Saturday, April 17, 2010

Announcing the 48th Writers Conference of the CAPE COD writers CENTER

Hey folks been speaking to the new Director of the Cape Cod Writer's Center Nancy Rubin Stuart--this is what she sent me...

Announcing the 48th
Writers Conference of the

Books, Bytes and Beach
August 15-20, 2010
Craigville Conference Center • Centerville, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Fiction • Nonfiction • Poetry • Screenwriting • Online Communications
Guest Speakers • Publishers • Authors • Agents • Editors • Publicists
Faculty Reception • Manuscript Evaluations • Mentoring Sessions

A Writer’s Retreat and Resource Center
For the Twenty First Century
Our Most Exciting Year Yet!
Featuring Famous Keynote Speakers and Authors
Brochure and Full Web Announcement Will Appear Soon

Friday, April 16, 2010

Pulitzer Prize winning author Elizabeth Strout speaks to Emerson College Students at Paramount Theater--Boston.

(Boston – April 15, 2010)

Article by Steve Glines

– Elizabeth Strout, Pulitzer Prize winning author and Ploughshares guest editor answered questions today for Emerson students. Mrs. Strout won the Pulitzer for her novel “Olive Kittredge” which takes place in a small fictional town in Maine. For those wanting the Cliff Notes version, “Olive” is a series of not necessarily connected short stories that either feature Olive Kittredge or where she makes a cameo appearance. We learned that the author wrote each story independently and that while all of the stories took place in that small fictional town, Olive was written into some of the stories at a later date.

The author told her audience that the ordering of the stories was by gut instinct and not by any conscious plan. That was a disappointment to this writer because in analyzing the story he had come to the conclusion that Henry, Olive’s long suffering husband, was the initial star and only after their ordeal at the hands of a bank robber does Olive come into her own as Henry fades away. That was not the author’s intent; Olive was the intended star from the beginning. The author said she had “found” Olive in unfinished stories and only after rewriting did Olive emerge as a unifying character to this collection of short stories.

In the question and answer session with Emerson students Elizabeth Strout said she could not imagine a life without writing and that she wrote throughout law school which she attended to please her father who had just wanted her to be normal. She said that literary success came as a surprise and that she didn’t really understand the business aspects of the publishing industry. When it came to marketing she only did as she was told.

When asked about her writing style Elizabeth Strout said she wrote everything by hand, often at her kitchen table, sometimes at the library and even on the subways of New York. She spoke of the importance of having a trustworthy reader providing guidance and feedback while writing. Early in her career she only had one reader, then many, but preferred the input of just one trusted person. The synopsis for Olive Kittredge was sold to the publisher with just 1/3 of the book complete. When asked if the editors or her agent had any input to the book the audience was treated to an emphatic “NO!” She then admitted that the publisher had given the book its current title which in the manuscript had been “Olive’s Story.” When asked what was special about small towns her reply was, “I have nothing profound to say about small towns. Having grown up in a small town I guess I needed 30 years perspective to write about it so I suppose I’ll eventually write about New York.”

At the reading that followed Elizabeth Strout read an abbreviated chapter from Olive Kittredge. Authors often complain that reviewers “don’t get it.” When listening to Elizabeth Strout read, the story carried an emphasis that was just as compelling but different from the story as read. The story read as a dialogue between Olive and her son, as heard by this listener, the story was a dialogue between Olive and her daughter in law. There are a million ways to read a good book. As one author commented recently on his own work, “I didn’t know I was that brilliant, I don’t remember writing all that but what do I know I’m just the author.”

Elizabeth Strout was the first reader in a new literary series by the guest editors of Ploughshares, Emerson’s literary magazine. The next event in the series will be in October 2010 with Ploughshares' next guest editor Jim Shepard.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Wave and Metronome by John Flynn

Wave and Metronome by John Flynn (Pudding House Chapbook Series 81 Shadymere Lane Columbus, Ohio 43213

Review by Doug Holder

John Flynn is originally from Boston and his poetry like that of the late Dave Church, has that well-honed, griity, and studied urban feel to it. Flynn wrote me he has been rejected by a slew of Iowa Writing School type publications, but his work has found a home in the very respectable Pudding House Press, and a great number of fine small press magazines over the years. We have had the pleasure of having Kevin on "Ibbetson Street" our literary journal, a couple of times as well.

In his new collection "Wave and Metronome" Flynn appreciates the beauty in the ugly, the mumblings of old stumblebums over cheap shot glasses of bourbon, and the sanctuary of the " Diner." Flynn captures the vernacular of townies reminiscing about the "old days," as evidenced by his poem "Mulcahey's Pub Under the Merit Sign." Here the pub is a focal point and a balm for a regular Joe pontificating:

Millbury street was a canal once,

and White an amusement pahk.

Bet youz didn't know that.

What's gone?

Well, a lotta things.

Two words come to mind: manufacturing jobs.

otherwise, it's still there, in a way,

except the Big Boy statue

and the musty Webster Square pool hall

a dark basement full of trimmed Brunswick tables.

I healed in dat place, so many nights.

Highly Recommended.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Witch Dance: New and Selected Poems by Glenna Luschei

Witch Dance
New & Selected Poems
Glenna Luschei
Presa :S: Press 2010
$13.95 ISBN 978-0-9800081-7-3

"our ashes left before us.
Who said we couldn't fly?"

Confession and cowboys, despair and crisp reality serve the poems in clear presentations with a touch of emphatic sympathy, "It's all there, the gingko tree loves pollution…" Luschei empties her voice onto the page and lets the reader hear verses steeped in a message which declines an invitation. Yet at the same time we are partakers because of the writing. Luschei creates poems like witnesses, a settler who carries everything they own to a promised land and finds hard work, loss, and:

"When I wake up
with sand in my wrist
I know
I've crept again to the sea
searching for your hand"

The beauty of being placed alone on an open page, an area with succulent flowers and words that form blankets against what has been inevitably the result of a larger plan, nature gives comfort and can also become warring winds, notions sewing each poem together, effecting the verses until the reader is immersed in their energy, feels the exposure to the elements. The poet lives within and also resides outside:

"The mica I bring you
scatters in my pocket,
but the Hunter Moon
tracks it to the tarmac.

Why scan the moon's two continents for love?

Our friends shout, "look around!"

It's here beside us
on the dark side.

We fold the linen with lavender
and sage."

We meet the poems head on without frills or foolish rambling. The dance of words is infectious and the poet's personal freedom opens each page.

Irene Koronas
Poetry Editor:
Wilderness House Literary Review
Ibbetson Street Press