My story “Summer of the Cinetherapist” was a runner-up in the 2011 Wisconsin People & Ideas short story contest and subsequently appeared in Rosebud Magazine (Autumn 2011). Now it’s a CBR Press ebook single. And for a limited time it’s a free download from Amazon. (Otherwise, 99 cents.) I’ve outfitted the text with a handful of public domain film stills courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. Curious fact: While films and publicity photos typically fall under copyright law, pre-1964 movie trailers often don’t, nor do trailer screenshots. Wikimedia, to my surprise and delight, has public domain trailer screenshots from movies that are integral to “Summer of the Cinetherapist,” such as The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, Mildred Pierce, and Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye. Voilà: an illustrated edition of “Summer of the Cinetherapist.” Enjoy!
Posts Tagged 'Wisconsin People & Ideas'
Tags: Bob Wake, CBR Press, Rosebud Magazine, Summer of the Cinetherapist, Wisconsin People & Ideas
Tags: August Derleth, Council for Wisconsin Writers, Jason Smith, John Lehman, Prairie du Sac, Sac Prairie, Sauk City, Walden West, Wisconsin People & Ideas
The current issue of Wisconsin People & Ideas (Winter 2011) includes my essay on August Derleth’s 1961 Walden West. The book is a portrait of the people and landscape of Sac Prairie, a lightly fictionalized composite of Derleth’s Sauk City hometown and the adjacent village of Prairie du Sac. It’s an evocative literary work that’s never really gotten its due. Here’s a brief passage from my piece:
In Walden West Derleth captures a small-town populace increasingly alienated from a natural world to which their rhythms are still connected. It is a book written by a stubborn, unapologetic regionalist, who, in 1961, seemed out of step with the forward-looking optimism and youthful vigor of John F. Kennedy’s New Frontier. While not outright ignored, Walden West was critically panned upon publication. “These sketches have little distinction, no particular chronology or unifying drama,” sniffed a critic for Kirkus Reviews.
My thanks to the magazine’s editor, Jason Smith, and literary editor, John Lehman. An earlier version of this essay won the Council for Wisconsin Writers Rediscovering Wisconsin Writers Award in 2004.
Tags: Arbor Vitae, B.J. Best, Centennial Press, Charles Nevsimal, Echoes, Edenfred, Erik Richardson, F.J. Bergmann, Fireweed Press, Jason A. Smith, Jeri McCormick, John Lehman, Lester Smith, Linda Aschbrenner, Linda Lenzke, Little Eagle Press, Mobius, Our Lives, Paula Anderson, Poetry Jumps Off the Shelf, Popcorn Press, Ralph Murre, Rod Clark, Rosebud, Sarah Busse, Shoshauna Shy, Signs and Wonders, The Village Poet, Verse Wisconsin, Wendy Vardaman, Wisconsin People & Ideas
A terrific Saturday afternoon of good food and literary talk with small press publishers at Edenfred arts residency in Madison. The event was sponsored by Verse Wisconsin, a newly launched poetry magazine edited by Wendy Vardaman and Sarah Busse. The magazine is a reboot and redesign of Linda Aschbrenner’s much-admired Free Verse, which flourished for over ten years until Linda decided to pass the torch last year.
Wendy Vardaman and Sarah Busse were kind enough to spend a few minutes talking with Coffee Spew at Edenfred about their co-editorship of Verse Wisconsin:
Thanks is due Edenfred executive director David Wells for preparing a startlingly upscale gourmet lunch. See below for photos of the attendees:
Tags: A Gate at the Stairs, Alison Jones Chaim, Deference, Lorrie Moore, Nancy Jesse, The Gift of the Magi, Wisconsin Book Festival, Wisconsin People & Ideas
The summer 2009 issue of Wisconsin People & Ideas has scored a fascinating interview (unfortunately not posted online) with Lorrie Moore on the eve of the September release of her new novel, A Gate at the Stairs. Interviewer Alison Jones Chaim, director of the Wisconsin Book Festival, opens the proverbial can of worms by confronting Moore with, “You have a history of declining to discuss whether certain elements in your work are autobiographical, even though people often want to know.” Moore of course cleverly proceeds to evade and dismiss the subject, while Chaim to her credit doesn’t back down. The result is a crackling, sometimes tense give and take on the topic of how fiction writers transmute lived experience into literature. Discussing her role as a creative writing professor at the University of Wisconsin, Moore is unexpectedly revealing:
I’m sure as a teacher I’ve entered into biographical musings myself. The best students know what is interesting about their lives and know how to use it. But sometimes students are avoiding what is most interesting because it is also the most difficult. Sometimes, as a teacher, I’ve attempted to say to a student, “Here’s what I know is interesting about your life and what you might want to think about when embarking on a fictional tale.” But these are dangerous waters …
Also worth checking out in the issue is the first-place winning story in the magazine’s annual fiction contest, “Deference,” by Nancy Jesse. It’s a sharply written Vietnam-war era story about a mother and son struggling to keep a family farm running in northern Wisconsin. The draft board beckons. The son has literary and academic aspirations. Mom has other ideas. Creating a twist ending that is both surprising and plausible isn’t easy, but “Deference” manages a “Gift of the Magi” double-reversal that satisfies on both counts.