The Wednesday Web Browser: Congratulations to Churm, The Craft of the Semicolon, and A Profile of Grace Schulman

Warm congratulations to our pal, “Oronte Churm” (born John Griswold) who has just shared the news that his first novel is to be published by Wordcraft of Oregon. That’s one book I am really looking forward to reading!
Given my own fondness for the semicolon, I found Roy Peter Clark’s recent column, “Good Semicolons Make Good Neighbors,” to be excellent reading!
And over at the “day job,” we’ve just posted my profile of poet and professor Grace Schulman. What a privilege it was to write.

Lisa Romeo, (soon-to-be) MFA

Lisa Romeo is about to complete the Stonecoast/University of Southern Maine low-res MFA program (congratulations, Lisa!). She was recently interviewed for a Wall Street Journal article on the subject of “attending graduate school in midlife” (that’s Lisa’s description). She has linked to that article at her blog.

But even better are the interview outtakes Lisa has posted. With her characteristic clarity and insight, Lisa shares some personal perspectives on contemplating, beginning, and completing MFA studies once you’ve been out of school for awhile. It’s all really worthwhile reading, exactly what I’ve come to expect from Lisa and her blog. Check it out here.

Celebrating Marie Brenner’s Apples & Oranges

As common as book parties may be in this city, I’m rarely invited to any. Which, given my less-than-stellar small talk skills, is probably a good thing.

But this evening I will be attending a celebration for Marie Brenner’s latest, Michiko Kakutani-lauded book, a memoir titled Apples & Oranges: My Brother and Me, Lost and Found. And I can’t wait.

So how did this event appear on my calendar? Well, the party’s host is my mom’s beloved cousin, P. (P.’s mother and my Grandma Rose were sisters). And through her father, P. is also Marie’s cousin. I spent nearly all my childhood Thanksgivings and Passovers at the Westchester home of P.’s parents, and that’s where I first met Marie and her husband and daughter, and began to learn about and follow her work (it’s the reason I began subscribing to Vanity Fair). So I was of course very excited to read the Kakutani review last week; I’m even more excited for this evening’s event.

For now, though, please allow me to refer you to Marie’s Web site, where you can learn more about Apples & Oranges, and about its author.

Department of Congratulations

Congratulations to Marc Fitten, Chattahoochee Review editor, on the forthcoming publication of his novel, Valeria’s Last Stand. Way to go, Marc! Can’t wait to read the book.
Congratulations to Practicing Writing reader Kelly, who has won a residency at the Devils Tower National Monument in Wyoming. Kelly was kind enough to leave a comment with her news at the Practicing Writing post where she learned about the opportunity. Thank you, Kelly! This is what the blog is all about!
And now for my own moment in the virtual sun: this weekend I received my contributor’s copies of TriQuarterly 130, containing my story, “Matrilineal Descent.” It looks good in print!

Congratulations, BJ Epstein!

I’m happy to share an update about practicing writer (and translator) Brett Jocelyn (BJ) Epstein, whom you may recall from this interview. Over on her blog, Brett is reporting on the Nordic Translation Conference, which took place last week in London (and which she organized). As for her personal writing practice, Brett has recently been named a recipient of a 2008 bursary from Academi, the Welsh National Literature Promotion Agency. Richly deserved. Congratulations, BJ!

Congratulations to Tom Sleigh

One of the benefits of my job at The City University of New York is the opportunity I’ve had to meet (and discover the work of) some amazingly talented (not to mention very nice) faculty writers. Among these folks is Tom Sleigh, who teaches in the Hunter College MFA Program. This week Tom was named the winner of the 2008 Kingsley Tufts Award for his collection, Space Walk. I had the pleasure of reading Space Walk when Tom brought in a copy for an office book display, and I am thrilled for him. Congratulations (and a handshake), Tom!