Saturday, June 25, 2016


… Solitary Praxis: New conversations and content at Solitary Praxis.

Striding across life …

… Graveyard Masonry: Walking. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Not getting it …

TLSMiller’s fail – TheTLS. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)
Wow. This guy has figured out that Henry Miller was and remains politically incorrect. It doesn't seem to cross his mind that Miller often goes out of his way to portray himself in an unsympathetic light. But it's kind of nice to know that Henry can still offend the sensibilities of such delicate souls.

Underway …

… America Reads Exhibition to Open June 16 | News Releases - Library of Congress. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Fit to print …

Zealotry of Guerin: Morning News (Francis Luis Mora), Sonnet #303.

Quite a tale …

Paul Davis On Crime: My Crime Fiction: 'The Horn Of The Bull'.

And yet...

Something to think on …

Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.
— George Orwell, born on this date in 1903

Friday, June 24, 2016

I love this headline …

… Why an E.U. without Britain is bad news for the fight against climate change - The Washington Post.

Does this mean that we are supposed to stop climate, which is a continuously changing process, from being climate? Just wondering.


… They Got It Wrong: Swarms of Global Chatterers Misread Brexit - Bloomberg Politics.

They've been getting it wrong since last year.


KEY WEST, Florida Keys -- A rich roster of literary events awaits readers and writers during Hemingway Days 2016, set forTuesday through Sunday, July 19-24.

The festival celebrates the literary accomplishments and exuberant Key West lifestyle of legendary writer Ernest Hemingway, who lived on the island throughout the 1930s.

Hemingway Days opens with a museum day Tuesday, July 19, honoring Key West's two most famous writers. Literary fans can view "Depicting Hemingway," featuring renowned artist Guy Harvey's original sketches illustrating Hemingway's "The Old Man and the Sea," at the Custom House Museum, 281 Front St. An exhibit exploring playwright Tennessee Williams' long residence in Key West can be seen at 513 Truman Ave. Both exhibitions continue throughout the festival and beyond.

Contemporary writers star in the "Voices, Places, Inspirations" readings set for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 20, at the Key West Woman's Club, 319 Duval St. Scheduled participants include noted Irish novelist Denyse Woods, who recently bested 2,100 other writers to win the Florida Keys Flash Fiction Contest; Chuck Ball, author of "Hemingway's Heist" among others; Steven Hull, creator of the edgy Hunter Benson series; Mandy Bolen Miles, renowned for her "Tan Lines" books and columns; and Terry Schmida, whose "True Crime" series chronicles criminal deeds in the Florida Keys.

The event is presented by Literacy Volunteers of America–Monroe County and includes a "meet-the-authors" reception.

The spotlight returns to the Custom House Museum at 5 p.m. Thursday, July 21, for a presentation titled "People and Places That Influenced Ernest Hemingway" by Nancy Sindelar, Ph.D. An internationally acclaimed Hemingway scholar, Sindelar penned "Influencing Hemingway: The People and Places That Shaped His Life and Work." A reception follows at 6 p.m.

The next evening at 5 p.m., festival attendees can discover the little-known poetry that helped launch the literary legend's writing career. The Key West Poetry Guild presents "The Poetry of Ernest Hemingway," which also features guild members' work, at the Blue Heaven restaurant, 729 Thomas St. -- a site where Ernest refereed neighborhood boxing matches in the 1930s.

Held in conjunction with Hemingway Days is the Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition. The contest recognizes the work of emerging writers and has been directed by author Lorian Hemingway, Ernest Hemingway's granddaughter, since its inception in 1981.

Hemingway Days information: 

Key West visitor information: or 1-800-LAST-KEY
Social: Facebook · Twitter · Instagram · YouTube · Keys Voices

Belated note …

I was out and about again today. Just back, but feeling my age. So little if any blogging by me until tomorrow. (Am taking stepdaughter Jen and her kids to a Philadelphia Orchestra tonight for her birthday. )

And on a dreary Friday, this seems appropriate...

...sources confirmed Thursday that sitting inside his cardboard box is the safest local 6-year-old Kyle Wolfe will feel for the remainder of his life.
From The Onion, which also notes "At press time, Wolfe’s father was reportedly tossing the flattened cardboard box into the recycling."

And related...

How to Say Peace in Latin

Lest we forget...

Religion (and thoughtful people) really should give way to science.   Being trans is a matter of brain chemistry -- not sexual deviance, mental illness, or mortal sin:
So you have someone who by every measure discussed, from sex chromosomes to phenotype, is Sex A, but who insists that they have always felt like they are Sex B. What’s up in the sexually dimorphic brain regions? A number of studies report the brain bears a close resemblance to Sex B. And this shouldn’t seem surprising—we are determined by our brains, we are our brains, regardless of our pattern of facial hair, the thickness of our larynx, or what the landscape is like between our legs.
In other words, it’s not that transgendered individuals think they are a different gender than they actually are. It’s that they’ve had the profoundly crappy luck to be stuck with bodies that are a different gender from who they actually are.

Life as dream …

… First Known When Lost: Twilight.

I suppose that, from the standpoint of "literary criticism" (whatever that is), all of the poets of the Nineties (with the exception of W. B. Yeats) are "minor poets." But the whole concept of "major" and "minor" poets is useless. As you have heard me say before, dear readers, it is the poem that is important, not the poet.

Working class …

… Writers by Trade | The Weekly Standard. (Hat tip, dave Lull.)

… The Prose Factory, as befits thirsty work, presents the glass half-full. The contents may often be bitter, but they also intoxicate. The Greeks believed that he who drank from the Hippocrene, the sacred spring on Mount Helicon, would always file his copy on time. Here, amid the drudgery, backscratching, and bouncing checks, the joy of a life with books shines through.

Memory and loss …

… Poetry & prose - Richard Gilbert. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Narrative, to me, salves some of the inherent melancholy of poetry. But I think because of that quality, poetry seems mature to me, like adults of a certain age. Maybe literature itself is inherently elegiac because it’s at last about memory, and therefore about loss, our fleeting lives set against the ongoing ruination of time. Many of Sanders’s poems deal with memory, and therefore with vastly separated time frames, with adulthood’s losses.

He knew whereof he wrote …

… Solitary Praxis: Ambrose Bierce, his birthday, and his "bleak, bitter" war stories with "senseless deaths and no heroes".

Something to think on …

What has made this nation great? Not its heroes but its households.
— Sarah Orne Jewett, who died on this date in 1909

Unsurprising …

 Research Review: Universal Preschool May Do More Harm than Good.

You should always have some genuine experience of life before going to school. Someone should alert the mayor of Philadelphia.

A literary life...

...Cynthia Ozick’s Long Crusade
But Ozick, however fierce her identification as a Jew, is admirable in her freedom from identitarian parti pris. T.S. Eliot’s rank anti-Semitism does not blind her to his poetic virtues; she praises Tolstoy’s early novel “The Cossacks” despite its whitewashing of genocidal Cossack violence against Jews (Ozick’s ancestors among them). Above all, she resists the idea that writers are, or ought to be, representatives of a certain group, for it is then that “imagination flies out the door, and with it the freedom and volatility and irresponsibility that imagination both confers and commands.”


Thursday, June 23, 2016

Tomorrow evening …

Evening Landscape

There is something scary about the children’s games.

The neon hopscotch at dusk. The way

everything rhymes, or seems to.

Is this about you? It is about tenderness.

So, yes, perhaps.







FRIDAY, JUNE 24, 6 PM, 2016
(On the University of
Pennsylvania Campus)


“This is a book of human hungers so exact in its recognitions it leaves a reader stricken with a sense not just of how detailed our desires are, but how rare it is to have them articulated in ways yet unspoken. 'In my poor country, we poured sugar/ on everything to not notice our hunger,' Leonard Gontarek writes, but where that coat of sweetening fails, this poet stays to record what is still needed, what is still hungry, what is still so very, and beautifully, human.”

—Katie Ford, author of Blood Lyrics and Colosseum

Leonard Gontarek is the author of six books of poems, including He Looked Beyond
My Faults and Saw My Needs and Déjà vu Diner. His poems have appeared in
American Poetry Review, Poet Lore, Verse, Blackbird, The Awl, Spinning Jenny,
and The Best American Poetry, among others. He coordinates Peace/Works,
Philly Poetry Day, The Philadelphia Poetry Festival, and hosts The Green Line
Reading & Interview Series. Gontarek has received Poetry fellowships from the
Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the Philadelphia Writers Conference Community Service Award, and was a Literary Death Match Champion. His poem, 37 Photos
From The Bridge, was a Poetry winner for the Big Bridges MotionPoems project
and the basis for the award-winning film by Lori Ersolmaz sponsored by the
Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis.

Encore …

 Ebert to Debut in the Chicago Sun-Times Again | Chaz's Blog | Roger Ebert. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Universal harmony …

 Solitary Praxis: "String Theory," Beethoven, and the eternal cosmos.

Q&A …

… Audio Drama Sunday: The Grayscale, A Conversation with Andrew Kaberline | Reluctant Habits.

Remembering …

… Paul Davis On Crime: 50th Anniversary of Ian Fleming's Last Published James Bond Stories, 'Octopussy' & 'The Living Daylights'.

Who knew?

… The Broadway song that nominated a president | OUPblog. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Hmm …

… The Problem with Hate Speech | PJ Media. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

The problem with this article is that it is as much about transgenderism as it is about hate speech. The problem with hate speech is that the hate component is irrelevant and redundant. If someone comes up and hits you in the face with a baseball bat, it's a safe bet the guy's not fond of you. We already have a law against that. It's the one against aggravated assault. But to make opinions illegal just because a certain set disapproves of those opinions strikes at the heart of a free society. Free speech means speech some people may find offensive, that may even be offensive. It's a rough world. 

War and fiction (cont'd.) …

… Solitary Praxis: Michael Shaara, The Killer Angels, and books (fiction and nonfiction) about the American Civil War.

Scholarly annulment …

… Did Jesus Have a Wife? - The Atlantic.

… skeptics had identified other problems. Among the most damning was an odd typographical error that appears in both the Jesus’s-wife fragment and an edition of the Gospel of Thomas that was posted online in 2002, suggesting an easily available source for a modern forger’s cut-and-paste job.

Frostiana …

… Robert Frost's granddaughter kicks off annual 'Sunday Afternoons with Robert Frost' lectures - Berkshire Eagle Online. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

"His poems were very accessible to my students," Newman said. "Their appreciation increased as our discussions revealed the depth of even his most simplistic appearing poems. Frost was a poet of substance as well as aesthetic delight."

Something to think on …

The nature of peoples is first crude, then severe, then benign, then delicate, finally dissolute.
— Giambattista Vico, born on this date in 1668

Terrible …

… Sufi singer shot dead by extremists in Pakistan - Al Arabiya English.

Fruits of pop culture...