The Blog

War, Peace, Love, Fear: Stories from Israel—David Ehrlich's WHO WILL DIE LAST

Aviya Kushner

For the sixty-six years of its existence, Israel has been a hotbed of political strife and economic struggle, and the subject of passionate discussion about what the country should and should not be. The difference between the grand dream of Israel and the often problematic contemporary reality is a main subject of Who Will Die Last, a collection of short stories by David Ehrlich, who owns a popular bookstore café in Jerusalem called T’mol Shilshom.

Jeremy B. Jones's BEARWALLOW

Sadie Shorr-Parks

A pattern of traveling and returning can leave a man with a motley tongue. Jeremy B. Jones’s language is one of the many frustrating contradictions he faces when he returns to Bearwallow in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, where his family has resided for two centuries. When an older fellow in a grocery store parking lot asks Jones and his wife, "So ya’ll’s mountain folk?" Jones realizes, despite his family’s long history in the mountains, that he is unsure of his relationship to that identity, to that particular tongue.

Kathleen Rooney's ROBINSON ALONE

Carlo Matos

Kathleen Rooney’s wonderful novel-in-poems, Robinson Alone, tells the story of Robinson, Weldon Kees’s quasi-persona, as he—like his progenitor—makes his way to New York City from the Midwest, travels cross country to San Francisco with a wife who is slowly falling into alcoholism, and finally disappears at the age of forty-one. Like Kees, it is unknown if Robinson makes his way to Mexico or if he plunges off the Golden Gate Bridge. Although the lure of the mystery of Weldon Kees is compelling and helps to drive the plot along, the chief delight of the book is, of course, the language.

University of Iowa Launches Poetry Writing MOOC

Samantha Nissen

The International Writing Program (IWP) is delighted to announce The University of Iowa’s first creative writing MOOC (Massive Open Online Course): How Writers Write Poetry, now open for enrollment. The free six-week course (June 28 to August 9, 2014) will include discussions and workshops, as well as craft talks by more than 20 contributing poets, including former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Hass, Kwame Dawes, Kate Greenstreet, Kiki Petrosino, and Shane McCrae. The course is part of a new University of Iowa MOOC series: How Writers Write: Talks on Craft and Commitment; a fiction writing course will launch in September 2014.

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