Permission to Experiment: One Week at Jack Kerouac School of Writing

Permission to Experiment: One Week at Jack Kerouac School of Writing

Earlier this summer, I attended a week of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado. Laird Hunt, author of Neverhome and Kind One, was teaching a class on writing historical fiction which has always been my emphasis. I was looking for something new. Naropa writing programs tend to encourage experimental writing and I was giving myself permission to step outside my comfort zone. That started with...

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Won Colorado Author’s League Grant!

Won Colorado Author’s League Grant!

Always good news! I won a Colorado Author’s League Grant. It will pay my tuition to attend one week of the Naropa Summer Writing Program. Naropa’s program is famous for poetry and experimental fiction. It is known as the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. It was started by Kerouac and Allan Ginsberg. I will be studying how history is/can be used in fiction–my sort of thing but with an updated/experimental twist. The...

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Making History–Suffragette Movie

Making History–Suffragette Movie

Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Well-behaved women rarely make history.” True that. However the new Suffragette movie now playing at my local cinema shows the cost of  NOT being-well-behaved.  Getting the vote in England was not easy. The movie shows one women losing her child because she’s “unfit.” It shows women being beaten by police. It shows them going to prison. It doesn’t show them getting raped there....

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The Gayety of Killing Passengers Pigeons and Other Losses

The Gayety of Killing Passengers Pigeons and Other Losses

Because the last passenger pigeon, named “Martha,” died a hundred years ago, I’m suddenly seeing a lot of commentary about passenger pigeons. In an 1808 journal, quoted in the New Yorker, a woman recalls the “gayety” of pigeon hunting. This was when there were still something like five billion birds left. Yet already she worries that future generations will not know the euphoria that accompanied raising a gun at a...

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One Person and Two Acres Make a Difference

One Person and Two Acres Make a Difference

Last Saturday, the City of Boulder renamed the park closest to where I live. It was a big event with city officials, flags, a mariachi band, cake, flowers, a television news crew, and a huge plaque changing the name from Canyon Park to the Emma Gomez Martinez Park. Emma was there –85 years old –dressed in purple –leaning on a cane –smiling (clearly pleased with the honor) –NOT passive.   Everyone who knew her,...

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The Grimm Brothers Murder Women’s Spinning Tales

The Grimm Brothers Murder Women’s Spinning Tales

Maybe the Grimm brothers didn’t set out to kill women’s stories, but they did. Here’s what happened: Rumpenstünzchen was a spinning tale, part of a large number of spinning tales that European women shared while spinning and weaving flax into cloth, an arduous task that was usually done in the evening after all the other tasks were completed (children cared for, meals fixed, animals fed, eggs sold, laundry washed—you get the...

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