Reflections on Patti Smith’s Devotion

I hadn’t heard of Patti Smith before reading Devotion, her slim volume of 112 pages that expands upon her lecture presentation at Yale (2016), initiating the Windham-Campbell series, “Why I Write.” Rock aficionados remember Smith for her punk-rock as singer with her own band and award-winning albums.  Politically, her “People Have the Power” became the theme song for Ralph Nader in his 2000 campaign for … Continue reading Reflections on Patti Smith’s Devotion

Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring: An Earth Day Tribute

  I’ve just finished reading Rachel Carson’s classic Silent Spring, written back in 1962, but still timely. President Kennedy read it eagerly, followed by Nixon in a time when presidents read books. (President Obama is another omnivorous reader in our own time.) Nixon was so deeply affected, that he founded the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a safeguard. I first became aware of the book … Continue reading Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring: An Earth Day Tribute

Sally Rooney: Up to the Hype?

I took up reading Irish literary sensation Sally Rooney to find out what the fuss was all about. After all, she’s only twenty-eight and has written two novels that have rocked the literary world, Conversations with Friends (2017) and Normal People (2018), dubbing her the gatekeeper of the millennial generation. Saying you’ve read Rooney is the new chic. Where does such youthful sagacity come from, … Continue reading Sally Rooney: Up to the Hype?

Review: Paul Collier, Exodus: How Migration is Changing Our World

Not long ago, Hillary Clinton controversially summed up Britain’s Brexit morass as essentially about immigration: “Europe needs to get a handle on migration because that is what lit the flame.” https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/nov/22/hillary-clinton-europe-must-curb-immigration-stop-populists-trump-brexit A way of saying that only then can Europe tame the groundswell of white, nativist resentment that has given rise to Donald Trump and Britain’s now confirmed exit from the European Union, January 31, … Continue reading Review: Paul Collier, Exodus: How Migration is Changing Our World

Dawn Light: Dancing with Cranes and Other Ways to Start the Day: A Review

I’ve always had an affair with nature, relishing its solitude away from the human world. I’ve loved nature even in its changing moods that can be intolerant of human frailty and frequent arrogance. With every dawn, I relish the birth of a new day and miracle of life, the weaving of elements into chance molecules over vast stretches of time. I am sensitive to the … Continue reading Dawn Light: Dancing with Cranes and Other Ways to Start the Day: A Review

And a Child Shall Lead Them: Healing What Ails Us

I was talking just a few minutes ago with my better half, wondering just how I used to spend my idle hours before the Internet came into vogue. As is, I’m cuffed to a binary lodestone, whether smart phone, iPad, or desktop, dulling awareness, squandering time, exponentially addictive. Generally, my dawns begin not with photographing sunrises or heading to the gym, but grabbing my tablet, … Continue reading And a Child Shall Lead Them: Healing What Ails Us