Crossing the Divide: New Vessel Press

Someone’s coming from the other world, Hiss of night rain. Someone’s going there now. The two are sure to meet. –Ko Un (from Poetry: The Translation Issue, November 2014) Ko Un’s poem perfectly illustrates to me how translated works help us cross the divide between cultures to get to where “The two are sure to […]

Beyond Yoknapatawpha: Oxford, Mississippi

Last Tuesday I wrote about my pilgrimage to Rowan Oak, Faulkner’s home in Oxford, but there’s more to Oxford than Faulkner.  Below are some suggestions if you’re thinking of paying a visit. Out from town 1. Blue Creek Cabin: a 19th century log cabin located north of Oxford, disassembled and moved from Tennessee. My friend Claudia and […]

On the Southern Literary Trail: Yoknapatawpha County

 I discovered that my own little postage stamp of native soil was worth writing about and that I would never live long enough to exhaust it… –William Faulkner Faulkner’s little postage stamp was his hometown of Oxford, Mississippi, immortalized as Jefferson, located in Yoknapatawpha County. Yoknapatawpha, from the Chickasaw yocona petopha, meaning water runs slow through […]

Banned Books Week

Think censorship ended with the Banned in Boston days of James Joyce’s Ulysses and D. H. Lawrence‘s Lady Chatterley’s Lover? Think again. Censorship–or attempts to censor–are alive and well. Next week is Banned Books Week. Learn more about efforts to protect our freedom on this page (below) from the American Library Association’s Banned Books Week: Celebrating the […]

Decatur Book Festival 2014

What do Karen Joy Fowler, Ron Rash, US Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey, Barbara Brown Taylor, Joyce Carol Oates, Thrity Umrigar,  Pat Conroy, and scores of others have in common? They  all participated in the Decatur (Georgia) Book Festival this past weekend. The festival claims to be the largest independent book festival in the country. That […]

Historical Novelist Lynn Cullen, Part 2: The Craft of Art

In Part 1 of my interview with Lynn Cullen (see July 30th), I briefly discussed her break-out novel, Mrs. Poe.  But as Cullen says herself, “It takes years to figure out your craft and the industry. Those who want a short cut, well, it doesn’t happen.” Back when she was a young mother finishing her English […]

Historical Novelist Lynn Cullen, Part 1: Mrs. Poe, Frances Osgood, and the Author Herself

Received this post as an email? Click on the blue title to read in your browser. I hadn’t seen my friend Lynn Cullen since the launch of her historical novel Reign of Madness in 2011, though we’d been in touch via email. But this morning we were meeting for breakfast at Goldberg’s Deli in Toco […]