Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Love Under the Big Sky

Mermaids flirting with New Englanders at a Tiki Bar? The Loneliest Man in America? Immaculate conception? This is what Brian McDermott discovered while working on his graduate journalism project about Montana Love. He found a lot more than that, too, and I recommend you check out his site -- Montana Love -- to discover fine, multimedia storytelling (with the emphasis on the word storytelling). These are some of his photos (copyrighted) to entice you.

McDermott is now an out-of-work former grad student, so if you're a smart editor somewhere on the East Coast who'd like someone who can write, photograph, and work in audio, I'd recommend you chat with Brian.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Thin Ice

My wife is a writer of lovely prose. I don't mind saying so, because I know her recent essay in the book "Thin Ice: Coming of Age in Grand Rapids" proves me right. I just returned home from Grand Rapids where Sheri was among nine or so writers reading excerpts of their essays during a fun show at the Grand Rapids Public Library. Sheri's piece has as its springboard the true and peculiar family tale of Sheri's twin aunts, born premature, who spent their first days as part of the sideshow at a Grand Rapids amusement park where people paid to see the "preemies."

Our particular disappointment about the reading? Even though he has a piece in the book, the Rev. Al Green couldn't find his way north from Memphis (yes, that Al Green. He grew up in Grand Rapids) to join his fellow authors.

How can anyone mend our broken heart?

Faith and the famous

What a delight to find Cathleen Falsani's face on the front page of the May 16 USA TODAY, teasing a story about journalists who cover religion. Cathleen's book, "The God Factor" is a dynamite collection of her interviews with folks from Bono to Dusty Baker to Seamus Heaney asking them about their faith. The Christian Science Monitor named Falsani's book one of the best nonfiction books of 2006, and it has just been released in paperback. Falsani has long covered religion for the Chicago Sun-Times with freshness, candor and wit. Cathleen's husband is the inestimable Maurice Possley, kick-ass investigative reporter at the Chicago Trib, who once gave a semester to the University of Montana's School of Journalism as its T. Anthony Pollner Distinguished Professor.

The God Factor isn't theology to give Aquinas a run, but it is thoughtful people thinking about what matters to their spiritual lives.

The Greatest Show says "Check it out."

Tuesday, May 08, 2007


Brianne Burrowes, a talented former student of mine, interviewed me for articles she planned to write about House of Good Hope. You can read the transcribed interview (okay, full disclosure: I edited it) at the University of Nebraska's blog:

Read the interview