How to make some pretty good soup in a global pandemic (with apologies to Simon Ortiz and Nora Dauenhauer)

It's best made in dry-fish camp on a beach by afish stream on sticks over an open fire, or duringfishing, or during cannery season.In this case, we'll make it in the city baked inan electric oven on a black fry pan. [...]-- Nora Dauenhauer, "How to Make Good Baked Salmon from the River" When I … Continue reading How to make some pretty good soup in a global pandemic (with apologies to Simon Ortiz and Nora Dauenhauer)

Notes on a review of an important new book about Faulkner, the Civil War and race (with a tangent on grad school in English at UT-Knoxville in the ’60s)

What Faulkner recognized was the ubiquity of such struggles over identity and their centrality to the American experience—the way that the question “Who am I?” is always connected to the question “Who are we?” -- Casey Cep, review of Michael Gorra, The Saddest Words: William Faulkner’s Civil War, The New Yorker, Nov. 23, 2020 I … Continue reading Notes on a review of an important new book about Faulkner, the Civil War and race (with a tangent on grad school in English at UT-Knoxville in the ’60s)

Pentecost

Editor's note. This "poem-like substance" was written during the 2000-2001 school year as an in-class demonstration when I was teaching a creative writing class at Springfield College in Illinois (later merged into Benedictine University and subsequently closed). When students complained it wasn't fair for me to make them write a poem on demand, we agreed: … Continue reading Pentecost

Found poem — in a Swedish grammar book I kept in my office at at SCI-Benedictine

Editor's note -- another workshop poem I wrote when I was teaching creative writing at Springfield College in Illinois, which later merged with Benedictine University and was subsequently closed. According to the Academy of American Poets, found poems "take existing texts and refashion them, reorder them, and present them as poems. The literary equivalent of … Continue reading Found poem — in a Swedish grammar book I kept in my office at at SCI-Benedictine

Haiku from our campus literary magazine at SCI-Benedictine a month after 9/11

When I taught English and journalism at Springfield College in Illinois, I wrote workshop poems along with my creative writing students. One of the forms we experimented with was "found poetry." The Academy of American Poets explains, "Found poems take existing texts and refashion them, reorder them, and present them as poems. The literary equivalent … Continue reading Haiku from our campus literary magazine at SCI-Benedictine a month after 9/11

A Shakespeare allusion in a ‘poem-like substance’ found on an old hard drive

Editor's note -- I found this poem while I was looking in for something else in an old hard drive where I store files from when I taught English at Benedictine University Springfield. In my creative writing classes, I wrote along with the students whenever possible -- if I was asking them to embarrass themselves … Continue reading A Shakespeare allusion in a ‘poem-like substance’ found on an old hard drive

John Knoepfle, 1923-2019

John Knoepfle, who died Saturday at the age of 96, was awarded an honorary doctorate in 1999 by Springfield College in Illinois (later Benedictine University Springfield). As the faculty adviser/de facto editor of the campus literary magazine at the time, I obtained John's permission to publish his commencement address to the class of 1999, perhaps … Continue reading John Knoepfle, 1923-2019