August 23, 2017

Station Eleven: Beauty in a Ruined World

One mark of a good book is whether it entices me to explore subjects I initially find unappealing. By that measure and others, Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel, is a haunting success. Read my review of this 2014 National Book Award finalist here in the December issue of the Murfreesboro Pulse. … [Read more...]

Cameo: Art, History, War, Beauty (and a Poetry Book Giveaway)

I take it to be a shortcoming of my suburban sensibilities, but I frequently have trouble with the concept of beauty existing in war, violence, death and destruction, and other seemingly tragic events throughout history. Evidently I'm not alone, as this recent article by Yeuran Zhang in Duke University's The Chronicle suggests. In it, Lt. Col. Peter Kilmer, assistant professor at the United States Military Academy, says: ...because the public generally views war only as violent, soldiers can … [Read more...]

Delightful Contemporary Tennessee Poets

The folks over at Chapter 16 are doing a great job of promoting both poetry and prose by authors who have connections to Tennessee, but in honor of National Poetry Month, I couldn't resist making my own list of contemporary Tennessee poets whose work I enjoy. Here are 3, … [Read more...]

Nothing Trickier, Nothing More Eloquent: Dani Shapiro Questions Personal Faith in Devotion

“Aren't we all just waiting for bad news?” advice columnist Carolyn Hax wrote in 2009. She was responding to a reader who had asked for advice about waiting for a loved one’s medical test results. Her question – right there in the morning paper beside the daily TV schedule and across from Arlo and Janis and the Peanuts gang– struck me as profound. I clipped the column and have a poem in the works using that quote. I know a few folks - like my dear Mama - who are most definitely not waiting on … [Read more...]