Horseman and Poet

By |2019-04-14T16:26:48-05:00April 13th, 2019|

This morning, I had the privilege of speaking to the entire student body and faculty of Portsmouth Abbey School on the eastern shore of Narragansett Bay, nine or ten miles north of Newport, Rhode Island. My topic was “why literature matters,” but my emphasis was on the way that identity politics ruins both literature [...]

On Loving the Tools of Writing

By |2019-03-07T22:05:41-05:00March 7th, 2019|

In a world that demands and encourages immediate reaction and instantaneous anger, serious writing allows us to turn toward the good, the true, and the beautiful in a meaningful manner, a manner worthy of our ancestors and of our children and grandchildren. I’ve had the compulsion (yes, the correct word, I think) to write [...]

On Loving Writing

By |2019-03-01T16:12:44-05:00March 1st, 2019|

Few things in life have given me as much pleasure as writing has. I’ve never been what anyone would describe as “low-energy,” but I’ve also not always been exactly sure how to release my own energies, especially when it came to writing. I’ve also always possessed the creative impulse, but that impulse was frustrated [...]

Edgar Allan Poe’s “Eldorado”

By |2019-02-02T16:46:02-05:00February 1st, 2019|

From a compositional and conceptual standpoint, “Eldorado” is arguably Edgar Allan Poe’s greatest poem. It is a perfect example of how a seemingly simple theme can be thoroughly developed using new rich metaphors, which allow human beings to communicate what is otherwise not possible with merely literal forms of communication… Editor’s Note: The author [...]

The Return of Storytelling in a Digital Age

By |2018-11-14T05:56:51-05:00November 13th, 2018|

Podcast stories, like reading, have the advantage of engaging the audience’s imagination. And lest the technophobes among us decry the dominance of gadgets, rather than the gadgetry taking us into a brave new world, the technology is actually allowing us to participate in a much older form of literature: storytelling… Some time ago, on [...]

What English Professors Want: Confessions & Advice for Students

By |2018-11-02T10:02:49-05:00November 2nd, 2018|

Did you know that your words not only explain the things you want to communicate, but that your words also tell people things about you personally? When I began teaching almost 15 years ago, this time of year was often hectic for me and my students. Many of my nicest and brightest students could [...]