227. An American Sunrise: Joy Marjo

My mother always said that I thought too big. My voice is this blog and my teaching, both of which are unremarkable (in my mind).  Yet, I remind myself daily of the novels that have no publisher, the teacher recognition I do not earn or the public policy I am subjected to because I dare... Continue Reading →

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226. Flag Salute: Esther Poper

My wife was preparing her unit on the Harlem Renaissance and I came up short--I could only name about three artists involved.  Now, I can't name that many writers from most literary movements, but when I called up Wikipedia I was at a loss to even recognize names beyond Hughes or Hurston (so, really, two names).... Continue Reading →

220. Good Bones: Maggie Smith

What makes something go viral? It's a good question to ask your students.  If you ask them about "Literature with a capital 'L'" they won't know what you're talking about.  Classics?  Old books?  Books librarians shove in your hand, that have gold seals on them and are not good but good for you?  Personally, I... Continue Reading →

216. Briggsflatts: Basil Bunting

Why, no, that is not a made up name. Remember Dire Straits?  "Walk of Life"?  "Money for Nothing"?  Great band with a lot more going on than those two hits (but they are great songs).  Mark Knopfler, the founder and guitarist of the band, knew Basil Bunting.  The not-yet-frontman was working in a newspaper while... Continue Reading →

201. western springs zoo: Sonja Yelich

Want to seem hip to your students? Good luck with that. I had a class on democratic organizations in college, and the professor used a lot of orchestra analogies to demonstrate his point about leadership and organization. These were mostly lost of us; at least, they were not as meaningful as he meant them to... Continue Reading →

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