Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Occasionally I review books. Check out my first one for Southern Literary Review.
"In this, Lynda Rutledge’s first novel, God commands ailing Texas widow Faith Bass Darling to sell her Louis XV Elephant Clock, an heirloom wedding ring, a banker’s rolltop desk, a rare Dance Dragoon pistol, 44 signed Tiffany lamps, a portrait of Jesus with moving eyes, a $10,000 bill, a family Bible, an old love letter, and perhaps the famous Bass Mansion before she dies.
Faith Bass Darling’s mind is “sundowning,” a symptom of middle-to-late stage Alzheimer’s disease. Short-term memory fugues transport her from the present to the past and even to the future in the form of visions. These fugues disturb her enough that she repeats a personal mantra, “My name is Faith Bass Darling…I live at 101 Old Waco Road in Bass, Texas…Today is December 31, 1999…My great-grandparents were James Tyler Bass and Belle Bass…My parents were James Bass II and Pamela Bass…” Long-term memories haunt Faith as well, especially those pertaining to the deaths of her husband Claude Angus Darling and her son Mike...[read the rest here]
Friday, June 8, 2012
"Kweli [Journal] celebrates cultural kinships and the role of the literary imagination. In this shared space, you will hear the lived experience of people of color. Our many stories. Our shared histories. Our creative play with language. Here our memories are wrapped inside the music of the Muscogee, the blues songs of the South, the clipped patois of the Caribbean. Here in Spanish, Zulu, Tagalog, a useful past is lying down next to an ailing present. Our prose, poetry, and visual art are full of viatamins and vernacular. Listen. Grow. Lift."
I can't tell you how often someone asks me "what should I read?" We have a gadzillion lit magazines out there. Read one. Read two. Discover new writers. I've read Kweli for awhile now - their work is amazing. AND, I'm extremely happy to say that I'll join them in an upcoming issue. "The Boy Who Climbed His Mother into Heaven" has been selected for publication in an upcoming issue. More details later: read Kweli now.
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Liberian child soldiers exchanged weapons for tuition under a postwar amnesty. These at-risk students often engage in disruptive classroom behavior. With government- and NGO- sponsored training in research-based positive behavior management strategies, Liberian teachers decreased rates of challenging behavior, optimized student learning, and fostered emotional health.
I'm very happy to announce that Heather Hatton and I will present "Positive Behavior Supporting: Training and Implementation in Postwar Liberia" at the 2012 NOSC Conference in Tuscaloosa, October 1-3. Heather will present her research using observational data gathering protocols to identify, diagnose, and support dysfunctional classrooms. I'll present my experiences using Positive Behavior Support in postwar Liberia.
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
"Wince: George and Trayvon" has been selected at the featured creative nonfiction essay in Lunch Ticket. I'm honored, but also saddened that 13 year old Darius Simmons was gunned down by a neighbor while taking out the trash. Unlike Sanford, Milwaukee Police arrested the shooter immediately and charged him with first-degree murder.
I'm glad my essay will be read by a wider audience: I wish I'd never had to write it.
Monday, June 4, 2012
Anyone in Northern Mississippi should come see me read two of my short stories at the Southern Writers, Southern Writing Graduate Conference in Oxford, MS. This conference is an offshoot of the annual Faulkner & Yoknapatawpha Conference and features some of the best writers and poets in the South. I'm told by respectable people that this is a big deal. I might even wear a tie, which makes this doubly special.
Friday, July 13 @ 6:30 pm
Creative Panel / Wine and Cheese Reception
Off-Square Books on the Oxford Square
I'll keep my reading selections a surprise, but it's me. Expect violence, sex, religion, and death.