Very happy to have a newer poem in the latest issue of The Journal, an all-poetry issue including some great work by Oliver de la Paz, Bruce Bond, Amanda Auchter, Martha Silano, and many others. Big thanks to the folks at OSU for putting together such a beautiful issue.
In the eyes of most opponents and many supporters of easing pot laws, medical marijuana is supposed to be a slippery slope to full legalization. But in Washington, the opposite is happening: a momentous initiative to legalize marijuana for all adults, which will be on the ballot this fall, is being opposed by the medical marijuana industry that the previous initiative created.
-The Stranger writer Dominic Holden with an Op-Ed in the New York Times
Readers will pay less. That's the bright side. The settlement gives Amazon carte blanche to discount the eVersions of popular titles, much as it used to. Of course, that also happens to be the dark side. Because that control over price is going to reinforce the monopoly power of the world's largest online retailer.
The issue isn't simply money. Perhaps more important, the growth of high-school athletics has resulted in more time than ever spent by students in practicing and competing. Basketball games played on school nights (with travel time, if they're away games), swimming and gymnastics "invitationals" that draw kids from hundreds of miles and last all weekend. And the proliferation of summer sports camps. In one of his pleadings as president of the NCAA, even the late Myles Brand complained to The New York Times, "The youth sports culture is overly aggressive."
American higher education bears some measure of the responsibility for that. There are doubtless a number of reasons that high-school sports follows the lead of college sports in becoming more professionalized. Chief among them, however, is that kids and their parents increasingly believe that accumulating varsity letters is a better way to get to college—and certainly a better way to pay for college—than academic achievement.
I strongly disagree with the assertion that creative writing is a guild system. Many of those who make this assertion seem motivated by frustration -- perhaps that their own work is not getting published or, if it is getting published, that it is not getting enough attention. Ever since the advent of widespread literacy in the English-speaking world (starting around the middle of the eighteenth century), writers have been dealing with an unpleasant reality: there are usually more competent-to-excellent writers than readership to support all of them. Creative writing programs today may exacerbate this reality by putting a greater number of competent or excellent writers out there, but it does not follow that creative writing constitutes a closed and undemocratic guild system. Perhaps some who rail against creative writing programs should turn that critical attention toward our increasingly bottom-line-oriented publishing industry.
-MFA Round-table at Huffington Post
If you were to bother to read my books, to behave as educated persons would, you would learn that they are not sexy, and do not argue in favor of wildness of any kind. They beg that people be kinder and more responsible than they often are. It is true that some of the characters speak coarsely. That is because people speak coarsely in real life. Especially soldiers and hardworking men speak coarsely, and even our most sheltered children know that. And we all know, too, that those words really don’t damage children much. They didn’t damage us when we were young. It was evil deeds and lying that hurt us.
-Kurt Vonnegut's letter to Charles McCarthy, School Board Head at Drake High School, North Dakota