Monday, May 16, 2011

SALT Publishing announces Scott Prize winners

Congrats to winners of the Scott Prize from the UK's SALT Publishing. Of the ten shortlisted books, including The Greatest Show, at least five will be published in the next eighteen months, including three with SALT, one with Black Lawrence Press, and mine with LSU Press. In these times, when it is more and more difficult to publish short story collections, it's good to know there are still presses out there willing to support the form. Kudos to Jen Hamilton-Emery, fiction editor at SALT, for putting together such a great short list.

And while I'm at it, let me put in a plug for my favorite SALT book of the moment: Eduardo Chirinos' Reasons for Writing Poetry. Eduardo is one of Peru's premier poets, a writer I met when we were on the faculty at the University of Montana (he's still there). I've heard him read poems in Spanish and listened to the same poems in English, and I could listen todos los dias to them in either language. Thanks to G.J. Racz for the exquisite translations. Now all of us who don't read Spanish can enjoy Eduardo's art.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Dateline: Maple Avenue

For the first time since 1993, I’ve got a byline in the Hartford Courant. You can read my op-ed here. It’s prompted by what I saw in the video below, which shows Hartford police investigating a shooting on a Maple Avenue sidewalk in the city's South End, a few doors down from where my grandparents used to live. Not much happens, but watching the video put me in mind of themes I wrote about in House of Good Hope, ideas about how neighborhoods are perceived. So I typed, sent a few sentences to the Courant, and there you go …

My thanks to Peter Pach, who was a columnist during my few years at the paper and is now an editor for the editorial section. It was a treat to work with him.