Monthly Archives: January 2011

Goat cheese and greens

Spoon Bread and Strawberry Wine*. From Okra to Greens**. Many great pieces of theatre or poetry start with two random foods. My latest recipe for MyJewishLearning.com tries a little of that melding. The dish combines pungent, earthy goat cheese with spicy greens. And though it’s dinner, not literature, it does come with a couple of stories. Read all about it.

*A 1994 book of “recipes and reminiscences” by Norma Jean Darden and Carole Darden, which I saw off Broadway as a young’un.

**  A work of drama/poetry by Ntozake Shange that is lesser known than For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf, but worth checking out.

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Filed under Food writing, Jewish community

Omni and literary, for not a lot of money

The Association of Writers and Writing Programs brings its annual conference and book fair to D.C. next month. I plan to attend, but definitely need  help with choosing sessions. If you’re a student, you can get in for 50 bucks. And as my friend Marina pointed out, in a sense we are all perpetually students.

Apparently, the country is teeming not only with students, but with writers. So many want to attend that the event sprawls between two hotels — the Omni Shoreham and the Marriott Wardman Park.

In other news, I recently found guides to literary markets that other writers might find useful. Media Bistro members can find out where, when, and how to submit personal essays in the three-part Personal Essay Market feature (thank you to Emily from my freelance writing group for that one!) Then there’s Writers and Poets’ (FREE!) guide to literary magazines, searchable by genre. P&W also has a hefty, gratis guide to grants and awards. Also free. (Did I mention that neither of these cost anything?)

If you don’t mind shelling out $40 for the year, you always have Writers Market. I recall very complete listings last time I had a membership. Don’t worry if you aren’t ready to make the investment, though; there’s a free seven-day trial.

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Filed under Writing markets

Which words to believe?

Haiti presidential palace and fence

Haiti's presidential palace remains crumpled in August 2010. Photo by Rhea.

January 12, 2011 marks the one-year anniversary of the earthquake that toppled Port-au-Prince, Haiti. It was the aftermath of that 35 seconds of destruction that brought me to the country in August, and led to a five-part series on members of the group Friends of Deaf Haiti volunteering at a deaf tent city (see this page).

In November, Haitians voted on a new president for the first time since the quake. It is this event, perhaps more than arguments in criticism or defense of foreign aid, that have dominated public discussion in recent days. That is, until the airwaves and Web pages lit up with questions about a tragic shooting in Tuscon.

The United Nations and Organization of American States acknowledge some glitches in the election process in Haiti, but overall see no need for a rehash. Others see irrevocable flaws. Meanwhile, in the scramble to find meaning in a deadly few seconds outside of a supermarket, we debate whether slaughter originated in political rhetoric or just an imbalanced mind.

Many truths remain clouded until someone puts them into words. Facts and textures emerge through the telling. But what happens when the stories differ? I’ll leave you with that question as I contemplate a grim milestone and a bewildered country.

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Filed under International, On media