Category Archives: Reading suggestions

WIZ announcements and link bric-a-brac

Frequent WIZ contributor Karen Kelsay’s new book of poetry, Lavender Song, is out and available for sale here.   Karen’s formalist poetry is a well-kept garden of lovely sensibilities.  For samples of her work published on WIZ, go here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Writers: The deadline for Torrey House Press’s creative non-fiction contest is coming faster than you might think: September 30th.  Entries can run pretty long, 2,000 to 10,000 words, and first place prize is $1,000.  An entry fee of $25 is required, but that’s a standard amount for this kind of competition.

Over at Our Mother’s Keeper, Jason Brown has a wonderful piece on the Sacred Grove that I think qualifies as recommended reading.  Jason’s  writing demonstrates depth of perception.  But more than that, he seems to have a sense for the dynamism and sensitivity of language’s teeming environment and engages well in it.  I appreciate the care his words show.

This story is just so cool I had to link to it.  I have a (very very) soft spot in my heart for chelonians.

A fascinating and thought-provoking story out of India with stunning photos of an enraged leopard waging war against a village.   I hope more information comes out about this incident.  I’m sure there’s more to the story than shows through in print.

Excerpt from my novel at The Provo Orem Word

Provo Orem Word March 2011 Issue

The Provo Orem Word, an online venue for artists in the Provo-Orem area of Utah, has published an excerpt from my novel The Pictograph Murders (Signature Books 2004) in this year’s nature-themed issue.  You can read the excerpt and rest of the issue here, or click on the picture.  Also, check out the ad for The Pictograph Murders and Wilderness Interface Zone on the inside of the first page.  My son Saul designed that.  I think it’s cool. The links weren’t working today but POW is trying to remedy that.

This issue also contains an interview with Terry Tempest Williams, who will perform a reading from her book Finding Beauty in a Broken World at Brigham Young University on March 17.  This occasion interests me for a couple of reasons, one of them being that Williams has not read at BYU in over 20 years, although faculty members like Eugene England were interested in inviting her.  I think this event long overdue and am glad for it.  If I were up in that area, I’d attend.

Beside Williams’ interview, there’s also a nice piece by George Handley titled “Secret Memory.”  George published an excerpt of his book Home Waters: A Year of Recompenses on the Provo River here on Wilderness Interface Zone.

The issue contains many other gems, including the eighth chapter of an epic poem titled “Rough Stone, Rolling Water” by Dennis Marden Clark.

The Provo Orem Word is an online literary magazine that publishes a nature-themed issue every March, but Rebecca Packard, the publisher/editor, is happy to take submissions all year long at submissions@provooremword.org. The ‘zine publishes fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction.  For submission guidelines and a list of The Provo Orem Word’s other themes for this year, email Rebecca at the above address.   Rebecca says, “Not being affiliated with the area will not hurt an author’s chances of being published.”

I’m not a resident of Utah Valley anymore; it didn’t hurt mine!

Book review: [N]ever Cry Wolf by Farley Mowat

Mark Twain on the tundra: At times, that’s how this 1963 classic played to my mind.   Farley Mowat’s sense of humor—often self-directed—and the acuity of his social criticism reminded me so much of Twain’s acerbic wit that I found myself reading Mowat but seeing in the text Sam Clemens’ ghost—flowing white hair, white mustache, white suit, as many photos portray him.

I read Never Cry Wolf for two reasons.  First, wolves have begun appearing in northern Utah and the rancher v. wolf conflict is heating up.  In fact, as the success of the reintroduction of wolves to the U.S. spills into states surrounding Yellowstone, human competition with wolves and with other humans supportive of wolves’ return has intensified sharply, with people scrambling to find language either to justify resisting the animals’ arrival or to lay out the welcome mat and defend the animals’ rights to territory. Continue reading Book review: [N]ever Cry Wolf by Farley Mowat

Summer reading

I’m getting ready to crack the spine on Terry Tempest Williams’ latest book, Finding Beauty in a Broken World.  Over a year ago, I heard her read a little from the pre-publication draft and attended a workshop she conducted.  It was apparent to me that she had changed her approach to her audience somewhat as well as to people she does not expect to be in her audience but are part of her expressed concern with the stances human beings take in or against nature.    

If anybody would like to join me in reading this book, we could discuss it here on WIZ as we go along.  If nobody else wishes to read with me, then I’ll put up a review, probably in August.  It takes me a while to get through a book because I take copious notes but I’ll try to keep up a reasonable pace.

Also, if anybody has reading suggestions for nature-themed fiction, non-fiction nature writing (ex. Richard Louv’s Last Child in the Woods), or literary science or nature writing, including nature-themed poetry, Mormon or un-, please list them in the comments.

If you would like to read my Field Notes from Williams’ writing workshop, go here.