Help me out here. Last week, I was in the audience for Famous Writer X, who had been invited to my university, and whom said university had paid a handsome sum. We were a diverse audience, made up of community members, university dignitaries, faculty members, graduate students, and a large number of undergraduate students. In…

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Recent proposals to privilege those college students who major in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), by charging them lower tuition than their peers who major in the humanities have me feeling more than a little cantankerous. I remember a piece by John Ciardi that I first encountered when I was a new teaching assistant…

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I was fortunate enough to be on a panel at this year’s AWP conference in Boston with Mort Castle, Alice Hoffman, John McNally, and Sam Weller. What did we all have in common? An appreciation of Ray Bradbury and original stories published in the tribute anthology, Shadow Show. The panel, “Shadow Show: Writers and Teachers…

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Benediction This morning, I finished Kent Haruf’s new novel, Benediction, and it has me thinking about how good literature requires courage on the part of the author while also asking the same from the readers. I say it requires courage because a book worth writing, and one worth reading, asks us to face our lives,…

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