Thursday, October 23, 2014

Party with “The Pinch”

Posted By on Thu, Oct 23, 2014 at 9:03 AM

The fall 2014 issue of The Pinch, the literary journal produced twice a year by the creative writing program at the University of Memphis, is here, and there’s a party to celebrate with music, food, and, this being a literary crowd, a trio of readings. The event is Friday, October 24th, starting at 7 p.m. at Amurica (410 N. Cleveland).

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Michael Roth: American Scholar

Posted By on Wed, Oct 22, 2014 at 8:11 AM

What is college for? With acceptance into America's top schools more competitive than ever and with the cost of a traditional college education — and student debt — climbing to unheard-of heights, no time like the present to ask the question. Students and parents are asking it in record numbers. Educators too.

One of those educators is William Deresiewicz, who in 2008 wrote an essay for The American Scholar, the journal of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, titled “The Disadvantages of an Elite Education.” That essay, the author claims, has been viewed online more than a million times.

But Deresiewicz wasn’t finished with the question of college. Nor were readers. In August 2014, Free Press published Deresiewicz’s Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life, and an excerpt from that book, “Don’t Send Your Kid to the Ivy League” (subhead: “The nation’s top colleges are turning our kids into zombies”), is reported to be the most read article in the hundred-year history of The New Republic.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Burke’s Welcomes Darcey Steinke

Posted By on Wed, Oct 15, 2014 at 1:25 PM

Cher singing “Half-Breed”; hot rollers; Tab; “Laura” (from General Hospital); shag carpeting; ponchos; daredevil Evel Knievel; bank robber Patty Hearst: That’s right, the 1970s — and writer Darcey Steinke grew up during them. A young teenager named Jesse grows up during them in Sister Golden Hair (Tin House Books), the new novel from Steinke, who lives today in New York but who once served as writer-in-residence at the University of Mississippi.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Libration 2014: Good Fun/Good Cause

Posted By on Tue, Oct 14, 2014 at 11:25 AM

Do you know that a wine bottle fits perfectly inside the drawer of an old-fashioned library card catalog?

If you don’t know, you’ll find out during the “wine pull,” one of several events lined up for Libration 2014, the two-day fund-raising series of events put on by the Memphis Library Foundation and co-sponsored by Memphis magazine, sister publication of the Memphis Flyer. This year’s Libration is Thursday and Friday, October 16th and 17th, and it comes in three “chapters.”

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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Alice + Freda For Now

Posted By on Wed, Oct 8, 2014 at 9:02 AM

This much we know: Alice Mitchell and Frederica (“Freda”) Ward were more than intimate friends after they met at the Higbee School for Young Ladies in Memphis. The school’s official aim was “The Systematic Development of True Womanhood.” But by the time Alice was 19 and Freda was 17, they’d taken the acceptable practice of “chumming” (as such close friendships between young women were called) to unacceptable lengths: With Alice dressed as a man, they planned to get married in Memphis then move to St. Louis.

Ada — Freda’s eldest sister and surrogate mother — discovered the plan, as spelled out in letters between Alice and Freda, before the couple could elope. Then Freda, drawn by the attentions of two men, began to distance herself from Alice, who tried repeatedly and without success to earn back Freda’s affections. So, one winter day, Alice took action.

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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Taking a Reading: Bensko, Wicker, and Griswold

Posted By on Thu, Oct 2, 2014 at 3:47 PM

The first half of October is shaping up to be a good time for readings from university-affiliated writers.

First up: On Friday, October 3rd, John Bensko — winner of the Yale Younger Poets Award in 1981, a Fulbright professor at the University of Alicante in Spain, and (closer to home) creative writing teacher at the University of Memphis — will be reading from his fourth poetry collection, Visitations (University of Tampa Press). The reading begins at Burke’s Book Store at 6 p.m., but Bensko will be on hand to meet his readers and sign his book beginning at 5 p.m. Discover for yourself what native Memphian and nationally recognized poet Richard Tillinghast meant when he said of Visitations: “I rejoice that poetry this good is still being written.”

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