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Showing posts from September, 2013

Letter to Wendell Berry

Alice C. Linsley

While cleaning out some files today I found this letter from one of my former creative writing students. The letter to which Curtis Surovy refers summarizes Wendell Barry's philosophy of writing. That letter can be read here.

October Short Short Contest

This year Students Publish Here is hosting a short story contest. Here are the Guidelines:

Limit: No more than 600 words
                Start with the action, as close as possible to the climax, and go from there to the resolution.

Deadline: October 15

Extension Story: This year the contest involves writing an extension to a modern piece of fiction or a nursery rhyme. This is a short story that tells what happens to the main character(s) after the end of the published work. The story should be an extension of another story or series of stories such as what happened to Tarzan, the life of the Three Little Pigs after their houses were gone, or the happy-ever-after or the not so happy-ever-after of the dish that ran away with the spoon. Write about your favorite characters: the hobbits, the talking horses of Narnia, or Merlin and King Arthur. Here is an example.

Submission: Submit your story as a Word Document attachment to your email.  Email the Editor here: aproeditor-at-gmail-dot-com

Charles Williams as Literary Critic

Stephen Barber

Among many other things Charles Williams was a jobbing writer. In that capacity he wrote a good deal of literary criticism. There are five complete books, or rather four and a half, the last being unfinished:

Poetry at Present, 1930

The English Poetic Mind, 1932

Reason and Beauty in the Poetic Mind, 1933

The Figure of Beatrice, 1943

The Figure of Arthur (unfinished), in Arthurian Torso, with C. S. Lewis, 1948

There is also a large number of essays. Some of these were collected by Anne Ridler in The Image of the City, 1958, but many interesting ones were not, and I shall be referring to some of these. There is also a number of reviews of detective stories, to which I shall not be referring. And there is editorial work of various kinds, including anthologies with introductions and notes, retellings and similar work. 
A particularly important contribution of this kind was his edition of the poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins.

Related to this is the editorial work he did for the Oxford…

A Seamus Heaney Poem

Here is a poem by the late Seamus Heaney in which he explored the earthy roots of his art.


Between my finger and my thumb The squat pen rests; snug as a gun. Under my window, a clean rasping sound When the spade sinks into gravelly ground:
My father, digging. I look down Till his straining rump among the flowerbeds Bends low, comes up twenty years away Stooping in rhythm through potato drills Where he was digging. The coarse boot nestled on the lug, the shaft Against the inside knee was levered firmly. He rooted out tall tops, buried the bright edge deep To scatter new potatoes that we picked, Loving their cool hardness in our hands. By God, the old man could handle a spade. Just like his old man. My grandfather cut more turf in a day Than any other man on Toner’s bog. Once I carried him milk in a bottle
Corked sloppily with paper. He straightened up
To drink it, then fell to right away
Nicking and slicing neatly, heaving sods For the good turf. Digging. The cold smell of pot…