading”

October 3, 2013

In his brief, memorable novel How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia, Mohsin Hamid reminds us of the true relationship between readers and writers. Like all books, this…book is a co-creative project. When you watch a TV show or movie, what you see looks like what it physically represents. A man looks like a […]

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Drowning (Swimming?) in Books

May 30, 2013

Latest essay for The Public Humanist, in which I discuss our little “book problem.” Part one of many, I should imagine.

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Fall into poems from fiction

April 29, 2013

Go on, take the pleasurable plunge. I elaborate here, in The Public Humanist, pushing the love drugs (the drugs I love) Pish, Posh, Said Hieronymus Bosch, Habibi, The Golden Gate, and Little, Big. More on Pish, Posh here.

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Does our language shape our thought?

April 9, 2013

Toward the end of the first chapter of Orhan Pamuk’s Istanbul: Memories and the City, Pamuk breaks away from a description of events surrounding his birth and says this: I feel compelled to add or so I’ve been told. In Turkish we have a special tense that allows us to distinguish hearsay from what we’ve […]

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Maurice Sendak: “Live your life, live your life, live your life.”

March 27, 2013

The art and the unique sensibility of Maurice Sendak shaped my childhood imagination and continues to inform me as a storyteller and as a human being. Here, Christoph Niemann shares with us how Maurice Sendak has moved him. I bawled my eyes out. (Thanks, Jazz.) Full interview with Terry Gross here. If you need a few […]

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Write me a few of your lines

March 26, 2013

Continuing the epistolary theme (which continues in my life and my mind):  

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read. write more letters. revive.

March 14, 2013

In The Public Humanist today, I proselytize and opine on the importance of writing letters. If you need more convincing, consider Sylvia Townsend Warner’s comment, in a letter to her beloved correspondent William Maxwell, on the death of another treasured correspondent: “I feel that I am on less intimate terms with myself since I can […]

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