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Kevin Arnold's Blog

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Kofi Awoonor
Ghanaian poet Kofi Awoonor (1935-2013) was among those slain in a terrorist attack on a mall in Nairobi, Kenya.  Awoonor, 78, was also a statesman — he served as Ghana's representative to the United Nation from 1990 to 1994. He was in Kenya for the Storymoja Hay literary festival. Awoonor was...
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Johnna Arnold's In/Finite Hut
My daughter’s large felt structure, the In/Finite Hut, has been transported to San Francisco.  It’s part of a two-person show at SF Camerawork with artist Angela Buenning Filo.  The structure is up now, and will formally open this Friday. September 11- October 26, 2013 Reception: Friday...
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Seamus Heaney and Jane Hirshfield
Galway Kinnell, probably my most influential teacher, was great in refocusing things for me.  One of the things he taught me was to stop thinking of “Famous Poets” and to redirect my attention to “Much-loved Poets.”  The love for Seamus Heaney, as shown by the run on his books (I’d just...
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Seamus Heaney
Like so many of my friends, today I’m mourning the death of Seamus Heaney, the Nobel Laureate who died yesterday.  I’ll start with a few lines of his much-heralded Beowulf, where his translation kept the power of the original, using more modern terminology:   A few miles from here a frost...
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Salmon plate.JPG
I hadn’t been to Chez Panisse for ten years, but a friend brought me to the restaurant today, and my goodness, what wonderful food! For the few who don’t know of Chez Panisse, it’s a restaurant in Berkeley known for using local, organic foods and credited as the inspiration for the style of...
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Walt Whitman
This 130-year-old phrase, at the same time patriotic, apologetic, and modern, is part of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, from a poem called “By Blue Ontario’s Shores.”  stanza 13: Rhymes and rhymers pass away, poems distill'd from poems pass away, The swarms of reflectors and the polite pass,...
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Mahmoud Darwish
Since the most extreme Israelis don’t even admit that the existence of Palestine, it seems a positive step that an Israeli journal Tablet yesterday published an article about renowned Palestinian Poet Mahmoud Darwish on this fifth anniversary of his death.  Here’s the link: http://www....
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Away From Her
If there's someone more more revered by fellow writers than Alice Munro, who recently announced she’ll stop writing, I don't know who it could be.  Alice is the living definition of a ‘writer’s writer,’ someone who has plied her incredible craft in short stories for over fifty years now....
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Tom Perrotta's Joe College
It must have taken courage and even fear of being called Sophomoric to write a novel called Joe College that includes an incidence of teenage pregnancy.  The novel appeals to people interested in how acceptance into the Ivy League changes the lieves of young people.  Danny, who has...
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Posey Lifting Linsecum
The World Champion SF Giants are having a tough follow-on season.  Almost at the bottom of their division, they’ve lost more games than they’ve won. On average there is less than one no-hitter, where the opposing batters can get walks or be hit by pitches but no actual hits, in a division each...
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Deborah Treisman
This modern electronic world offers a story’s author to not only write the story, but to provide a gloss on it.  Deborah, who was charmingly modest when she addressed the Yale Writing Conference this year, has posted a blog along with Tobias Wolff’s short story in this week’s New Yorker....
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Nine Inches Perrotta
One of the many joys of a good writing conference is savoring the aftertaste.  Tom Perrotta’s provocative reading of a story about a young man who takes SAT exams for others had me wanting to understand him better.  Only a fragment of that short story is available online: http://www....
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Natasha 1812
Shortly before I came east to the Yale Writer's Workshop, the editor of Your Daily Poem sent me a note saying she planned to put up a poem of mine for Father's Day.  It was a poem called "Prayer," about my son, written before he started writing plays.  It's at http://www....
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Richard's Book
Richard Selzer, only slightly feeble at 85 years of age, did a magnificent job of kicking off the Yale Writing Workshops this year.  Introduced by the Conference Director, Terry Hawkins, as his personal mentor, Selzer went on to mentor all this year's participants.  (Note the last...
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Harkness at Yale
I"m attending two back-to-back workshops for a total of two weeks.  This week I'm reviewing White Man's Blues with Marc Fitten; next week I'll have a shorter poetry workshop with Stephanie Hart. I stayed overnight with my son Scotty in NYC on my way here.  He's important in all this...
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