Friday, May 25, 2018
Latino 247 recently posted this short video featuring the late Anita Vélez-Mitchell, her daughter Gloria Vando, and her granddaughter Anika Paris, authors of the Scapegoat Press anthology Woven Voices: Three Puertorriqeña Poets Look at Their American Lives, edited by Linda Rodriguez.
Saturday, November 18, 2017
Reedy Press, which publishes books on St. Louis and regional history, lost its warehouse in a five-alarm fire that consumed 200,000 books, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. It is hard to imagine a worse catastrophe for a book publisher to face. The article reports that the venerable Left Bank Books has offered to help with an event to support the publisher as it works to get back on its feet.
Sunday, November 5, 2017
This article in The Millions ("Books Out of Place"by Rajat Singh) is a lovely meditation on discarded books. The author mentions the reverence for books in the Hindu tradition. I was reminded about how Jews perform burial rites for a Torah scroll when it wears out and can no longer be used. Here in Kansas City, BooksKC has collection boxes that accept donations of used books that go to benefit Ability KC's programs for individuals with disabilities. What to do with books one can no longer keep can be an agonizing decision, especially if they are not pristine and popular. The Friends of the Kansas City Public Library also accepts donations of used books, as do several other charitable causes. But Singh's reflections about book spirit are poignant.
Saturday, October 14, 2017
This video features Linda Rodriguez speaking about plotting, in a talk based on her new book Plotting the Character-Driven Novel. Patrick Balester recorded her talk at a meeting of the Border Crimes chapter of Sisters in Crime earlier this year.
Sunday, September 3, 2017
Weekend Edition today aired an interview with Gwendolyn Zepeda, Houston's poet laureate, about her perspective on the flood and its aftermath. As a general rule, I've found that if you want to know what's going on someplace, talk to a poet there. Zepeda makes some good points.
Sunday, August 20, 2017
A great dictionary doesn't write itself--it takes a team of trained and committed researchers. The Dictionary of American Regional English is facing a possible end to its funding, and that will be a loss to an entire branch of linguistic knowledge. That will be a loss to everyone who cares about the dynamic and diverse ongoing evolution of the English language.
Thursday, August 3, 2017
This All Things Considered piece from 2006 examines Emma Lazarus' place in American letters. Stephen Miller's denial of any standing for her poem "The New Colossus" yesterday since it was added to the statue many years after the statue was built made me remember how great this poem really is, whether it has any official standing or not.