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Midweek Notes from a Practicing Writer

Quiet Americans Is Required Reading!

There’s something so special about knowing that my work moves educators enough to share it with their students. So an email that I received on Monday—conveyed via my publisher and requesting a desk copy of Quiet Americans—was a wonderful surprise.

This time, students in a class on “Literature of American Minorities” offered within a Michigan university are the ones who are being asked to read the stories. It means so very much to me to know that the book is being included on the syllabus. (And yes, I’ve asked to see the full syllabus so I can see the other books included there. I’m always learning, too!) Continue reading ›

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Midweek Notes from a Practicing Writer

checklist-1316848_1280I Did It!

It doesn’t feel as though I’ve “accomplished” much, writing-wise, over this past week, but in the spirit of Lisa Romeo’s annual “I Did It!” lists, I’ll share a few things that I have managed to do over the past seven days.

  • Finished reading Robin Black’s wonderful Crash Course: Essays from Where Writing and Life Collide.
  • Began editing the Q&A (with Rachel Hall, author of Heirlooms) that will appear in the next issue of The Practicing Writer.
  • Began reading an advance copy of Alexandra Zapruder’s Twenty-Six Seconds, in preparation for a future Q&A.
  • Had a phone call with a program manager who might—might!—report back soon with good news about a way for a rejected AWP panel to find new life offsite next February in Washington.
  • Filed my August stats and updates for Poetry Has Value. (Not sure when they’ll be posted, though.)
  • Kept to the day-job’s blogging schedule and posted a new installment in our series of features spotlighting books that have won the Edward Lewis Wallant Award. (Up this month: Eileen Pollack’s In the Mouth: Stories and Novellas.)
  • Drafted some remarks about Quiet Americans and practiced them for a panel event taking place tomorrow.
  • Continue reading ›

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    Midweek Notes from a Practicing Writer

    Three_PoemsA Triple Acceptance

    It isn’t every day that I receive a poetry acceptance; you can imagine how unusual it is to receive three acceptances at once. Which happened late last week.

    Okay, technically, it was one acceptance: the same editor accepted the three poems for the same publication (an anthology) within a single email. But these poems were not written as a suite. So it was something of a special surprise to have them all accepted. (And I should note that two others in that batch didn’t seem to pass muster.)

    But that’s fine. I’m thrilled to have these three find a home together–and equally happy that I’ve already been paid for them! (Full details to come when I share my July stats over on Poetry Has Value.) Continue reading ›

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    Midweek Notes from a Practicing Writer

    Elie Wiesel (1928-2016)

    Have spent a lot of time these past several days thinking of Elie Wiesel, who died Saturday at the age of 87.

    ElieWiesel

    I was in his presence three times: first, attending a 1986 lecture of his following the Nobel prize announcement; next, at a much smaller event, a lunch during my senior year of college (shortly after I’d written a paper that quoted frequently from his book From the Kingdom of Memory); and finally, just a few years ago at a New York City fundraiser (again, a large event). I’ve read much (but not enough) of his work. And over these past several days, I’ve been reading many of the tributes. Continue reading ›

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    Midweek Notes from a Practicing Writer

    Oh, What a Time

    One week ago, I left New York City aboard a Boston-bound Amtrak train. Final destination: my 25th college reunion.

    The days that followed were amazing, filled with too many highlights to recount here. But I thought you’d appreciate a glimpse of the literary output produced by the Class of 1991.

    These are just SOME of the books written by the more than 50 authors who are among my 1600 classmates. Photo credit: Josh Wilkes.

    These are just SOME of the books written by the more than 50 authors who are among my 1600 classmates. Photo credit: Josh Wilkes.

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    Midweek Notes from a Practicing Writer

    A Notable Reprint

    I’m honored that Jewish Journal chose to re-publish my poem, “Questions for the Critics,” in last week’s edition, coinciding with Israel’s Independence Day.

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    (Special thanks to Afshine Emrani, M.D., for taking this photo from the print issue and sharing it on Twitter!)

    Invite Me!

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