The Professor and the Madman ~ A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary,  by Simon Winchester Dictionaries have always seemed eternal to me, and as clinical as a hospital operating room. Not so, however. There was a time in fairly recent history that there were no dictionaries, although many…

Art History, Not Garden Variety Nonfiction

Leonardo DaVinci, by Walter Isaacson This is a beautiful book of no small weight, including many beautiful reproductions of Leonardo’s sketches, drawings, and paintings. I had hoped when I bought the book to glean many fascinating new insights into Leonardo, the most fascinating man of the past 1000 years. Sadly, it doesn’t provide anything of…

Distinctive Poetic Styles

In the past two posts, we’ve hopefully drawn a line of demarcation between poetry and prose, and we’ve witnessed two distinct styles and voices as applied uniquely to poetry.   Mustin’s poem, Metamorphosis II, takes the reader quickly through a philosophical dance concerning the nature of cities. Here we get that cities have difficulties; they,…

Playing With Time

In this poem by talented writer, Jane Mary Curran, We see a difference in style, and a different approach to the subject matter. We’ll get to the comparisons in the next post, but for now let’s take a look at this very well done poem: HOLLYHOCKS nod in the dusky air by the old smoke…

The Word Ominous

A neighbor recently asked me about my publishing and writing, and I quickly mentioned the two poetry books out on my press this month (coincidentally National Poetry Month). He gave me a wicked smile as he asked, “Isn’t poetry just another way of writing prose? You just cut out the punctuation and break the sentences…

Co-Opting Art

    He Held Radical Light – The Art of Faith,The Faith of Art, by Christian Wiman Wiman is one those I call pie men – he’s had his hand in too many things over the span of his years to identify him with any one mental discipline – and yet he’s no DaVinci either….

A Family on Fire

Desperadoes, by Ron Hansen Hard times are upon those of us who traffic in literary fiction writing, and it’s been that way for quite a while. Readers don’t seem to trust us when we tell them that literary fiction is more real than real, and they turn to genre fiction, where story rules, or to…