Monthly Archives: November 2016

“To look closely with the attention of questioning changes everything.”

“It is,” Jane Hirshfield writes in this collection of essays about poetry, “if undertaken fully, revolutionary.”  More stimulating than a triple-shot of espresso, these essays show what can happen when a great poet sets out to describe how poetry is … Continue reading

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“If anything has been learned from this century of research on learning, it is that learning is not one thing but many things.”

What I love about this book is its informed and nuanced contribution to the “lecture vs. active learning” discussion that has been bubbling up for some time now at college campuses.  The authors say that decisions about teaching methodology must … Continue reading

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“The christening party took a turn when Albert Cousins arrived with gin.”

I predict that this opening sentence of Ann Patchett’s new novel, Commonwealth, will become one of those classic opening sentences that creative writing instructors refer to when talking about creating tension right out of the gate.  Who is Albert Cousins?  … Continue reading

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“You need to develop some social skills. Some tact, some restraint, some diplomacy.”

To mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, Hogarth commissioned “today’s best-loved novelists” to retell “the world’s favourite playwright’s” dramas.  Anne Tyler’s novel Vinegar Girl is based on “The Taming of the Shrew,” a play that Tyler said she hated … Continue reading

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