a weblog for readers and writers

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Poetry to Pop-Grass, Horror to Humor, Join Lit and Art

If you're in the Baltimore area, you're invited to join us on June 20 from 2 to 5 p.m. to discover “the best excuse to get lit on a Sunday afternoon in Baltimore.

The Lit & Art Reading Series showcases local, national, and international talent—fiction, poetry, non-fiction, memoir, original art, live music—all topped off with wine, refreshments, and conversation. And it’s all free and open to the public!

Featured readers on June 30 include Sue Ellen Thompson, Harrison Demchick, Charles Rammelkamp, Sally Whitney, and Danuta Hinc. Live music by pop-grass/banjo dude Jacob Panic, original art by Manzar, and wine and refreshments will fill out the program.

Hosted by Baltimore authors Nitin Jagdish and Eric D. Goodman, the event takes place at The Watermark Gallery at 100 S. Charles Street, across from Baltimore’s Inner Harbor in the BOA building, and takes place from 2 to 5 p.m.

Bring about five minutes of your own work to share during open mic!

Join our online Lit & Art community on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/181120815252390/

Monday, June 17, 2013

America's Best Library

What is America's favorite library? It may not be where you think.

Today we’re pleased to highlight the public library in Columbus, Ohio — by many measures, the most successful in the nation. 

According to American Libraries Magazine, the Columbus Metropolitan Library was ranked number one in 1999, 2005, and 2008, and it’s been in the top four every year since rankings began in 1999. 

In 2010, Library Journal named it Library of the Year. It’s been one of the best libraries in the world since opening in 1873.

Visit the Columbus Library at www.columbuslibrary.org.

What's your favorite library?

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Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Art Imitating Death Imitating Art

Sometimes moments or scenes or feelings can stay with you for a long time.

In the summer of 1987, my grandfather (father’s side) died. My family was on vacation in Seoul, Korea. We lived in Sasebo, Japan at the time. I remember the Navy Chaplain visiting us in our tatami-mat hotel and delivering the news. We cut our vacation short and flew from Korea to Wyoming for the funeral.

I don’t remember who said it or how it was said, but my teenage self took to heart when a person mentioned how unfortunate it was that the one time you could count on the entire extended family gathering together was for funerals.

When I wrote a story for Tracks about a woman dealing with the death of her parents, that childhood memory still lingered in the back of my mind. That, and a vivid scene from East of Eden when the Hamilton family gathers to talk about their plans after their father (John Steinbeck’s grandfather) died. Of course, on some subconscious level, I realize that I must have been writing through fears of the inevitable as well.

I named the story “Reunion” and wrote this line of dialogue from an estranged neighbor friend: “Why is it that it takes tragedy to bring old friends together?”

On May 9 of this year, about a month ago, my grandmother (mom’s side) died, leaving behind a husband of 68 years who is 95 years old. 

At the viewing and funeral and house, family, friends, and community gathered. It was nice to see so many people paying their respects. But that same feeling echoed and I even had to voice it. “We should try to get together more often,” I said to cousins and uncles and family and friends.

Here’s to art imitating life imitating art.

I read an abridged version of “Reunion” for WYPR’s The Signal. You can catch a podcast under “Reunion” at www.tracksnovel.com/radio.html.  

You can also find it here: http://yourlisten.com/channel/content/84379/Reunion.

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