Recommendations from a Poetry Contest

One of the most fun things for me in judging the Davenport Poetry prize at Knox College was talking with young poets about other poets they could read. I did try to write those names in my comments, but I’ve also thought of a few more that I might add, so I wanted to postContinue reading “Recommendations from a Poetry Contest”

Reflections on a Poetry Contest

I am in the Moline airport, heading back to Mississippi after two wonderful days at Knox College, judging the Davenport poetry prize. In reflecting back on the experience, I am first struck by how much fun it was. The best part for me, besides getting to spend time at my alma matter and hanging outContinue reading “Reflections on a Poetry Contest”

How to Judge a Poetry Contest

Okay, I’ll admit it, everyone is different in this regard, so I ought to just title this “How I’m Judging the Davenport Poetry Prize for Knox College.” There, now that I’ve included the name, some enterprising Knox students googling my name or their school, might stumble upon this page. That’s all right. I promise notContinue reading “How to Judge a Poetry Contest”

In Memoriam, David Hernandez, Chi-Town Poet

Yesterday, I learned that David Hernandez had passed away of a heart attack at the age of 66. He died in his beloved city, Chicago, on Feb. 25, 2013. (By the way, there is another David Hernandez, a poet from California, who is very much alive.) Reading this news two months after the fact broughtContinue reading “In Memoriam, David Hernandez, Chi-Town Poet”

Translating Goethe

This past weekend, I took up the challenge to translate a few poems by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. I did it because my World Lit textbook didn’t include any of his lyric poetry, and it’s no fun to teach Romanticism without starting with Goethe. Yes, I know he’s technically part of the┬áSturm und Drang movementContinue reading “Translating Goethe”

The Art of Writing

It is the beginning of a new semester, and today I taught the first session of MUW’s introductory multi-genre Creative Writing class. As usual, as I walked the dog and gathered my thoughts before class, my thoughts turned to what we can teach about writing. It occurred to me, that in creative writing classes, weContinue reading “The Art of Writing”

24th Annual Eudora Welty Writers’ Symposium

Well, another Welty Symposium has come and gone. We had a great time with a dozen authors and a great audience that included students from two local high schools and the Mississippi School for Math and Science, as well as MUW students and alums and members of the community. Rather than running down the highlights,Continue reading “24th Annual Eudora Welty Writers’ Symposium”

Ghosts at the Welty Symposium

Of course when you think Gothic, one thing that comes to mind are old mansions full of ghosts. This year’s Welty Symposium has a few literary ghosts of its own. Of course, Sonny Brewer’s novel The Widow and the Tree is about the Ghosthead Oak, a 500-year-old live oak tree, and there are many memoriesContinue reading “Ghosts at the Welty Symposium”

Mystery and Mayhem

There’s plenty of mystery in this year’s Eudora Welty Writers’ Symposium keynote novel, The Widow and the Tree, and there is crime, both contemplated and perpetrated, though I wouldn’t classify the novel as a mystery exactly. It blends some elements of that genre, along with the gothic modern fairy tale that Welty uses in herContinue reading “Mystery and Mayhem”