Saturday, December 27, 2008

December 27, 2008 National Book Award Winners

November 18, 2008

National Book Awards Ceremony in
New York City

I turned on the TV yesterday in time to watch a tape of the November 18, 2008 National Book Awards Ceremony. Poet Mark Doty was accepting the award for his book of poetry Fire to Fire: New and Collected Poems.
I also heard Judy Blundell children's book author accept her award for What I Saw and How I Lied.

I know the book business is downsizing and changing due to the economy and also because of new media formats like the Internet, Amazon Kindle, Blackberries etc. I have loved books since I was a toddler. I love the feel, smell and concreteness of a book. I hope that books do not go the way of the dinosaur. For me and many readers that would be a sad day.

Click on the link to read about the awards and to see videos of each winner's acceptance speech.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Galway Kinnell "everything flowers, from within, of self-blessing;/ though sometimes it is necessary to reteach a thing its loveliness,"

Saint Francis And The Sow

The bud
stands for all things,
even for those things that don't flower,
for everything flowers, from within, of self-blessing;
though sometimes it is necessary
to reteach a thing its loveliness,
to put a hand on its brow
of the flower
and retell it in words and in touch
it is lovely
until it flowers again from within, of self-blessing;
as Saint Francis
put his hand on the creased forehead
of the sow, and told her in words and in touch
blessings of earth on the sow, and the sow
began remembering all down her thick length,
from the earthen snout all the way
through the fodder and slops to the spiritual curl of the tail,
from the hard spininess spiked out from the spine
down through the great broken heart
to the blue milken dreaminess spurting and shuddering
from the fourteen teats into the fourteen mouths sucking and blowing beneath
the long, perfect loveliness of sow.

© 1980 by Galway Kinnell

Monday, December 15, 2008

December 15, 2008 - I Can't Watch War Movies But I Read This Book

"Extraordinary... a vast, ambitious, spiritually lusty, all-guzzling, all-encompassing novel" The New York Times Book Review

I can't watch war movies. The blood and bombs, the hand to hand combat gets to me. I was surprised that I enjoyed this novel. Oh, yes the battle scenes were there (they filled many of the pages of this 860 page novel) but I saw them in the context of the greater story of the life from youth to old age of Alessandro Giullani, soldier and believer in beauty, art, and the spirit.

As an old man, Giuliani tells his life story to his traveling companion, a young man of seventeen, as they walk through the Italian countryside.

"Synopses & Reviews
Publisher Comments:
For Alessandro Giullani, the young son of a prosperous Roman Lawyer, golden trees shimmer in the sun beneath a sky of perfect blue. At night the moon is amber and the city of Rome seethes with light. He races horses across the country to the sea, and in the Alps he practices the precise and sublime art of mountain climbing. At the ancient university in Bologna he is a student of painting and the science of beauty. And he falls in love. His is a world of adventure and dreams, of music, storm, and the spirit. Then the Great War intervenes."

Read the rest at Powell's books

Friday, December 5, 2008

December 4, 2008 Join the ninth annual CALLS FROM HOME radio broadcast for prisoners.

"Thousand Kites is asking you to call our toll-free line 877-518-0606 and speak directly to those behind bars this holiday season. An answering machine will record your message. Read a poem, sing a song, or just speak directly from your heart. Speak to someone you know or to everyone---make it uplifting. Call anytime, now through December 9, and record your message.

The United States has 2.4 million people behind bars. Thousand Kites wants you to lend your voice to a powerful grassroots radio broadcast that reaches into our nation's prison and lets those inside know they are not forgotten.

We will post each call on our website as it comes in! Check our website to listen to your call and others!

CALLS FROM HOME will broadcast on over 200 radio stations across the country and be available for download from our website on December 13. This is a project of Thousand Kites/WMMT-FM/Appalshop and a national network of grassroots organizations working for criminal justice reform. Learn how you can help blog, distribute, broadcast, or support this event ("