As noted in a previous blog, Jessica Powers, author of the young adult novel The Confessional (Random House, July 2007) had been disinvited to speak at Cathedral High School in El Paso because her book contained "language" and sexual innuendos. The principal of the private, Catholic school spoke with an El Paso reporter for Newspaper Tree saying he felt "compelled to protect our kids [who begin attending at 13 years old] and our school." Has this guy walked down his own hallways lately? Where does he think Jessica got the realistic teen behavior material for her book? Not only that, but didn't these people actually READ her book before inviting her to speak?
Even so, it hardly seems the point, since Powers says she wasn't going to speak about her book, but rather on the issues she writes about in the book: "immigration (illegal and legal); underlying racial tension in a border society like El Paso's; violence and pacifism; social divisions between different groups of people; and faith or doubts about faith." But, as Cathedral is a private rather than public school, its decision was regarded differently by Bobby Byrd, co-publisher and vice president of Cinco Puntos Press, who "said the decision for a private school to cancel a book event is a 'whole different situation' from public censorship. 'The parents are essentially hiring the school to make certain decisions,' he said. 'If a teacher were teaching that book, then it would be a whole different decision.' The decision to cancel the discussion may not have been the correct one, though, Byrd suggested. 'To me it speaks of timidity,' he added. 'Literature is literature.'"
It was Jessica's contention that her visit had been cancelled because of a coinciding visit to take place by U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. The cancellation itself was brought on, not by school members, but by Former Chief Justice Barajas – who I also doubt even read the book. Ironically enough, on August 12, Jessica made note in her blog that the superintendent of the schools actually gave her approval of the book: "Because of all the brouhaha, a teacher made sure the superintendent of Catholic schools in El Paso had a copy of the book. She read it and called the principal up and said she didn't see what all the fuss was about. She said, 'I don't want our boys to talk this way…but they do.' Former Chief Justice Barajas, the one who forced the cancellation of the event, had allegedly said this was an attack on the church and a threat. But a teacher who read it said, 'Every time the boys get in trouble, they return to what they were taught. They pray, they go to confession….What else can you ask for?'"
Only what's left to ask: WWJD?
by Tim Jones / Chicago Tribune (MCT)
17 August 2007
OAKLAND, Calif.—Until the sawed-off shotgun was raised and aimed at him, Chauncey Bailey, the tall, swashbuckling media celebrity who always walked and talked with a purpose, didn’t seem to worry that his reporting might put his life in danger.
He was the hard-charging and controversial advocate for the black community in this uncelebrated city by the bay. And that, Bailey’s friends say, led him to assume a cocoon of personal safety, if not immunity from the black-on-black violent crime afflicting Oakland. There had been death threats before, but nothing came of them...[Read the rest on Pop Matters]
August 12th, 2007 by Jeremy Axelrod for the Kenyon Review
Parnassus: Poetry in Review will not be closing shop with Volume 30, after all. Until recently, financial woes made that round, impressive number seem like a sensible finale for the journal’s magnificent run. As Meg Galipault noted on KR Blog [Kenyon Review Blog], Willard Spiegelman wrote in the Wall Street Journal about its “commitment to intelligence and beautiful writing” — an achievement that’s sadly not enough to fill the till. But sometimes poetry does make things happen, or at least poetry critics do. A very generous reader of the Wall Street Journal saw Spiegelman’s article and offered to fully fund Parnassus for two more years. In the last few months, many magazines and newspapers have lamented the end of Parnassus and praised its decades of excellence. Nobody spoke too soon. When the donation materialized, it was an utter surprise for everyone. [Read the rest on KR Blog]
by Donovan Chase
What follows will make no sense.
I intend for this to happen,
And so it will.
I want my poem to be considered deep, so I’ll have it make no sense.
I’ll use random bits of
To make a point
That doesn’t exist...
[Read the rest on 24:7 Magazine.]
[But then you'll miss this part:
I’ll use “vague but disturbing imagery”
Like the idea of someone taking a cat
and putting it in a cheese taco
to make the poem seem to have meaning...]
[And other funny bits.]
Tenure-track assistant professor in Creative Writing (Poetry), full-time appointment beginning August 2008. MFA or PhD required by time of appointment. Candidates must demonstrate a commitment to teaching, service, and professional activity including published poetry (preferably a book). Twelve-hour course load each semester will include creative writing, other courses in the English major, and general education courses, with course reduction available for advising the student literary magazine. Additional teaching expertise in creative nonfiction and/or literary study desirable. The committee will request writing samples from selected candidates and may meet with these candidates at MLA. On-campus interviews will include a demonstration of teaching effectiveness and a brief poetry reading. Review of applications begins November 2, 2007, and will continue until the position is filled. View posting here.
Adapt This: Fiction Into Film
By Phillip Lopate
Reflections (on the topic of fiction into film)
By James Ivory, Elmore Leonard, Tracy Chevalier, Patrick McGrath, Jerry Stahl, Michael Tolkin, Susanna Moore, Time Krabbe, Irvine Welsh, Barry Gifford, Alexander Payne, Myla Goldberg, and Frederic Raphael
Best Adaptations (short lists from each with brief highlight notes)
By Francine Prose, Joy Press, Geoffrey O’Brien, Robert Polito, Luc Sante, Stephanie Zacharek, Steve Erickson, Molly Haskell, Armond White, J. Hoberman, Bilge Ebiri, and Drake Stutesman
She wrote: "This morning, I received news that my event at Cathedral High School here in El Paso (scheduled this coming Monday afternoon at 3 p.m.), where I was going to discuss issues of immigration and border security and racism with students, has been canceled. I understand that the person behind canceling the event is Chief Justice Richard Barajas, who thought that doing an event with a book that discusses these issues, with profanity, would be a public relations disaster for Cathedral High School and that parents would be in an uproar. Ironically, the event was scheduled on the same day that Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff is to be the keynote speaker at the Border Security Conference at UTEP here in town. As you know, THE CONFESSIONAL looks at the issues he will be speaking about from the teen perspective. That event has now been canceled and the discussion silenced."
Coming only four weeks after the publication of this exceptional young adult novel, my response to Jessica: I'm surprised it took them so long.
The book is hard-hitting and more real than some adults may want to believe is possible among our nation's "children." And Jessica's dis-invitation is over what? Supposedly because of the fact that characters in her book swear? Uh, did anybody notice Harry Potter in book seven is a minor drinking whiskey and making comparisons with its euphoric feelings throughout the book? But, I guess the issue of ethnic cleansing is just better masked therein so that is overlooked... Fortunately, we can hope, as with most censorship, cancelled invitations and bannings, this will encourage even more young adults to read her work and want to hear what she has to say on the issues reflected so humanly and humanely through the characters in her book. It's just too bad these select "adults" won't hear her out, and that they are in positions of power to silence her.
Read more from Jessica herself on her blog: J.L. Powers
Over the summer, First Book asked the question: What book got you hooked? On the site now are the results, including responses from Joyce Carol Oates, Edward Norton, Joan Allen, Rebecca Romijn, John Lithgow, Eric Carle, Judy Woodruff, Marlee Matlin, Rick Reilly, John Krasinski, Lisa Loeb, Joshua Bell, Elizabeth Gilbert and many more.
Coming in the Summer of 2007
Volume 1, Number 1
Ira Konigsberg, "Film Theory and the New Science"
Gilbert J. Rose, "On Affect, Motion and Nonverbal Art: A Case and a Theory"
Patrick Colm Hogan, "Sensorimotor Projection, Violations of Continuity, and Emotion in the Experience of Film"
Norman Holland, "The Neuroscience of Metafilm"
Torben Grodal, "Film Emotions, Valence, and Evolutionary Adaptations"
Silvia Bell, "Separation and Merger in Lovers of the Arctic Circle"
Bonnie Kaufman, Jeff Zacks , Carl Plantinga and Cynthia Freeland
Adrienne Harris on Jonathan Caouette's Tarnation
An interview with Jonathan Caouette
Uri Hasson on what movies tell us about the mind
Kill Or Convert, Brought To You By the Pentagon
By Max Blumenthal
"The Pentagon endorses an End Times evangelical group that proselytizes among US troops, plans a 'crusade' to Iraq, and promotes a post-apocalyptic kill-or-convert video game."
And who's in the forefront of this promotional movement?
"Actor Stephen Baldwin, the youngest member of the famous Baldwin brothers, is no longer playing Pauly Shore's sidekick in comedy masterpieces like Biodome. He has a much more serious calling these days...'In my position, I just don't think I'm supposed to keep my faith to myself,' Baldwin told a group of Texas Southern Baptists in 2004. 'I'm just doing what the Lord's telling me to do.'"
Read the rest: The Notion
The book costs
Few literatures have truly prospered in isolation from the world. English-speaking culture in general and American culture in particular has long benefited from cross-pollination with other worlds and languages. Thus it is an especially dangerous imbalance when, today, 50% of all the books in translation now published worldwide are translated from English, but only 6% are translated into English.
Words Without Borders opens doors to international exchange through translation of the world’s best writing — selected and translated by a distinguished group of writers, translators, and publishing professionals — and publishing and promoting these works (or excerpts) on the web. We also serve as an advocacy organization for literature in translation, producing events that feature the work of foreign writers and connecting these writers to universities and the media.
Our ultimate aim is to introduce exciting international writing to the general public — travelers, teachers, students, publishers, and a new generation of eclectic readers — by presenting international literature not as a static, elite phenomenon, but a portal through which to explore the world. In the richness of cultural information we present, we hope to help foster a “globalization” of cultural engagement and exchange, one that allows many voices in many languages to prosper.
Words Without Borders is a partner of PEN American Center and the Center for Literary Translation at Columbia University, and is hosted by Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York.
Volume 30 Number 3, Spring 2007
Volume 30 Numbers 1 & 2, Spring/Fall 2007
The Hudson Review
Volume 60 Number 2, Summer 2007
The Journal of Ordinary Thought
Number 55, Summer/Fall 2007
Volume 23 Number 3, Spring/Summer 2007
The Massachusetts Review
Volume 48 Number 2, Summer 2007
Michigan Quarterly Review
Volume 46 Number 3, Summer 2007
The Midwest Quarterly
Volume 48 Number 4, Summer 2007
The New Centennial Review
Volume 6 Number 2, Winter 2006
Issue Number 91, 2007
Parthenon West Review
Issue 5, 2007
Rock and Sling
Volume 4 Issue 1, Summer 2007
Issue Number 8, 2007
Volume 35 Number 2, Spring 2007
Got Doc's CD in the mail and didn't think much of it until I took a closer look at what exactly this "drummstick" is that he plays. This is some incredible technology! You can check out more at his site: www.drummstick.com and see other YouTube clips of him performing with other musicians.
Issue 21 is now available featuring stories by: Gretchen McCullough, Kay Sexton, JSun Howard, Amelia Gray, Dan Capriotti, Sung J. Woo, Terry White, Paula Bomer, Clifford Garstang, Emily M. Z. Carlyle, Joel Van Noord, Anthony Neil Smith, Laurie Seidler, and Josh Capps. Issue 22 will start in a week or so, with a new story released every 2-3 days.