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Department News by vaqm August 25, Besides the relative poverty most writers at some point find themselves in, the writing life also tends to be an isolated one, with observational skills sharpening at a quicker pace than social ones. Make a purchase through this link and the Dept. The casino is the anti-writing space: It is now also my personal favorite. Be in touch Our experts and field staff are on social media and they'd love to hear from you!


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You learn to deal with rejection amidst the neon, which is good. He won the Richard J. Margolis Award as a promising new journalist whose work "combines warmth, humor, wisdom and concern with social justice. His fiction has appeared in The Offing and Day One. Follow him on Twitter at danielgene. Eye-catching click bait but the writing just seems like typical millennial stuff. Not really possessing the knowledge or self-awareness just yet to realize what to emphasize and what not.

I wanted it to be good, I really did. No mention of Dave Hickey either, who lived in Vegas and taught in their MFA program and wrote about the city quite eloquently in his essays. A young guy with a decent journalistic resume who needs a little more polish on his creative non-fiction game and a lot more research besides his own limited anecdotal experiences.

So yes, it is rather dependent on my personal experience. Personal essays tend to work that way. I expect all of my personal essays to double as brochures for literally all subjects mentioned within. Do they even have pools? These omissions are pretty goddamn shameful. All the homeless veterans were really poetic, though!

Writers since Cervantes have been talking, a lot of the time, about themselves. I hope your comment, RM, was in response to Sean H and not me. I was being sarcastic. Even a goddam awful one, since buffet IS the great American art form. You expect me to know something about my topic and the history of it?

Who cares, my mom drove me to karate class or piano lessons or whatever it was that made you a good little achiever that year so I never had to learn anything for myself!

Stop bullying me with your satire! Your email address will not be published. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. The Millions' future depends on your support.

Become a member today. In Person Quick Hits. I am uncomfortable shedding books. The three boxes my husband and I were holding, plus three more in the trunk of the car, were the result of a careful purge executed after living abroad for a year. Moore has the distinct quality of seeming silent even when she is speaking.

Her low, honeyed voice moves in jovial swoops, and when she laughs, she does so deeply, like she means it. Feelings you are trying to get at with language. Besides the relative poverty most writers at some point find themselves in, the writing life also tends to be an isolated one, with observational skills sharpening at a quicker pace than social ones. I ask her whether or not she feels her capacity to observe ever gets in the way of simply interacting with people. Set in that comfortably crummy place we call middle class, Middle America, her protagonists are often witty, stubborn, and charmingly self-deprecating, a humor mostly lost on the mollifying Midwesterners that surround them.

Moore invokes with eerie familiarity awkward moments that tend not to pan out so well — if at all — in a landscape distinctly red, white, and blue. Her hometowns are dead-on, though they have caught her some flack from a few of her Midwestern neighbors. The summers in Madison are buggy and bird-chirpy, full of Friday night fish fries and beer-drinking Lutherans. The winters are insanely cold, with hoar frost and black ice and gobs of snow.

Cars remain salt-encrusted until mid-March, when temperatures rise high enough to wash them without the doors freezing shut. Wisconsin, like the rest of the Midwest, is dull and cozy and more appealing when filtered through fiction or Instagram. Moore has a son of college-age who was also very ill as a baby and Moore, speaking to the Guardian , explains that the story was assumed by some to be attack on the local hospital. The Surgeon says the Baby has a Wilms' tumor.

The Mother, a writer and teacher, asks, "Is that apostrophe 's' or 's' apostrophe? The Mother begins to cry: At home, she leaves a message for the Husband. The Baby has a new habit of waving goodbye to everything, which breaks her heart. She sings him to sleep and says, "If you go, we are going with you.

He tells the Mother, "Take notes. We are going to need the money. The Mother tries to bargain for the Baby's life, imagining the higher power she addresses as the Manager at Marshall Field's. She argues with her husband over the idea of selling the story: Imagining a feeling in a particular character — and that character is a collage from your mind — and then you enter into that character like an actor or actress.

All of that happens at your desk. And to that end, one is reminded of Joan Didion , who failed at keeping a diary, instead finding comfort in the distinction of note taking. Moore is no memoirist, but it is not impossible to connect a few dots between her world and that of her characters, especially when sitting in her web.

The boy blushed and fumbled for a better description. In her novel, A Gate at the Stairs , protagonist Tassie Keltjin marvels at the evolution of menu-language. There were fennel-cured salmon noisettes with a champagne foam. Not a Chubby Mary in the house. There was bison carpaccio with wilted spring leaves There were salads of lambs quarters and mint and sorrel with beets and pea shoots and tomatoes that were heirloom, like brooches, and cheeses that had won prizes in shows, like dogs.

Her newest collection, Bark , is perhaps her darkest yet and took her over ten years to compose. She suggests that the stories can stand alone, that they should perhaps be read that way. Moore worked briefly as a paralegal in the city but the allure of a MFA program, especially one that would pay your tuition, proved magnetic enough to draw her away from city life.

To be around other writers — for them to read your work — it sounded like a dream come true. It is now also my personal favorite. Followed closely by Birds. Your boyfriend suggests bicycling.

Your roommate suggests a new boyfriend. Keep a folder full of fragments. An eyelid darkening sideways. A woman gets on a bus. Suppose you threw a love affair and nobody came. One suspects that Moore is not simply writing a life, but cleverly recording yours. Coming away from one of her stories, one is reminded that we are all just doing this the best we know how.

Image via Bill Morris In Person. I had the opportunity today, along with a small group of fellow grad students, to meet NPR reporter Anne Garrels. Garrels has become famous over the last couple of years for being one of the 16 American journalists to remain in Baghdad during the war. Her sometimes harrowing reports from the Palestine Hotel seared her voice into the memories of many Americans.

She's been back to Baghdad since that initial period, and she'll be going back again soon. She exudes an interesting mix of enthusiasm and fatalism about reporting in such a precarious situation -- there was much mention of kidnappings and beheadings. She is quite pessimistic about the situation in Iraq, and she seemed genuinely astonished by the way she has seen the Americans handle the reconstruction.

The logistics of reporting in that part of the world were perhaps the most fascinating part of the conversation. There is seemingly endless second- guessing about at what point it becomes too dangerous for reporters to be there, and in the meantime much of the time and budget seems to be taken up by solving security issues. There was, in the room, an almost palpable sense of concern for Garrels' well-being.

Certainly she is more than capable of handling the situation, but even so, after meeting her in person, we began to worry about her impending return to Iraq. As organizations in each community tend to vary, we invite you to research what is available in your community. You can introduce the local organization to Give an Hour and offer to provide them with brochures to distribute to their members. Schools can be another source of referrals to Give an Hour providers. We know that primary care physicians are often the first to refer folks for mental health services, so they should be aware that we exist.

Let us know how many brochures you need. Write a letter, send a brochure, or meet with them personally. Thank you for your interest in Give an Hour. Our recruiting process for volunteers is designed to enlist both mental health and general volunteers who can use their skill?

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