Here’s where my literary curiosity has taken me lately.
First, I’ve been reading some of the Lord Peter Whimsey books Dorothy L. Sayers. They’re like delicious candy but then amongst the sweet something sour and bitter surfaces, and that is the racial and religious epithets used in those days (1920s and 1930s). In one way I think it’s great we don’t use those words any more, but then I remember the Redskins.
The new U.S. Poet Laureate, Charles Wright did an interview with USA Today. One comment on the post said he sounds weary and I agree. He’s not going to spearhead any projects (“I’m going to sit here and vibrate”). He also says, “I can’t do computers.” I would venture to guess this might be one of the last people appointed to that position who are not computer literate. Some comments also object to his being named to the post since he is an proud son of the South who keeps a lock of Lee’s hair. The interview in which he disclosed this is in Paris Review.
I am not part of the alt-lit scene. But this week I was reading up on one editor in New York who was outted for inappropriate (criminal?) behavior. A writer from Canada (Sophie Katz) posted an essay (“We Don’t Have to Do Anything” which appeared on Medium)about “Stan” and how he sexually took advantage of her, pressuring her into unwanted sex. Then a Tumblr post written by another writer recounted similar bad behavior where the editor got her drunk and had his way, despite her protestations. Then the editor was named. Social media posts followed. The editor made an apology on Twitter, cancelled his accounts. I take note of these events because social media is used to shame in public; I think this a relatively new phenomenon. Before social media, this would not have reached so many people.
My beloved Jeopardy is under fire for its stupid category “What Women Want.” Wow. What century is this? Was Art Fleming hosting? Here’s the huff.
Solace in So Many Words contributor Patty Somlo has a new essay (“Chinese Banquet”) published in Gravel Magazine.
I’ve gone to two readings in the past weeks and have another one planned. First was Rebecca Makkai at The Book Stall. She has a new book, The Hundred Year House. Next I hope to see Barbara Shoup there this Sunday (October 5, at 1 pm); she’s in town and will be reading from Looking for Jack Kerouac.
This past weekend Glass Lyre Press (Ami Kaye is the editor and publisher) hosted an afternoon of poetry and I heard poems by a number of poets, including Solace in So Many Words contributor Jan Bottiglieri. She read along with Helen Degan Cohen, Virginia Bell, Angela Narcisco Torres, Gail Goepfert, Bill Yarrow and other fine poets.
The October Poetry features UK poets. Two poems by David Harsent caught my attention. They are “Tinnitus: May, Low skies and thunder” and “Tinnitus: January, thin rain becoming ice,” the last lines of which are: “except you bring in the tic of cooling timbers, and then the birds in // flight.” There’s a stanza break, then “Now chains through gravel. Make of it what you will.” Do you suffer from tinnitus? Is this how you’d describe it?
This article in The Atlantic that is causing a big stir, especially among people my age and older, is “Why I Hope to Die at 75” by Ezekiel J. Emanuel.
Yikes. I better get cracking.
Peace, love, and solace