Friday, May 15, 2009

The Tribble With Translations

An article posted on the New Directions Poetry blog shows just how maddeningly subjective and imprecise translations can be, especially of poetry but certainly of any text.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Literary agent Matthew Carnicelli on May 20

Next week we welcome literary agent Matthew Carnicelli of Trident Media on Wednesday, May 20 to discuss how academics can think about writing their books for larger audiences. He began his publishing career as an editor at Dutton, where he worked with such authors as Vice President Al Gore, Martin Duberman, Judith Warner, Jane Mayer, Cornel West, and many others. From Dutton, he held senior editorial positions at Contemporary Books and McGraw-Hill, and worked with such authors as John Wooden, Victoria Moran, Roland Lazenby, Picabo Street, and Robert Kurson. He has a broad list of authors writing in history and biography, current events and politics, business, science, fiction and memoir, sports, science, and health.

Where? Leavey Program Room (across from the bookstore in the Leavey Center)
When? Wednesday, May 20, 10 - 11 a.m.
What? Talk plus Q&A
Who? Open to faculty, staff and graduate students, and coffee and snacks will be served.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Another summer, another clear pattern about publishing

This summer's book publishing groups are shaping up; about 40 faculty members have asked to be teamed up with others working on similar projects. The excitement is infectious, and I can't wait for the first groups to meet next week.

However, a clear pattern is re-emerging, one that I've seen before. The people who want to be put in groups tend in general to already be published. We have some first-time book authors, but most people who are asking for help now have already made some progress in the publishing world.

So where are the beginners? Right where they've always been since I established this office in 2006... hiding in their offices, lingering under the toxic misconception that writing a book is supposed to be solitary work. It doesn't help when those ghastly, finger-wagging "How to write" authors snark about how writing is 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration, or that it's all about applying butt to chair. That kind of advice (a) produces guilt; and (b) just isn't true. Most of the well-published authors I know are collaborative, collegial, and willing to take advantage of every opportunity to learn from others. They are the spiritual opposite of the writer stereotype: the scrivener in the garret subsisting on stale cheese.

So if you're working all alone this summer and feeling isolated and pressured, why not come out of hiding and join us? We have cookies. We have inspiration. We have contacts in the academic publishing world. And best of all . . .

**We have each other.**

Art above from Dorothy Frankel sculpture.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Creativity is a product

Herewith a wonderful quote from visual artist Joanna E. Ziegler, the Edward A. O’Rorke Professor in the Liberal Arts at College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts: Although young people like to believe creativity is a possession -- either you have it or you don't -- creativity actually is a product, built on a foundation of practice. The very essence of practice is habit and daily routine.

From chapter 3: "Practice Makes Reception: The Role of Contemplative Ritual in Approaching Art," in As Leaven in the World: Catholic Perspectives on Faith, Vocation and the Intellectual Life, edited by Thomas M. Landy.