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James Salter: The Invisible Miles
If you haven’t read any books by James Salter, should you read these lectures first? Maybe. Certainly the first one, “The Art of Fiction.” You would get a sense of his voice, of his rhythm–his perfectly timed abruptnesses, which are agreeable surprises–that is, you agree to stop and let the echo clarify. . . .
Salter’s life was full of coincidences. This is in part because he lived in many different places and was involved in various kinds of activities (West Point, the army air corps of World War II and the air force in Korea and after, literary New York, Middleburg and Upperville, Virginia, Paris, mountain climbing in the French Alps, skiing in the Swiss Alps, moviemaking in America and Italy, a conversational evening with Nabokov in Montreux). The coincidences come in greater part because he was curious, observant, and had a prodigious memory both visual and verbal. He was also open to his friendly impulses. Burning the Days, his memoir, has many short paragraphs about meeting someone that end with “I liked him immediately,” or “she was authentic.” . . .
Nothing Escapes Jeffrey Greene
Jeffery Greene's latest book, In Search of Wild Edibles: A Forager's Tour, has been in the works for awhile. As he was writing this account of a life spent locating food in the unlikeliest spots, Greene sent us vignettes that we posted online—including the story of the elusive, and delicious, pied de cheval oyster as well as some helpful advice on how to introduce more seaweed into your Thanksgiving meal—and these were met with delight by readers who appreciated not only Greene's recipes and stories but the fact that he had begun foraging long before foodie culture had popularized it. Greene has prepared a video trailer for the book and was kind enough to answer some questions about his experience combing the land for wild edibles.
Virginia Festival of the Book
For one week each spring the Virginia Festival of the Book turns Charlottesville into a mecca for book lovers. This year’s gathering—set to kick off Wednesday, March 16—brings together literally hundreds of writers, including, as usual, many UVA Press authors. We’re posting a list of our authors’ events below. You can find a complete list of events at the festival web site.
Lesley Francis on her Grandfather, Robert Frost
Lesley Francis, author of You Come Too: My Journey with Robert Frost, will be making several appearances in the coming weeks and months to talk about her book and her experiences with her famous poet grandfather. In a starred review Booklist has called You Come Too "altogether extraordinary."
The House Below the Hill
One of the most infamous episodes in American history, the Salem witch trials of 1692 have been studied in almost obsessive depth, but the subsequent executions of 19 innocent people has been relatively poorly documented. A research group known as the Gallows Hill Project has now proved conclusively, however, that the deaths by hanging were carried out not on the ominously named hilltop itself, as many had supposed, but on an area farther down the slope, called Proctor’s Ledge. The fact that the spot now stands next to a Walgreen’s drugstore, illustrating uncannily two extremes of American culture, is just one of the reasons that major news outlets such as the Washington Post and the Huffington Post have picked up on the story. But this discovery provides certainty to a story that has been plagued with rumor and mystery for three centuries.
Meet the Poets, Take 2
For University Press Week we introduced you to two of the contributors to the latest edition of our annual poetry anthology, Best New Poets: Fifty Poems from Emerging Writers. In that interview, both poets discussed how they became writers, poetry’s place in the modern world, and their favorite work by other poets. In this follow-up we wanted to give them the chance to discuss their contributions to the Best New Poets book and to share the poems themselves. Last week we spoke to Tiana Clark. Our second poet is Emily Vizzo. The poem under discussion appears at the bottom of the post.
Meet The Poets, Take 1
For University Press Week we introduced you to two of the contributors to the latest edition of our annual poetry anthology, Best New Poets: Fifty Poems from Emerging Writers. In that interview, both poets discussed how they became writers, poetry's place in the modern world, and their favorite work by other poets. In this follow-up we wanted to give them the chance to discuss their contributions to the Best New Poets book and to share the poems themselves. Our first poet is Tiana Clark.
A Talk with the Poets
As part of University Press Week, the University of Virginia Press is proud to take part in a week-long blog tour. Today's theme is "Presses in Conversations with Authors." Please visit the other presses posting new content today—Temple University Press, Columbia University Press, Beacon Press, University of Illinois Press, Southern Illinois University Press, University Press of Kansas, Liverpool University Press, University of Toronto Press Journals, and Manchester University Press. When we heard the theme of today's leg of the University Press blog tour was "Presses in Conversations with Authors," we immediately thought of the latest edition of Best New Poets: Fifty Poems from Emerging Writers. That's fifty new authors, after all. Poets Tiana Clark and Emily Vizzo were kind enough to answer our questions, and we give them our most sincere thanks. A longer version of each interview will be posted next week. For now, here are some highlights.
The Gales of November Came Early
Tuesday, 10 November, marks the fortieth anniversary of the loss of the Edmund Fitzgerald on Lake Superior. The largest vessel on the Great Lakes when it was launched in the mid-1950s, this iron-ore freighter hit a surprise storm on route from Superior (near Duluth) to Detroit in November of 1975 and went down with her entire 29-member crew. In addition to the many lives lost, the never-solved mystery of what ultimately brought the Fitzgerald down has made this tragedy one of the touchstones of shipwreck lore, inspiring countless news stories, books, and even a top-ten song by Gordon Lightfoot that, over the course of six tortuous minutes, will have you raising your tankard of beer to the lost crew.