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Kevin Arnold's Blog

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  I’m back in New York City with my son.  Tomorrow a play he’s written the music to will be produced at NYU as part of his MFA work.  He was able to find us tickets to the play The Book of Mormon. The high-concept play, one of the hottest tickets in recent years, was written by the guys who...
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This Op-Ed Gives Specifics About How to Help
Shortly after the Earthquake and Tsunami hit Japan, once I learned our friends in Japan were safe, I wrote a blog with a poem about our 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake, loosely comparing the two events.  Mistake!  What really happened (from an op-ed): The earthquake off the coast of northeastern Japan...
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Conference will be in Mokelumne Hill, One Hour East of Stockton
However, there are still slots left.  Tuition rises from $145 to $175 March 30th.  A few last-minute items: Sally Ashton, recently named Poet Laureate, Santa Clara County, will teach a poetry workshop. (Previously none was planned.) Antoinette May's novel workshop is full but all other workshops...
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Nils Peterson, Santa Clara County Poet Laureate, Friend
These are notes I used as a speaker at a Celebration of the accomplishments of Nis Peterson last night as he finished his two-year term as the first Poet Laureate of Santa Clara County.  The speakers included Al Young, Poet Laureate of California, emiritus, and Sally Ashton, who will replace Nils...
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Our 1989 Quake Doesn't Compare
Author's note, three days later:  I wrote this shortly after the Japanese tragedy.  Please ignore any implication that these are parallel events--they're simply not.--------I have several friends in Japan, all now accounted for by Email or phone, thank God.  The one woman I managed to talk to...
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Brian Wilson in 2011 Opener: Bigger Beard
According to NBC Bay Area, “One of the people [Sheen] said he wished he could be for ten minutes was Giants pitcher Brian Wilson.  Sheen went on to mumble something about Wilson delivering "fury, vengeance, hatred and absolute world domination," then bowed his head in silence for the man...
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This March 1 posting made me happy, especially the unexpectedly-kind comments; click on the poem to see.     Having trouble viewing this email? Click here First poetry, now opera. Are your cultural horizons feeling a little overextended? I'll go easy on you...
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The New Jersey Basketball Star Version of Kevin Arnold
Google alerts are powerful.  [By the way “www.googlealert.com” is not Google.  To get true Google alerts use "www.google.com/alert ”]  The string ‘Kevin Arnold Red Room” dutifully  shows me whatever slips into the blogosphere with my name on it.  But the one that finds instances of the two...
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Jean Toomer Novel Cover from 1923
My novel White Man’s Blues led me to study African-American literature, which Red Room asked us to blog about this week.  My study brought me quickly to the Harlem Renaissance, one of those hotspots of brilliance that flash in literature when the stars line up.  It was Jean Toomer, from the “...
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The Amalfi Coast
Red Room asks us to blog on 'the best thing we’ve found.’  What jumps to mind is the Amalfi coast in Southern Italy.  The breathtaking towns, cut into the cliffs, make renowned pottery and limoncella.  I love to ride the public bus along the bay, with the thrill of a roller coaster and far more...
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James Dean
Still his three films live on.  I re-read A. E. Housman’s poem “To an Athlete Dying Young,” but realized Dean had more self-knowledge than Housman’s athlete, as shown by the quotes below. James Dean Quotes Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die today. To my way of thinking, an actor...
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Elizabeth Bishop
Being asked to post on ‘loss’ or ‘losing things’ is complicated because we’re so loose in our common usage of ‘loss’ and ‘losing.’  People ‘lose’ everything from keys to games, from virginity to loved ones. I lost my parents in midlife, but far more devastating was the breakup of my marriage.  We...
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Fiction Director Louis B. Jones at Squaw Valley
Red Room asked us to blog on the best writing conference, to single one out.  But I have been to several of these conferences and different ones are good at different things.  I’ll list seven or eight here where I’ve participated or taught.  I used dollar signs ($$) to show relative cost; many...
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Giant with Rock, Elizabeth, and James
The dialog sparkles, like when Jett Rink (James Dean), not allowing Bick (Rock Hudson) to talk him into selling land just bequeathed him, says, "I'm sentimental, too, Bick,"  Doesn't that line cut through pretense in a hurry?  And the actions are precise too, like when Jett, covered in...
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Jump The Shark
I've posted a couple of times on the "Fear the Beard" relief pitcher/closer, renegade Christian Brian Wilson, and it appears the gang that won their pennant at the last minute and went on to win The Series just won't go away.  "San Francisco Giants to Star in Reality TV show"...
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