A while back, at the end of a post I wrote a “teaser,” promising to tell the story of an incident in one of my undergraduate classes. I made a number of false starts before abandoning the post, initially because the complexities of the episode made it daunting to distill into a blog post, or even a series of them.
Among the many reasons I am proud to be published by New Rivers is that they are a teaching press, one of two in the country. Students in the creative writing and graphic design programs at Morehead State University are actively involved in the work of the press, everything from editing and preparing the manuscripts for the printer to designing the beautiful covers that NRP books are known for.
When I taught middle school it didn’t take me long to figure out why the smart schools schedule a trip to the theme park for the last day of classes. When they’re done, they’re done, and keeping them busy in the classroom when it’s all over is worse than recess in the prison yard. They’re all like “How you like me now?” and “Detention my ass, bitch.”
Below is a link to a really fine article from Erica Penunuri, one of SMU’s student journalists, about Njoki McElroy’s recent production. Erica includes many more details on Dr. McElroy’s class and the performances.
Nice job, Erica.
And for the heck of it, above is a photo of the best fountain on campus: Wave, by Santiago Calatrava. You have to see it moving to really get it.
Another druggy story, and I confess that they chafe at me–for some reason even more so than the other common undergraduate greatest hits: the bad relationship, the teen vampire, the travails of the hero of the high fantasy quest.
This radiant presence is Dr. Njoki McElroy. For over a half a century she has been a force in the Dallas cultural scene. A pioneer in the use of drama and performance to build community, Njoki has devoted her life to sharing with the world the glories of African American literature and culture.
I might not be a working writer today had I not been nurtured as part of the vibrant literary culture of St. Paul and Minneapolis. And one of the best things about returning home to New Rivers Press is the reconnections I am making with that community. I am looking forward to next year, when I hope to spend a lot of time with many of the writers who helped to shape me over the years.
Below is a link to an article that celebrates the Twin Cities’ Literary riches: